Entrepreneurship can tend to be a lonely field and one of its perks and downfalls is the ability to work from home. However, as many are finding in the startup community, working from home can be more distracting than it is convenient. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to stay on task while you are working from home.
1) Put Some Clothes On: Seriously, this might be one of the most important parts of the day (for many reasons) when it comes to productivity. Not only will your roommates appreciate it, but you'll begin valuing your time more. The more you set up boundaries and rules for yourself, the more you'll get done. It helps you take your job more seriously. Think about your clients or funders, if they knew you were in your pajamas until noon, would they value you as much?
2) Give Yourself Some Space: For your sanity, set aside an area that is your work space. Few things will keep you up at night more than working from your bed. You need to have a place for your work and a place for your rest, or else the two will begin merging into one. In addition, not having a work space will clutter your entire house, and you will find yourself wasting time looking for documents when you should be working (or stumbling upon work stuff while you should be resting).
3) Don't Do The Dishes: Well, eventually you should do the dishes but don't do them during the work day. Working from home is already filled with plenty of distractions, don't allow yourself to begin mixing housework with work-work. The line blurs when you begin doing chores during the work day and soon you'll find yourself with all sorts of house work done, but you will have forgotten to do your billable work. As a rule, designate hours for work and hours for relaxation and housework.
4) Know When To Call It Quits: This leads in from the last tip; end the day at a certain time. You need to designate hours or else your whole day will be mixed up with work/rest/housework and very little will actually get finished. If you are a 9am to 5pm kind of person, set those hours for yourself and stick to it. Further, don't swap hours by saying, "I'll do dishes for an hour but then I'll work an hour later", it never works.