If you have realized your dream of being able to work from home, then you would have realized by now that it is not as easy as it seems. Whether you write for a living or have an Internet business or sell some specialty that you have expertise in, what you need is some space for yourself where you can pursue your home career.
A designated place for working is required, even if you are working from home since that is the only manner in which you shall be able to concentrate fully on what you are doing without getting distracted by the daily chores of the household and the hustle bustle if there are other people around. If you are lucky to have the house to yourself, finding this place shall be easy because you can choose any corner that provides you inspiration. But if there are other people in the house and you need to create time and space for your work, you will need to keep a few things in mind to choose the right place.
The place that you choose to work could be a separate room or an area in a room set aside to be your workplace. There are a few things that you should avoid while choosing the right place. Ensure that you pick a place that is not in the middle of high activity. Places close to the front door and rooms that are visited by other people in the household should be avoided. These tend to distract you and do not allow you to focus on the task at hand. When you know that you can snatch only a few hours away from the rigmarole of housework and other commitments to your children and husband, make sure that you make the best of it.
To make the best of available time, try and keep all distractions at bay. Try to avoid being in the same room as the television and if this cannot be avoided, do not give into the temptation to switch it on. Keep the latest bestseller that you are currently reading away from your workstation.
Once you have made sure that the negatives are debarred from your workplace, start to make the best of the available place that you have chosen and create an environment that helps in making your creative juices flow. Discover what works best for you. Does background music help you in relaxing and think clearly or does it clutter your thoughts? Even if you prefer to have music around, ensure that it is not jarring and interfering. An instrumental piece scores over songs with lyrics that are more likely that not distract you from the job at hand.
Good working conditions include good lighting. Aim to work in a place that has natural light. Dark interiors with minimal lighting can result in a throbbing headache after a few hours. If natural lighting cannot be achieved, ensure that the area you are working in is well lit and bright.
To ensure maximum productivity, keep all the objects that you may need close to your workstation. These could include a fax machine, a telephone, a printer, writing instruments, paper and reference books.
You should also give some thought to adding a personal touch to your place by adding a motivation placard or a poster. These can go a long way in motivating you when the going gets tough. Flowers and soft toys on your desk can freshen up and make the atmosphere more exuberant.
Maintaining a clean, structured environment not only provides you with the motivation to work efficiently but also gives a signal to everyone else that with the home-office that you have, you are serious about what you are doing.
Vishal P. Rao runs the Work at Home Forum, a community of those who work from home.