As someone who works from home and coaches many who do… here are a few keys for success:
1) SCHEDULE: Set a schedule and work in your work time (resist doing laundry and household things unless doing that is on a scheduled “break”). Ideally, create blocks of time for administration and email vs projects vs connecting with people instead of 8 hours of “work.”
2) FOCUS: Create your to-do list for work tasks at the end of the workday for the next day, or 2nd best, at the top of the workday – but have a hit list of tasks and priorities. It is a good idea to have separate work vs home tasks lists. Pick your top 3 priorities and start off with them. Even put on a post-it to focus on first and avoid procrastinating by doing low hanging less important items.
3) DEDICATED ENVIRONMENT: Create a workspace where you can focus. remove distractions of personal items (taxes, letters, mail, etc.) so when you are working you can focus on your work.
4) BREAKS: Plan breaks and a lunch period each day – it is easy to get in the groove and not have brain breaks and of food fuel. If you can create a routine for yourself your body will appreciate the natural rhythm and work better.
5) COMMUNICATE: Let others know your schedule so they can respect it. If you have family at home, let them know when your breaks are so they know the best time to ask you questions or check-in with you. If you are working remotely with other team members, let them know when you are checking email (ie. I check at 8, 12, and 4) or when is a good time to reach you. You can even set up a YouCanBookMe free calendar that syncs with your Google calendar and block your project time so the time that is “open” can be scheduled as works with others (ie. you might have blocks that are good to meet so your 9, 10, 2 and 3 are open to being scheduled with others).