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When you’re the boss of everything in your home office

it’s so important to set guidelines and parameters in order to make working from home a happy experience.  Along with freedom and flexibility comes isolation and self discipline that require daily structure and accountability.  Working from my home for the last twelve years has been gratifying in so many ways….along the way I’ve learned how to make it a positive experience.

GET UP, DRESS UP, AND SHOW UP

Vital to the success of the day is having a routine in the morning. It’s so easy to be distracted by housework, telephones and social media. Setting a definite start time is a must to really get the work day going. I always dress for the day, so that I am ready to leave the office for an outside meeting or a coffee date.  Jeans and a shirt are a good start…I can throw on a blazer or moto jacket for a quick exit. Makeup always…this helps me face the day feeling good about myself.

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Such a pretty desk from POTTERY BARN

INSPIRING SPACE

Natural light, a comfortable chair and a functional desk are a must. Drawers to store your papers, pens, and those less attractive office supplies, help to keep your clutter to a minimum.  After that you can be as creative as you want, always mindful to maintain a professional environment that will separate your work space from the rest of your living space. Something living… such as a potted plant or some fresh flowers…even some green leaves in a pretty vase create a natural feeling of life in the office.  A fragrant candle and framed pictures of loved ones all are essentials on my desk.

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Photo and Office Design by SARAH LIS SMITH

STICK TO A SCHEDULE

Establish your working hours, making sure to include breaks in your day. Create boundaries between your work life and your personal life.  If you don’t, you will find yourself working from morning ’til night.  Blurring the lines between working and living will cause you to be ineffective in all you do.  Make your routine your friend and respect the monotony….the price of success!  Work in blocks of time, when the time is up…move on to your next task.

BREAKS FOR YOUR BODY AND MIND

Set an alarm for a mid morning and a noon time break and leave your office.  Periodic breaks will re-energize your body and and will refresh your mind…making you more productive for the rest of the day. Forget the coffee and keep a bottle of water close by…so reviving!

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via ONE KINGS LANE… check out their great office decor and accessories!

DON’T BECOME A HERMIT

It’s very easy to isolate yourself…especially on a rainy day.  A quick trip to Starbucks or the grocery store should not be viewed as a distraction.  You need to connect with people and feel that you are part of the rest of the world.  So many creative and inspiring people are freelancing and working from home offices.  Arrange a time to meet to share ideas and insights. Working out is a good reason to leave the house for an hour. Head to the gym or go for a run or a walk…it’s easy to become inactive sitting in your cozy, pretty office!

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REMAIN ACCOUNTABLE

…if only to yourself! Maintain lists and record your daily activities in your calendar.  So very essential when no one is looking over your shoulder! This is really the best way to monitor your daily output and strategize in order to maximize your efforts and your hours.  Establishing and following procedures and systems will not only give you confidence in your work, but will also create a foundation as your business grows. This confidence will enable you to enjoy your personal life with a sense of freedom.

CLOSE THE DOOR

End the day by prioritizing your activities for the next day.  Tidy your desk and put away any unfinished tasks.  This will give you a jump start on your  next day.  Turn off the computer and close the door.

Here are some favorite office accessories:

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ANTHROPOLOGIE

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RESTORATION HARDWARE

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CHINTZ & COMPANY

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