Boss Lady

5 ways to master working from home

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As a business owner and mother of five who regularly works from a home office, I understand how your personal life can encroach upon your work life, particularly when you work from home. Having worked from home on my travel business for seven years, I’ve learned a lot. Here are my top tips for making sure you get the most out of working from your home office:

1. Limit distractions

While it’s tempting to have the radio or television on while you’re working from home, I find I work better without these external distractions. You may not realise it, but having the television on can limit your productivity and make you lose focus. Stay in the zone by sticking to your home office space and don’t let yourself wander over to the couch with your laptop.

2. Dress for work every morning

While it’s tempting to stay in your pyjamas or slip into some comfortable sweatpants, what you wear can help you get into a professional mindset, that’s why I dress for work every morning. By dressing for work every morning, you are signalling to the world (and yourself) that you’re ready for business. It also helps family members that live you understand that you are working (not just lounging at home) so they’ll be less likely to interrupt you as you’ve signalled you are in ‘work mode’.

3. Invest in making your home office a functional, inspiring space

Your office should not double as a home storage area or children’s playroom. If your home office is crammed full of boxes or cluttered with kid’s toys, clear it out and make it a professional space. As a travel agent, I have posters of the Eiffel Tower and Venice up on my walls, and piles of travel brochures and magazines on hand to keep me inspired. As a visual person, I also invested in a whiteboard to put my sales goals up each week, to keep me focused.

4. Set boundaries

Boundary setting is incredibly important for women who work from home. The temptation for children or partners to interrupt is high, so put a sign on the door of your home office saying ‘Mum is working’ when you’re in the zone, then your loved ones know to not interrupt unless it’s an emergency.

5. Get out of the house

While working from home is convenient, in the beginning it can be isolating. Ensure you’re not stuck in a rut at home by attending local networking groups or business meet ups. This will improve your local network, lead to more business, and stop any feelings of isolation that may creep in. Working from a local café for a few hours is also beneficial for my mindset and my ability to connect with new potential clients.

About Suzanne Watson

Suzanne Watson is a top-performing travel agent who runs her own enterprise with Travel Counsellors, a world-leading company that provides tailored travel services to leisure and corporate travellers.

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