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Working from home has its advantages, but it’s not always sunshine and roses. When I think of days that particularly challenged me, my mind immediately jumps to one in particular. My son was 2 or 3 and was home sick from preschool. I had a conference call scheduled with a company from California and I was determined to make it happen. Things were fine until my son licked my arm mid-conference call and I reacted by blurting out “Did you just lick me?!”. Thankfully, the gentlemen on the call got a laugh out of it, but geez kid! Can’t you see I’m trying to work here?
When you work at home, it’s incredibly easy to blur the lines between your personal and professional life, often times decreasing your productivity in one place or the other. The situation above was is a good example of a day where I was lacking on both fronts. My sick son certainly didn’t have my full attention, and neither did the company on the conference call. I’ve learned a lot about working from home in the last seven years, so here are a few tips from me to you on how to make the most of working at home.
Have a set schedule, including time for breaks and lunch. Having a schedule will not only keep you on track for the day, but it will also increase your productivity. If you need to schedule 30 minutes for checking in on Facebook, do it! Set a timer and be committed to walking away from Facebook (or whatever your social media poison of choice may be) when it goes off. Want to get your Candy Crush fix? That’s ok too put it on your schedule and use a timer.
Keep a To-Do list and check items off as you complete them. I keep a personal and a professional To-Do list and I re-write it often. Re-writing it not only keeps it neat and organized, but it also reminds me of what’s on it. If you prefer your To-Do list be digital, there are apps for that! It even comes pre-loaded on the new Intel 2-in-1 laptops.
Invest in the right technology. Nothing will kill your productivity more than lacking the right technology. If you spend your day fighting with your computer or waiting on it to catch up to you, you’re losing valuable time and probably getting frustrated in the process. Intel has some amazing technology that allows you to multitask without the lag. One of my favorite things about my HP Envy 2-in-1 is that I can work in multiple programs simultaneously and never have to worry that my processor won’t be able to keep up. In fact, the newest Intel processors provide about 12% more multitasking productivity than the previous generation. They also go from “sleep” mode to “awake” and ready to roll in about .5 seconds.
Have a dedicated work space. I can’t say how important this is! No matter where it is within your house, or how small it is, set aside a work space that is yours and isn’t used for other things. It’ really helps to “stay in the zone” if you’re in a space meant for working. I’ve seen many cool office set ups, including converted closets, garage spaces and even spaces set up inside unused attic storage. The important thing is that you have a dedicated space.
Know your limits. If you know that you aren’t likely to sit for more than an hour without getting up and moving around, plan for it in your schedule. If you know turning on the TV is a distraction, don’t turn on the tv and expect to stay on task. Don’t over-commit yourself to daytime social activities or household chores that will take away from business hours (unless you work it into your schedule!)
Do you work from home? What tips and tricks do you use to make sure you make the most of your productivity? Shop for your next Intel powered PC here. Whether you choose a tablet, and all-in-one or a 2-in-one like I have, you can’t go wrong with a product powered by Intel.