Working from home is a lot like wearing sweatpants: Its comfortable and convenient but it may do some damage to your productivity level. If you work at home and youre looking for new ways to up your efficiency, try one of these simple tips. [More from Manilla.com: How to Maximize Your Time When Working from Home]
1. Designate a workspace (and stay there): Make an effort to keep your couch off limits. It can be tempting to take your laptop to the couch or bed, plop yourself in front of the TV and work. But, by doing so, youre allowing yourself to drift out of work mode and into weekend mode. Designate a room specifically for working at home and stay there (OK, youre allowed to take bathroom breaks). If your living space is too small to give up an entire room, create a small workspace thats completely separate from the rest of your home. This will make it feel more like a home office than your living room. [More from Manilla.com: Is Your Office Design Helping or Hurting Your Productivity?]
2. Get dressed: For some people, the thought of working at home involves rolling out of bed and slowly migrating to the couch in their pajamas. Unfortunately, staying in your cozy sleepwear can be a huge productivity killer and keep you from staying focused. Instead, make an effort to get dressed each morning as if you were planning to leave the house. That way, youll feel fresh and ready for the day the same way you would if you were heading to the office.
3. Set the mood: Office lighting is typically bright, so why shouldnt your work-at-home lighting be the same way? Avoid dim lighting at home, which can make you feel sleep and unproductive. [More from Manilla.com: Stay Sane Working from Home]
4. Avoid distractions: One of the caveats of working from home is that there is an array of things that can keep you from being productive: dirty dishes, TV, piles of mail, laundry to do, counters to clean you get the idea. As tempting as it might be to get some chores out of the way, theyre keeping you from getting valuable work done that could be advancing your business or furthering your career. Make a rule that the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are strictly for working the dishes can wait.
Tips provided by Sarah Kaufman, the editor-in-chief of The Manilla Folder at Manilla.com, the leading free and secure service that helps consumers simplify and organize all of their bills and household accounts in one place online or via the 4-plus-star customer-rated mobile apps. Sarah is also a regular contributor to Yahoo! Finance, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, Redbook, The Motley Fool and other sites. For more productivity tools and tips, visit The Manilla Folder.