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Blog: Paper And Information Management
Strategies for Working From Home

Strategies for working from home
It is happening more and more every day.  People are working out of their homes.  Some work from home as a telecommuter for a large corporation, while others own their own business and use their home as a base camp.  What ever your reason, understanding that working from home has advantages and challenges is important. 

Lily Garcia recently wrote an article on this very topic.  The author suggests that most people that work from home really DO work.  However, they may need some different strategies and tactics to keep them going strong:

Rise and shine - This one is excellent to mention and one that I have a hard time doing (remember I don't quite care for mornings much.)  However, I still make it a point to get up at a regular time with my alarm clock, get ready for my day and go to work.  My commute is just much shorter!  By treating your work as you would a job that you drive to, you are giving it some honor and importance.  Your attitude changes when you are not in your PJs!

Minimize interruptions - The author suggests that "telling your family and friends that you are working during certain times and that your availability is no greater than if you were in a cube somewhere." This was one of the hardest things for me to master when I first started working out of my home office.  People seemed to think that I would be available at all times.  To make matters worse, the room that is my office had two large openings that people could walk in and out of when ever they wanted. 

Today I have two beautiful sets of French doors on the openings that I can lock when I'm not at work.  My home phone does not even ring in the room - only the business phone.  If I happen to hear the house phone ring, I now ignore it and let it go to voice-mail.  When I'm on a break, I'll check it.

Schedule breaks and lunch times - Eating at your desk is not healthy and everyone should have some breaks in their day.  It allows for your brain to recharge.  Some people work best with a very set schedule every day, while others work better by flexing these breaks at different times throughout the week. 

Plan time out of the office - Working from home can be isolating and for some that is depressing.  One advantage of working in a traditional office environment is that you get interaction with other people.  I use time out of the office to have breakfast or lunch with someone I want to network with.  There are also instances where I just need a change of scenery.  When that happens, I go to to a coffee shop or another location that has Wi-Fi and do my writing.  Changing environments will frequently make me inspired to write.  When I'm in town I usually end up at Panara's, but my favorite spot is Apple's Bakery in Peoria IL.  Any time I have meetings over there I usually end up at Apple's and a yummie lemon cookie or one of their awesome new gluten free items.  (Sorry -- get me on the topic of food and I can get distracted sometimes!)

Be Careful to Not Overeat! - A large struggle that a lot of people face when working from home is the distance from their office to the refrigerator!  Be careful not to get into the habit of grabbing snacks and constantly eating at your desk.  This is where planned breaks and lunches come in handy.  Do what you can to eat only in rooms for eating and not your office.  Also eat foods that are energy generating, not energy sapping.

What To Do Now:

What techniques have worked fro you?  Please give me your candid comment below and tell your friends and colleagues to read this post and give me their candid comments below as well.  I'd love to hear your feedback!  Plus, send me an @ message on Twitter too & I'll do my best to reply to you so you get extra visibility with my twitter followers. ;-) http://twitter.com/stephcalahan

I look forward to hearing from you.

To your success!

posted on: 12/13/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
category: Paper

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Paper And Information Management

by Stephanie Calahan

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About Stephanie:

Stephanie L. H. Calahan is a Productivity and Organization Consultant, Coach, Speaker, Author. She is also the founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. – Productive & Organized, We'll Help You Find Your Way a premier productivity consulting firm, serving a national and local clients in corporate settings, home-based businesses, and residential environments. Her organizing expertise, Computer Science and HR backgrounds give her a unique perspective on what works at work.

Stephanie's Website:


My Favorite Websites for Business & Office

  • The Publicity Hound
    Are you new to the business world and don't know where to start to get your business the recognition it needs and deserves? Then this site is for you! Joan Stewart aka the Publicity Hound shares all kinds of fabulous information about getting free publicity. Sign up for her free tutorial and learn ways to get noticed now!
  • Paper Tiger Productivity Institute
    Get resources for organizing your business!
  • The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords
    Google has a system that makes it possible, for the first time in the history of the world, to deposit five bucks, write a couple of ads, and instantly get access to over 100 million people - in less than 10 minutes. It's called Google AdWords and it's hot. In fact it may be the first and best thing to do to get traffic to your site. But it's not always as easy as I just made it sound - AdWords has some nuances, and most people have a rough time at first. Well my colleague Perry Marshall has written a very helpful e-course called "5 days to success with Google AdWords" and there's no charge for it.
  • The Definitive Guide to Writing & Promoting White Papers
    If you sell any kind of complex service, technology or sophisticated product, a White Paper is the best way to educate your customers about that technology. You can use a white paper to build your credibility, get free exposure in the press, attract new customers, and drive new technology into change-resistant, conservative markets. Most white papers are either too technical (boring) or too commercial (thin and cheesy) - but Perry Marshall has written a guide that shows you how to strike the perfect balance. But what's most important of all, though, is promoting and publicizing your white paper - because the best white paper in the world is no good unless somebody reads it!
  • Guerilla Marketing
    Most sales people spend all day dialing for dollars, chasing prospects who are mentally if not physically backing away from them, and they waste most of their time chasing deals instead of closing them. At the same time, most companies spend all kinds of money on advertising and don't get nearly enough bang for their buck. Perry Marshall's "Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People" is an information-packed audio CD that discusses 21 principles that you can use to eliminate cold prospecting and wasted advertising dollars in today's fiercely competitive B2B marketplace.

My Favorite Organizing Tools

  • EasyReach Find & Workspace - ask for a 30 day free trial
    EasyReach Find & Workspace are the ultimate in digital organization. Spend less time looking for information and more time working with it.
  • Paper Tiger Software
    The Paper Tiger software is a powerful filing system that uses the power of your computer to help you get organized and stay organized. Find anything in 5 seconds! We use it both at home and at work.
  • NeatReceipts Scanalizer
    I LOVE this paper organizer! Get control over your loose receipts, business cards, personal taxes, home office taxes, expense reports, business documents and personal documents. It is amazing how it can read off of the papers it scans.
  • SwiftFile
    Get control of your desk with the SwiftFile Desktop filling system. They can be ordered with or without the matching file box. This is the Best Action Filing System I have seen.
  • Send Out Cards - Try their free guest account
    This is one of the best tools I have ever used for contacts, reminders and physical cards too! Go to the site and check out their free guest account. Better to see it for yourself than for me to try to tell you.

My Favorite Websites for the Home

  • Mrs. A's Coupon Organizer
    Mrs. A's has done it again. They developed a great coupon organizer that allows you to find things quickly and actually USE the coupons you cut out.
  • Box4Blox
    Introducing BOX4BLOX ™... the Simple Toy Storage Organizer for LEGO ® That Gets Rid of That "Lego Disaster Zone" From the Floor ONCE AND FOR ALL!
  • Send Out Cards - try their free guest account!
    This system lets you type a message then they print it in your handwriting, stuff it, stamp it and mail it when you tell them to. All for LESS than what you would pay to buy a card at a store.
  • www.OnlineOrganizing.com!

My Favorite Goal Setting Tools

  • My Goal Manager
    MyGoalManager.com's Online System takes Goal Setting to whole new level! If you like online tools, this one is fantastic.
  • My Motivator
    My Motivator is a great online service that helps you identify your goals and then stay on track with those goals with audio to learn from and reminders that are sent to you.

My Favorite Books on Paper & Information

  • Taming the Paper Tiger at Home
    Strange as it may sound, having the right information at the right time can help you save money or have a good time. Barbara Hemphill tells you how to tame the "paper tiger" with quick, practical solutions to managing every piece of paper that comes into your house. She'll show you how to decide what to keep, what to toss, where to keep it—and most important—how to find it exactly when you need it, so you make room for your life!
  • Taming the Paper Tiger at Work
    Despite the promise of the paperless office, most of us are mired in the stuff—and deluged with electronic information as well. The use of computers, e-mail, the Internet, and faxes probably forces you to contend with more paper than ever. But setting up and efficient system to organize all the information is easier than you might think. Barbara Hemphill will show you how.

My Favorite Books on Time & Productivity Management

  • 30 Hours A Day - Ultimate Time Management Program
    How Much More Money Would You Make With An Extra 6 Extra Hours Of Productivity Every Day? Drop-dead Simple Tutoring Of Rapid Results Coach Dave Navarro Makes It Easier Than You Ever Thought It Could Be.
  • Outsource And Delegate
    How To Work Less And Make A Lot More Money!
  • Successful Time Management
    Successful Time Management. An Easy-to-read, Ebook That Will Have You Getting More Done, In Less Time, Than Ever Before. It Just Takes A Few Minutes Each Day To Put These Time Management Systems In To Place.

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