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Work-from-home tips


Time management. Use a daily planner to organize your time. Create a schedule and stick to it, but don't make it too rigid that you can't schedule personal commitments -- after all, that's probably one of the reasons you wanted to work from home in the first place. Do let family and friends know when you are working and that you'd appreciate it if they didn't interrupt you unless absolutely necessary.

Create an office space. Don't let the kitchen table become your desk. Create a comfortable, workable space where you will feel productive -- preferably with a door to keep it off limits to others, at least while you're working. Keep it organized and free of clutter.

Purchase/lease necessary equipment. Determine what you need to get the job done properly, such as a phone (consider a separate business line -- you'll know incoming calls will be about work, not a personal call that can distract you), fax machine, computer, high-speed Internet access. Stock up on supplies like pens, paper, toner and stamps.

Create a support network. Working from home can be lonely. Share tips and strategies with other homepreneurs. Turn to professionals for expert advice.

Establish proper bookkeeping practices. Keep track of your expenses -- from the purchase of office equipment and supplies to household expenses (a portion of which you can claim on your income tax) and motor vehicle expenses if you use your vehicle for work. Proper bookkeeping can also allow you to measure your company's progress and plan for trends and growth.

Treat yourself to breaks. Take a few minutes to rejuvenate yourself -- just be careful not to let that load of laundry or other household chores keep you from getting back to work.



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