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**5. Group Your Errands**
Try to group your meetings and errands together to minimize your out- of-office time. Make a list in morning of all outside tasks you need done for day, and attempt to complete them in one fell swoop. Even better, do what I do and designate just one day a week as your "blitz" day for errands and meetings. I like doing this, because then I need to get dressed up only one day a week! : )
**6. Stay Focused**
Make your workspace off-limits to other roommates or family members when you're working. For you animal lovers, this may go for pets as well. (My cat Francine gets *very* jealous when I'm not giving her complete attention!) Keep all personal paperwork such as bills and magazines out of sight, so as not to distract you from your projects.
**7. Beware of Yappers**
Many of your friends and family will be immediately delighted when they learn that you're working at home. They picture you lounging on couch, eating potato chips, and waiting for their calls. When they call you simply to chat, politely remind them that you're working, and ask them if you can call them back after your day is over. It may take them awhile, but they'll eventually "get it."
**8. Work With Your Moods**
Keep track of your moods and productivity compared with time of day. For example, if you find you're more alert in morning, use this time to make important calls and do your creative work. Take advantage of your natural cycles. If you feel better after an afternoon nap, go for it! (I'm a BIG proponent of catnap. In fact, I may start a support group. : ))
**9. Suit Yourself**
To bring out your best work, make your environment perfect for YOU. How do you work best? With plenty of breaks, or with no interruptions? In silence, or with some light music in background? On a cushy couch and coffee table, or at a business desk in an ergonomic chair? (My friends thought I was nuts when I spent $700 on my Herman Miller Aeron chair, but they quickly understood why once they sat in it! And my spine thanks me every day.)
Also, find some places you can do work when you need a change of scenery. How about library, park, or your neighborhood coffee shop? When I need to do serious reading, thinking, or editing, I take my work outside to beach. The sea air, sunshine, and soothing waves help me think much more clearly.
**10. Break for People**
Feeling sluggish, lonely, or moody? Arrange for at least one social break during week. (I aim for two or three.) Schedule breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even just coffee with a client, vendor, or friend. Join a business networking group, or sign-up for social activities such as dance class or recreational sports league. Don't go into hermit mode - it can be self-destructive!
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