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Staying productive when working from home

Most web design and development professionals do part or all of their work at home. It can be challenging to stay productive when you've got a distractions galore and you're in a comfortable zone where you're used to entertaining yourself instead of working. It requires self-discipline to deal with this situation.

There are a few basic things you can do or use as the foundation for increasing your productivity. Everybody likes to put their own twists on it but the basic ideas remain the same.

  • Have a designated space where you can work in peace and with a modicum of privacy. This can be difficult to have if you're living with roommates, and most people I know resort to putting their mini-cubicle in their own rooms, next to the bed or dresser. Maybe even in the closet. This is a mistake because, unless you're an uber-producer who can get stuff done no matter what, you're eventually going to succumb to the comforts of your own room and begin to goof off and entertain yourself.
  • If you live on your own or in a place where there's sufficient space or an extra room for an office, well you're in luck! Utilize it to the max. Set it up exactly how you like it and in a way that encourages your creative and inspirative moods. Personally, I love open and airy spaces with plenty of light, straight lines and right angles as an anchor, like a custom-built desk up against a wall or a full-length window and I like to break it up with curvy, wavy and organic elements. Paintings, pictures and different props or even house plants can accomplish this rather nicely.
  • Some people are super productive in the mornings, while some can work up a firestorm at night while burning the midnight oil. Everybody has their own ideal "creation windows." Whatever time of the day you're at your most productive, try to do all your important work in that time window.
  • Finally, you don't have to overwork yourself. You'll burn out easily. Make sure you take frequent breaks, get some exercise and sunlight, and see your friends. Sometimes when you're on a tight deadline and you feel like you're flailing about, it can do wonders to step away for a little while and release some of that stress.

What works for you? Do you have any ideas? Post in the comments below.

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