Swaroop C H

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Tips for Working From Home

09 Jul 2008

Working from home full-time is a different experience than we are used to. You make or break things, there's no one asking about your progress and there are no deadlines. It's all up to you.

My productivity has varied a lot during this time and I was wondering how to make more days productive than they are as of now.

So I polled some of my friends who also work out of a home-office on how they they maintain productivity / motivation / focus, and I got some interesting replies:

I have a list of my own as well, here are some lifehacks that work for me:

Also, there are some good resources out there such as the one by AnyWired.

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

-- Lin Yutang


TheCruisemaniac says:

Nice post... I agree to pretty much all the points that you've listed, especially the MIT point and @mrinalwadhwa's 6.5 Hours sleeping cycle.

I would also agree on the point of working Late nights and reeeeallly early mornings (3-4 AM types) to get maximum performance efficiency levels ;-) The rest of the day is just too noisy to work even from home, in a city like Bangalore.

Happy working & Chao...

Swaroop says:

@Kanti, @Sayamindu Nice points! I agree with the power backup for the router, I have faced that problem already.

@Varun Enjoy maaDi :)

Sayamindu says:

I tend to work at night. That gives me two advantages:
1) Most of my colleagues (except some of the European and Australian ones) are on IRC at that time, which really helps.
2) No disturbance from home (eg: people coming in, telephone calls to attend, etc)

and yes, power backup is extremely important. I tend to have my networking equipment (router, DSL modem) on a backup system, while I work from my laptop in case of a power failure.

Varun Prabhakar says:

Great tips and great timing for me personally. I was reading up a bunch of articles on the same topic so this came in as a blessing!

I especially agree on :
1. Making the MIT's list first thing in the morning.
2. Eliminating distractions
3. Switching tasks when you hit a roadblock or when bored.

One tip that might work for some:
-- Make extra morning hours count! (extra hours saved by not having to dress up for work and commute)

Kanti says:

Since i do not work full time but yes i did it once in a while.
The points to note from my side.

Make sure you have power backup ( inverter/UPS ) for at least 2 hours.
Try to be in an area of your house where you get ample natural light.
Prepare a todo list a day before if possible.The other way is to plan your work at the start of your day.
Take breaks , use an alarm if needed.

My observation is that i get more productive when working from home.


Shaon Diwakar says:

Great timing with the post, I've recently just started working from home on my startup and will definitely be trying some the tips above! I've been gradually getting better at managing distraction such as IM, email and the telephone, but the hardest part is getting in to the 'flow' zone - where I can stick through all the coding.

I try to read emails at a maximum of once an hour during the day and only IM/twitter/read blogs during the evening, when I'm tired and sleepiness starts kicking in.


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