How to Work from Home Without Going Insane

Working from home offers tons of benefits—you just have to watch out for the hazards that can make a good thing go bad.

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When you work from home, you can take calls in your exercise clothes, all while baking a chicken and sorting laundry, right? Not exactly.

Harness your inner taskmaster.

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Working from home requires lots of self-discipline—not a quality everyone shares. Know thyself because there are endless distractions: Cleaning the house, shopping online, food shopping for dinner. Doing any of these things is fine in moderation, but if you're not focused, the hours can slip by without getting much done (and you could play roulette with your job).

It's work time—not housework time.

While it's tempting to think you'll easily multitask and accomplish more of life's pesky responsibilities, it's not entirely true. Tell your spouse and your family that you can't run errands for them just because you're working from home. Why? You're working.

Clock in and clock out.

Figure out your work hours, and during those times, work. That said; when it's time to call it quits for the day, punch out. Don't make a habit of working a little bit all the time. The less structure you have, the more insane you'll feel.

Stay on your supervisor's radar.

Want some telecommuting best practices? If you work for a larger organization, make sure you keep connected to your boss and colleagues. Without the luxury of casual office pop-ins, you'll need to set up regular meetings on the phone and scheduled visits to the main office, if you can.

Don't turn your office into a snack bar.

Working from home can cause weight gain (no surprise, when the fridge is steps away). Try to keep fattening, tempting food out of your house. Another tip: Don't keep snacks on your desk. Mindless eating is a no-no.

Take scheduled breaks.

Make a point to go out for coffee, walk around the block, meet a friend for lunch, go for a run, or walk the dog. As much as you love your home, too much of the same environment isn't a good thing.

Ryan Homes Tip: Don't spread your work stuff all over the house. Try creating a home office you enjoy spending time in, and decorate it with photos and other mementos that make you feel happy.