Cover Story

Remote control

By Kara Baskin
April 23, 2011

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The kitchen, the phone, the comfortable couch, the baby, the TV, the Internet (without the watchful eye of a boss) are all distractions that make working at home challenging. Here’s a few tips to help you focus and be truly productive —

Compartmentalize your online social networks. It’s easy to procrastinate with Facebook, Twitter, and online chatting. “I have one IM for work, and one IM for friends. I make sure to limit my time on the friends’ one,’’ says work-at-home mom Jen Norton.

Create a specific “office.’’ “You must dedicate a space to be your ‘workplace’ in your home. Don’t think you’re going to work on your couch. It’s too distracting,’’ says Laurie Lyman.

Know when to shut off. “A lot of people who work from home don’t have clear lines of what is work and what isn’t,’’ career consultant Kathy Robinson says. Make sure that when you’re off the clock, your computer and any work-related materials are out of sight — and, hopefully, out of mind.