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[box]This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Staples. All opinions, of course, are of yours truly :)[/box]

I often get asked how it is I got this blog to the point that it is today. Now, I’m no Ree Drummond, but I’ve made some pretty awesome strides towards blog greatness over the past couple of years. And although being an insomniac doesn’t hurt, I owe most of my success to simply remaining organized. Yes, it’s as simple as that. White boards, post-its, calendars, folders – you name it, I’ve used it in order to keep things together.

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home, be it occasionally or full time, I’m sure you’re well aware of all of the awesome benefits: If you have small children, you get to stay at home with them to witness every milestone. You can work in your pajamas, and you can take a break whenever you dang well please; but there is a downside. If you don’t stay organized, and have a definitive plan of attack for each day that you work, you’ll NEVER get anything done.

Without some sort of structure, your day will be nothing but a jumble of arbitrary mouse clicks peppered with a flurry of scrap paper and post-its – an endless circle of “unproductiveness”. (Trust me, I’ve been there. It was dreadful.)

In order to help you, my friends who work from home, I’ve put together a list of tips and best practices that will hopefully save you from the dreadful unproductive ring of death. If you follow these few tips for working from home, I can guarantee that you’ll maximize your productivity and have a better return on all of your hard work.

4 Tips for Working from Home:

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1. Establish Your Work Hours

Working from home is mainly about balance. You have to carve out a definitive work time and a clear “live my life” time. Set your hours for work, break, and quitting time and make yourself stick to it. 

You may even want to take things a step further and actually get dressed for work in the mornings. Now, I don’t recommend putting on a three piece suit, but you’d be surprised at how much coming out of those sweatpants changes your mindset. Getting dressed can also help you create a clear-cut line between work time and down time.

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2. Get a Notebook… A M by Staples™ Arc Notebook!

Staples™ has line of Arc notebooks called “M by Staples™”. (Sounds fancy right?) Well my friends over at Staples™ sent me one of these fancy notebooks a little while back for me to try, and I can honestly say that I am in love. After the first week, I was seriously wondering where this thing had been all of my life. 

This Arc line of notebooks comes with a whole system of accessories: dividers, to-do lists, page flags, you name it.

The nifty, and quite unique, thing about this particular line is that everything comes pre-punched and “clips” easily into your notebook onto the plastic rings. Gone are the days of pinched fingers from opening and closing those old metal rings. Your stuff just pops in and out. It’s flippin’ awesome! 

Because of all of the different accessories, you can add, flip, move, and rearrange things in order to make a customized notebook personalized to work the way you think. It’s genius if you ask me. 

The standard Arc notebook is the perfect size, (about the size of an iPad) so it slides easily into my big handbag. It also comes in a mini version as well – for the pencil pusher with less to keep organized I suppose. You have the option of getting a leather version like mine, or a traditional poly more “notebooky” notebook. 

I never leave home without this thing. I promise that if you get one, it will become your instant sidekick; and it’ll have you more organized than you could ever imagine.

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3. Take a FULL Lunch Break and Leave the House

You never liked it when your old little stump-of-a-man boss tried to shorten your breaks, so don’t short-change yourself when it comes to getting in some down time.

It’s no good to be stuck at a desk all day. Turn off your computer or use a nifty app to time your breaks. 

When you do take that break, don’t just sit on the couch. Leave your house completely. Take your lunch to your nearest park, or simply go for a walk. The fresh air and exercise will do you good. You’ll be clear-headed and ready to work once break time is over.

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4. Work from a Different Location On Occasion

I know it may sound like a lot to manage. Packing up your laptop, notebooks, and work tools and transporting them to another location sounds like a ton of unnecessary work, and defeats the whole purpose of you working from home. I get it; but using your home as a work place can become very monotonous very quickly.

Looking at the same four walls every day and essentially never leaving your home can become quite tedious and make your work boring and uninspiring. 

Get out on occasion and work from somewhere else. Go to your local coffee shop, or even to the library. Have kids at home? Head over to your in-laws or to a sibling’s house. (That is, if you get along with those folks.) Are you a caterer or a party planner who operates your business from home? Take your notebooks to Leslie’s house and settle your books from there. Don’t know a Leslie? Any friend will do. Just go SOMEWHERE.

I promise, the new environment will prove to be a quite refreshing, and it’ll inspire a whole new line of thinking.

 

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[box]The M by Staples™ Arc notebook and accessories give you the chance to make a customizable notebook system that is organized the way you think.

Head over to Staples™ to start creating your perfect notebook system today!

This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Staples™. In exchange for sharing my opinion with you guys, I received a brand spankin’ new, M by Staples™ Arc notebook along with some awesome accessories. Thanks guys! :) [/box]

 

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