1. Don’t let your workspace become a ‘catch all’ for junk or non-work related items. Keep your desktop clutter free, and make family members do the same.
2. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by television or computer games during working hours. Set a schedule and stick to it.
3. Don’t answer the phone every time it rings. Buy a caller ID device and screen each call; this will allow you to see which are really important. You can chat with friends after your work is done for the day.
4. Don’t eat messy foods at or set uncovered drinks on your desk – this can quickly become a bad habit and puts your computer and files at risk in the event of a spill.
5. Don’t neglect to use a power strip with a surge protector. This keeps your computer and other electronics safe in case of a storm or other electrical failure.
6. Don’t let your computer intimidate you. There are many classes available at little or no cost at public libraries and community colleges. These can usually dispel the mystery and make you feel more comfortable.
7. Don’t let your inbox pile up. This increases the likelihood of something being overlooked and a deadline being missed. A few minutes a day is all it takes to stay on top of things.
8. Don’t forget to get enough exercise. Take a break from your desk several times a day and rest your eyes and back by doing a few quick stretches. Keep a light work-out DVD on your desk drawer and a mat rolled up within easy reach so you can exercise without leaving the ‘office‘.
If you keep these tips in mind, you will soon form good work habits and your home office will be a productive investment.