DEAR HARRIETTE: I would like to improve my productivity at home. I cannot resist the comforts in my home, whether it be the sofa, the bed or even my desk. What are some tips I can implement to keep from getting distracted and lazy when I need to work? I am an independent contractor, and I do most of my work from home. -- HOMEBODY
DEAR HOMEBODY: You may need to identify a different workspace to use so that you can be more productive. Consider your public library, your local coffee shop or another local business that offers Wi-Fi. Research co-working spaces to see if there is one that you can afford to go to during the week. Even if you do this temporarily, you may discover ways to step up your work game so that you can stay focused.
At home, set up your desk as your office. Put only essential work items there, and use it only when you are to be formally working. Do not go into other areas of your home to perch during your workday. Make your desk the focus of your business and treat it as a private office. When you get up in the morning, take a shower, get dressed as if you are going out to work, and then go to your desk. If you can develop the discipline of using your desk as a formal workspace, you may be able to solve your focus issues.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)