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For those who have a "work-at-home" situation, what positive (read: non-fear-tactical, non-punishing) tips and tricks do you have to ensure you stay accountable to your responsibilities?

Asked by prolificus (6285 points ) May 17th, 2010

Almost 2–4 hours a day I have the luxury of working from home. Unfortunately, I have a horrible habit of procrastinating. Part of my procrastination comes from knowing it only takes a few minutes to do certain tasks. Mostly, it takes me 10–20 minutes to do each task. It feels like a waste of time to do 2–4 short tasks within 2–4 hours, so I let things stockpile with the thought I’ll do better if I am making the most of my time (by squeezing 5–10+ tasks into 2–4 hours). The problem is, this doesn’t work. Days of stockpiling turn into weeks, and before I know it, I’m significantly behind in my work. This result is depressing and frustrating because I am a mindful personal who wants to do her best.

Even though I work with people when I’m not at home, social interaction is limited. This is depressing, too. I thrive working with others, in a team or group project situation (even if the group works individually, not together at the same time). Also, I do not get built-in, on-going feedback. I know I can provide my own feedback, but it feels better and more encouraging when I am part of something bigger than my little world. (I do have other forms of supervisory feedback, but it is feels insufficient.)

Let me be very clear, I do love my job; however, it requires certain self-disciplines in which I struggle. (Side note: As I think and write this question, I’m wondering if I truly love my job. When I really love something I am doing, I can work tirelessly at it.) If changing jobs is not an option for the next several years, how can I take a positive approach to motivating myself to work during my “work-at-home” hours?

Any suggestions?

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