We’re going to keep this a short entry today as I have to get cracking on today’s projects. I slept in a little bit today…up at 5am instead of 3am. Gloriosky!

Actually, I’ve been pushing kind of hard this week, so I’m not going to beat myself up for a couple of extra ours kip. My work schedule today is a typical one…not o’er-heavy nor unseemly light. It looks like I’ll still hit all of this week’s production goals and schedules.

Here’s the key to working at home…set definite daily work goals as well an an overall plan for the week. Stick to it as much as possible. Sure, it’s tempting to sit and play Xbox all day, but that won’t pay the bills, and it will be harder to get back into the swing of things once you put the controller down.

I make a daily To Do list and I love being able to cross things off it. It keeps me focused, too. On days that I don’t make a list, I don’t get nearly as much accomplished.

It’s “cool” not to live your life by routine and all that, but when it comes to working from home, it can be a very useful thing to consider. I start my day always checking and responding to e-mails. I make breakfast while composing these journal entries which also functions as a kind of mental warm-up for the day. I look over my To Do list and triage it. Then get going.

Also, get dressed, wear shoes. Pretend you’re working in someone else’s office. It helps with the mindset. Productivity tends to go down whilst in bathrobe and slippers. Avoid temptation. I have friends who live in odd hours and might call me at noon and say, “hey, let’s go to the movies!” That’s not a bad idea if you’re on schedule, but the schedule comes first, and remember that if your work relies on contact with people working in the “real world” that you have to make yourself available during those 9-5 hours.

Background noise is good. I can’t work in silence. I like having the TV on nearby, but I try not to have anything on that’s too interesting. My FiOS has “radio” stations as well, so sometimes I’ll just tune into the bluegrass or comedy channels and let that float in the back as I work.

An organized desk helps. I’m not the best at keeping this one straight as I have two cats that like to “help” at times. I have gotten better, though. I’ve purchased a couple of small plastic tubs with secure covers where I can put important client documents, originals, disks, etc. I’ve had friends give me their empty CD spools so I can keep disks somewhat orderly. Bit by bit, it’s coming together and it shows in the amount of work I manage to get done.

Just some work-at-home thoughts to consider. I may do more of this at a later date.

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Today’s link goes to Pyr Books | Science Fiction + Fantasy. I’ll be spotlighting various publishing companies that impress me… and while I’m going to focus on mostly the smaller presses, I should note that I have nothing against the Big Houses…but these days, with this market and this economy, the smaller presses are more important than ever. Pyr is one of the better presses out there with a great catalog of books by some great authors including Charles Coleman Finlay, Mike Resnick, Kay Kenyon, Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Robert Silverberg, Sean Williams, and lots more. Headed up by Lou Anders, it’s a press well worth checking out. Visit their site for sample chapters, blogs, and other goodies.

Cheers!