Around the house

For two of my jobs, I'm blessed to be able to work from home. This makes dealing with my fibromyalgia a little easier, and I'm available to do things for Danny, our family and the church. It's also a joy not being tied to a desk all day, being able to get up, do something else for a while and come back later. You don't get that at a 9-to-5 job.

The only downside is that it's difficult sometimes to stay productive. No amount of lists, timers or deadlines can outweigh an afternoon nap when your big, fluffy chair is calling your name.

Yes, I speak from experience. Don't tell anyone, ok?

There are some very simple ways to jumpstart your at-home productivity and make sure you don't collapse at the end of the day. These may be aimed at work-from-home folks, but they work perfectly for women who spend any amount of time at home.

Allow yourself down time during the day. Read a few chapters, put a puzzle together or take the dogs for a walk.

* Set hourly, daily and weekly goals. If you're motivated by checking things off lists, this will keep you pressing on.

* Stick to water and healthy food. It's tempting to raid the fridge or pantry if you're home for lunch, but junk food snacks will make you more lethargic and less likely to keep working.

* Take the phone off the hook if you need to. It's perfectly acceptable. They'll call back if they really want to talk to you.

* Keep the radio and television off. Even if it's just for an hour, the quiet surroundings can help you focus during that time.

* If it inspires you, change out of your pajamas. Some people work better if they can just relax in sweatpants. Others can get more done if they're wearing something a little more professional. Try them both and see what works for you.

* Schedule in your lunch break. If you just work until you're hungry, you'll always be hungry. Set your alarm for a reasonable lunchtime and stick to it.

* Get your daily dose of sunshine. Walk around the house, sit on the deck or head to the park for an afternoon break. Get some Vitamin D in your system for a healthy jolt of energy.

* Let friends and family know when it's ok to talk. If you have a project to get done, let the people who contact you most know so they can call or text another time. They'll understand and look forward to talking to you later.

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