Working from home is hard. Inevitably whenever you sit down to work on a big project you remember that you really need to do a load of laundry, or clean the bathroom, or really do anything but what you actually need to be working on.
An easy way to combat that is to have an accountability buddy that you can sit with. When someone else knows you're supposed to be doing something right now, you're more likely to do it simply because there's a person out there that will know if you end up making a snack rather than finishing that report.
When you work in an office that comes easy. When you're working from home, not quite as much. Recently a friend who works from home suggested to me a web solution to the problem: FocusMate.
The way it works is pretty simple: You sign up for the service and then pick a time slot when you want to work. Specifically in 50-minute increments. So, I might select 8-8:50am or 6-6:50pm.
When you sign up, you're paired with another person who has signed up for the same time period. Come work time, you start a video chat with that person through the website, tell them what you're working on, and get to work.
The idea is pretty simple: Now that someone knows that you're supposed to be working, and will know if you walk away to do something else, you'll potentially force yourself to stay a little more focused than you might if that person wasn't there.
Admittedly it sounds like an opportunity for some shenanigans from your video mate, but the service stays pretty clean.
In addition to focusing you to stay focused while you work, it can also be a decent motivate\or to get you out of bed in the morning. You're a lot more likely to get up at be working at 8am if someone is waiting