If you work from home or have a home-based business, you’re going to need a sweet space to work from. You’ve got a lot to do, but working from home is great – you’ve got your pets, comfort, and the best commute ever. However, it can also be very distracting, which is why it’s important that your space allows you to be productive and allow you to be the best “you” you can be. Check out the following tips for organizing your home office to boost your productivity.
10 tips to organize your home office to boost productivity.
1. Stake your claim and have your own space.
In order to get everything done that needs to get done, you’re going to need your own space. Your home office should be somewhere that you can settle down and work. Find a place where you can work well that will be free from distractions. You may need to find your own room and stake a claim, declaring it to be your space where you can focus.
2. Don’t let clutter take over.
If you work at home, the tendency could be that “home” and “work” blend together. You might have some dishes on the chair over there, maybe some cleaning stuff from when you wiped down the kitchen on the desk, perhaps some of the kids’ toys scattered over the floor… And then there’s the work clutter – papers, files, office supplies, and whatnot…
So, overall, there’s a lot of stuff.
Anyways, it’s really important that you have a space free of clutter. Chaos tends to draw the eye…and the mind is quick to follow. It’s much easier to focus when you have a clean, organized space that isn’t filled with clutter and distractions that will send your mind off in a thousand directions.
Pro tip: Keep all of the electrical cords from your computer, phone, and other gadgets out of the way and store them safely. Don’t overload power strips or outlets. This beats having a huge clump of electrical cords taking up room on the floor, and it can also help you prevent an electrical fire.
3. Have a to-do list for each day.
Being at home might make it tricky to get into the “work” mindset. Make sure to equip your home office with an agenda, planner, or notepad to keep track of what needs to get done and when. You can create a to-do list for each day so that you keep track of your goals.
And crossing things off on a list is extremely satisfying and fun.
4. Dress in real-people clothes and have a routine.
While it’s extremely tempting just to schlep down to the home office in your pajamas, getting dressed in “real people” clothes can help you get in the right frame of mind to work. Yes, pajamas are amazingly comfortable, but they also make you feel sleepy.
Try too start your mornings consistently and develop a routine. Take a shower to freshen up, get dressed, eat breakfast, dance around the kitchen to your favorite music, then settle down to work – or whatever works for you. This helps your mind get ready to kick into work-mode.
Another tip is to start and end your day at the same time. It helps to have consistent hours so that you get used to a routine. That way you don’t end up with an unbalanced work week where you work ten hours one day and three the next.
5. Make sure your office is comfortable.
It makes sense to make your home office a comfortable space – you’ll be spending a lot of time there, after all! Okay, moving a bed and pillows into the office might be going too far, but make sure you’ve got a nice, comfortable chair and place to work. Your computer station should be set up so that you can sit comfortably and work without straining your body.
6. Put your desk by a window.
You might worry that having the desk by the window would be distracting, but give it a try. The natural sunlight streaming into the room will help your body keep track of what time it is. Your internal clock is a real thing, and if you’re easily able to see and feel the sun as it moves through the sky you’ll be able to feel the day progressing. You can even decorate the area outside the window with plats and such to give a peaceful, distraction-free view that will give you something pretty to look at.
If you don’t have windows, brighten up your space by hanging artwork over the desk. It’s nice to be able to look at something other than just paint. Paint is boring. If you can, get lighting that allows you to control the brightness. Yellow-cast lights tend to be ideal because they’re comforting. They’re not oppressively bright, but they’re not too dim, either. Anyway, don’t let your office be a dark, dim hole, but don’t flood it with too-bright light.
7. Make sure your space is functional and designed with purpose.
Before you start decorating and rearranging your home office, you also need to consider exactly what kind of work you’ll be doing and what’s needed to get the job done. From there, you can make decisions about what sort of storage you’ll need, what equipment you need, and how best to organize everything.
Many home offices aren’t the biggest, and you can work with that with some creative planning. Utilize the vertical space in the room with tall bookcases or cubbies for storage. Once you’ve established exactly what needs to go into the office, you can plan accordingly. Try to keep things off your desk by using shelves, or invest in vertical file folders to sit on your desk. This will help you keep your workspace clear and clean.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice the aesthetic appeal of the room. Your space should be your space. It should be comfortable and welcoming – a place that you’re content to settle down and get to work.
8. Consider what color to paint the walls.
Why not go the whole hog and paint the room? Choose a color that works for you. Some people like yellows, lime greens, or oranges because they’re energizing and cheery. Others like calming shades like pale blue or aqua. Bottom line: choose a color that’s going to help you work. As crazy as it sounds, colors can have a profound effect on your mood.
9. Have a designated area for breaks.
You’re also going to need a space separate from your office where you can take breaks and clear your mind. It’s healthy to have a change of scene during the workday – your brain uses a lot of energy, so it needs a rest from time to time. Have a “break room” of your own at home. Maybe it’s the kitchen, where you can make a cup of coffee and have a light snack. Maybe it’s the living room, where you can retreat and give yourself fifteen minutes to read a book, work on a puzzle, or listen to the radio.
Getting up to stretch and take a mental break is good for you. When you settle back down to work, you’ll be recharged and reenergized.
10. Take care of your eyes.
Staring at a computer screen is not your eyes’ favorite thing to do. The light emitted from a screen is hard on them, and as a consequence, it’s easy for your eyes to get strained if you’re spending a lot of time on the computer. Try to schedule your time so that you can take breaks from the computer. Even if you have to get up and walk a lap around the house, give your eyes a break.
It’s also a good idea to avoid putting your computer directly under an overhead light. That only increases the glare from the screen, which will not make your eyeballs happy.
11. PRO TIP: Make sure you’re insured.
You’ve probably got a lot of business-related equipment in your office. It’s really important to make sure that you’re properly insured. Computers and such are very expensive, so you need to check out your home insurance policy to see if it covers any business-related items. If you have a full-blown home business, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right home-based business insurance.
Speaking of insurance, we can help you get the insurance you need, whether that’s home-based business insurance, home insurance, or auto insurance. Our team of insurance experts are pros at helping Atlantans save on their insurance by shopping their rates. You can compare pricing and coverage options by filling out our online quote form or giving us a call today.