When you ditch the corporate cubicle, you can also leave behind your power suit, chatty colleagues and time wasting office distractions. But what you shouldn’t leave behind is a dedicated, organized workspace. For a real work-life balance, you should really spend some time on setting up a productive home office.
Here are some productivity hacks to make for a productive and efficient home office:
1. Keep work separate
For work at homers, it’s pretty important to maintain a workspace that is solidly, tangibly divided from the rest of your house. If you have kids, roommates or a spouse who will be around when you are working, let everyone know your working hours—close the door, put up a sign, whatever it takes. If you take your workspace seriously, others will too.
2. Organize and tidy up
Some people say they thrive in the creative chaos of a messy desk and piles of books on the floor. If that really doesn’t bother you, great. But if you believe that a clear mind starts with a clear desk, then it’s time to clean up all the clutter, organize your papers and books, your files and tools. Use folders, file cabinets, bulletin boards, to keep everything together and easily-accessible. Know those beautifully tidy rooms at IKEA, complete with little boxes and towering bookshelves? Aim for that and keep it tidy.
3. Flex your home-design skills
Use the principles of feng shui to bring in energy and inspiration by way of color, flowing open space, natural light and plants into your home office. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Do a search on Pinterest.
4. Integrate sound into your workspace
Pandora in your headphones, crackling AM radio, a zen waterfall. Whether you just leave a window open, or enjoy chimes in the breeze, a peaceful office is key. Whatever you need for your work day soundtrack, make sure you have it ready before you start up your routine. You won’t have won’t have to stop what you’re doing to make adjustments, and you can keep your productivity pulsing through the morning drag.
5. Try a standing desk
Don’t just sit there. If you’re worried about “sitting disease” or you often feel sluggish and unmotivated, it might be time to try out a standing desk, just like the cool kids use at Google and other savvy tech corporations. Many people can craft standing desks out of other furniture and scraps, but if you can’t you might consider purchasing one. The price for already assembled standing desks can be pretty steep though, so consider these affordable alternatives.
6. Surround yourself with inspiration
Start a book shelf to display your favorite texts, perhaps a few inspirational business books. Stick motivational quotes all around your work space, surround yourself with photos of dream vacation spots or of the important people in your life. Just like in college, stick up posters that inspire you or remind you of your work and life goals. It always helps to have a daily reminder of what you’re really working for.
7. Quit snacking at your desk
While it might be easier to just grab that granola bar from your desk drawer when you want a snack, it’s best to keep your brain fuel in the kitchen so you can make your snack time a break time. This comes back to keeping your work and home life separate. Get up and away from your desk, take a short stroll. The sitting disease doesn’t just come from sitting, it comes from inactivity. Refresh your brain, stretch your legs and take a break.
You don’t need to spend a lot or hire an interior designer to make the most of your home office. It comes down to common sense. When you’re sitting at your desk and you feel comfortable and relaxed even as you face a slew of deadlines, you know you’ve got it made.
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