You've undoubtedly struggled at some stage with the multitude of distractions and temptations a home office provides, whether you run a company out of your home or telecommute occasionally.
Of course, working from home has advantages: decreased travel time, savings on petrol and meals, the luxury of working in your pyjamas (okay, try to avoid that one).
Actually, working from home will actually contribute to higher productivity — Workopolis found in their survey that 90 % of individuals agree that telecommuting actually makes them more productive. It will definitely help you achieve the elusive balance between work and life.
Distractions do occur, however. The dog needs to leave. They need the washing done. Your kids / significant others / neighbors don't quite get the idea that working at home always works and that you find your time split between doing stuff and trying to fend off interruptions.
How can you make it the most efficient room your home office can be? Since becoming a father last year, I have had to reevaluate my home office space and have found these tips super helpful:
Set Efficiency Up for your Workplace.
Wouldn't it be great to have a huge office with solid oak doors, impenetrable from the outside world, with a giant desk overlooking a peaceful pond, or even a stand of weeping willow trees, interrupted only by deer playing around the trunks ...
Okay, that's not likely to happen to most individuals, but with productivity in mind, you can still plan your home office. Try to remain clear of trafficked areas and, if possible, find a quiet corner of the building. Paint your room a calming color that you love (green is intended to be excellent for productivity). If you like the feeling of working in a cave, make sure your room has a window. To offer yourself something non-distracting and peaceful to look at, place plants or a small fountain outside that window, if possible. Create enough space for you to have everything you need to get the job done easily.
Keep your handy distractions.
Once in a while, you will need brain-breaks. Perhaps it's a book, or a phone game app, or a favorite musical instrument — choose your gun. Keep it close enough that with quick breaks you can reward yourself, but tuck it out of sight. Instead of working, you do not want to be continually tempted and find yourself looking at it longingly.
Only get comfortable.
You're napping rather than working, mind you. You're not that relaxed. But when you're constantly straining to see your computer screen or rubbing your aching back, it's terribly difficult to be a concentrated, productive person.
Invest in a good office chair and ensure that you're seated at your desk in an ergonomically correct place. Try a standing desk in one corner of the room if you feel really uncomfortable sitting for too long. I don't like it too much, but some people swear by it. Little items like your computer's anti-glare screen will seriously boost your level of comfort, allowing you to concentrate on getting your work done.
Invest in equipment for light exercise.
In your office room, pick up a pair of resistance bands, light weights or even a small treadmill or step machine and hold it. Taking quick exercise breaks will enable you during the day to change gears, refocus and re-energize as required. Not to mention — it's just a positive thing for you. Your head and your heart (and your back, and your shoulders, and your knees ...) are going to thank you for this one.
Declutter Regularly and Ruthlessly.
Stuff in home offices have a habit of accumulating. All sorts of stuff — especially if you've got children. Make it a routine to purge paper stacks, half-read books, coffee cups, knickknacks and whatever else takes up space in your home office and does not serve any reason.
Stop the temptation to use that storage room — and fend off someone else in your home who sees that good , clean floor space as a possible home for those boxes of old clothes and books they're too lazy to bring to the basement. When you're surrounded by garbage, you can not get your work-from - home groove on with a simple, concentrated attitude.
Grab Eye Breaks.
This sounds tiny, but you'd be shocked at how much it can make a difference! Doing it regularly is hard to recall, so make a real effort here to see how it works for you. By adopting the law of 20-20-20, minimize eye pressure. Avoid staring at your phone every twenty minutes. Stare 20 yards away at something and keep it up for 20 seconds. The peepers are going to thank you.
Collaborate with Intent.
Create a list of activities every day that you need to complete — and then do it. Make sure you have access to everything you need to get your job done, whether in your office or on the phone. As you go, cross things off the list.
Get Tough with People Annoying
There could be people in your life who just don't get it — as much as you try to remind them gently — that working from home always means working. Teach yourself to disengage respectfully but firmly, whether it's a chatty neighbor, or a friend who just wants to stop by, or your mother-in - law calling incessantly. Do not answer the phone or the door; it's as plain as that, honestly. There's no reason to apologize for being unavailable for anything short of an actual five-alarm emergency once you've let people know your working hours and that you are unavailable. If you do not set your limits, no one can do it for you.
Clothing Like a Grownup
Wandering down the stairs in your boxers and t-shirt, grabbing a cuppa and going straight to the computer is a bad habit. You're allowed to shower later, right. Don't do that stuff. Push yourself to wake up and get up, every day, for a normal day of work. If you suddenly have to get ready for a video call or actually go somewhere, you're going to get overwhelmed, lose track of time and be in a panic. Plus, the dressing aspect is just something that makes you feel more professional and ready to handle your job in the most effective way possible.
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