For most people, working from home seems like a dream. You envision waking up, tossing on something comfy, and walking into the next room to start each day. No commute, no conventional office, no annoying co-workers, and no dress code.
When that dream becomes reality, though, you realize that it comes with its own challenges. Focusing on work while you’re surrounded by the distractions of your home is a hurdle for most people who telecommute. How do you make it work?
1 - Make Your Space Flow
There’s no single perfect home office setup. It all depends on how you work. Take time to think about the tasks you perform most and the order in which you do them.
For example, let’s say one of your tasks is to pay invoices. You can have your printer on the left to print out the invoices. Your computer is to the right so you can verify the information you need. Next to the computer is your checkbook, envelopes, and stamps.
As you set up your office, try to buy portable furniture so you can rearrange it as necessary.
2 - Get Inspired
If you have a creative job, you need an environment that sparks your creativity. Incorporate decor and other items into your home office that put you into the perfect mindset to innovate.
If you want to take it even further, make your whole home office a craft project. Try painting the walls yourself with a unique pattern or making your own wall hangings.
You could even renovate a shipping container into an office, making it fit any aesthetic you want. Make sure you do your homework and learn more before you take on the project, though.
3 - Use Eye-Friendly Lighting
You might think that when it comes to a home office, the brighter it is, the better. Nailing your office lighting is more complex.
As much energy as you can get from bright natural light, it needs to come from the right direction. Too much glare on your computer screen makes it hard to read.
You’ll end up spending all day squinting at your screen and you’ll have a headache by lunchtime. Make sure your office’s light is coming from an indirect angle. Have several options for lamps and other artificial light for those dreary days or late nights.
4 - Set Up a Brainstorming Space
Your computer might be where you execute your ideas, but it’s not always the best place to come up with those ideas. When you need to focus on the big picture, it helps to step away.
Set up a brainstorming space in your office. Include a whiteboard, chalkboard, easel paper pad, or another large note-taking area. You can include other elements that help you think, like an aromatherapy diffuser or certain types of music.
5 - Keep Clutter Out
You may have heard the saying that a cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. It’s true, and it’s a common problem for people who work from home.
Clutter is distracting, even if it’s clutter you need like files or office supplies. It’s worth your investment to organize your space and keep these items out of your sight. A few closed shelves can go a long way.
As an added bonus, an organized workspace means you’ll spend less time looking for things you need. It’s a productivity two-for.
6 - Invest In a Choice-Friendly Desk
Everyone who works a desk job knows the discomfort that sets in after you’ve sat in the same chair too long. Some people think a standing desk is a solution. The problem is that it’s just as uncomfortable to stand in one place that long.
Instead, go for the happy medium: an adjustable desk. You can make these desks tall enough to stand, short enough to sit, and the perfect height for your arms in any position.
Having the ability to change your position throughout the day keeps your blood flowing and keeps your mind active. As an added bonus, it’s great for your health too.
7 - Give Your To-Do List a Home
As you’re working, it’s easy to get caught up in distractions or to get stuck on a single task. You start working on a two-hour task and before you know it, it’s been three hours and you’re still not done.
A handy way to combat that problem is to keep your to-do list in a visible place. This helps you stay focused, remember what you should be working on, and have insight into the rest of your day.
If you’re struggling with time management, try setting a goal time for each item on your to-do list. Make sure to display that goal time too so it stays in your mind.
On the other hand, some people get distracted by seeing their whole to-do list. Their mind drifts to their other tasks for the day and they don’t finish the one in front of them. If that’s the case, put a simple paper over the rest of your to-do list so your current task is front and center.
8 - Brand Your Space
Sometimes it’s hard to get into the right mindset to do your job. For example, if you work in marketing or writing, you need to infuse a particular brand into your work.
To find that perfect headspace every day, add branding elements to your home office. From the color scheme to the decor, you can create an atmosphere that puts you in that mindset from the start.
There are so many benefits to working from home or having a space for all your paperwork. If you’re not able to stay focused at home, though, you don’t get to enjoy those benefits to their fullest.
The modern office design tips above can help you create a home office that’s inspiring, energizing, and organized.
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