Nothing says you’re in control better than being organized, especially at home. Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur who works from home or you telecommute a few days a week, the home office can quickly become an eyesore. But with these tips you can get organized and work more efficiently for an easier lifestyle. If you don’t have a home office, you can quickly create one in a corner of your home, too.
- Get dressed. Try not to wear workout clothes or your pajamas while working from home if you want to accomplish real work. The first thing you might want to consider is getting dressed. Casual work clothes are OK; just not weekend clothes. The effect might be psychological, but you might be more focused if you’re dressed and pulled together.
2. No home office? If you do have a home office or a guest room, set up shop in those areas. If not, choose a corner of the kitchen or the living room, but not the bedroom. A computer or other electronics in the bedroom could interfere with future sleep.
3. Divide the room. Use a bookcase or piece of furniture as a room divider to create a space that feels separate; you need borders to make this a success.
4. Files. If you work from your dining room table, buy a couple of boxes for supplies and files. Pack up and put them away at the end of your work day.
5. Make a schedule. Work with a detailed schedule. Plan your day in two-or-three-hour periods, each dedicated to a different task/type of work. Spend the morning on a task that requires the most concentration and then stop for lunch. Divide the afternoon, take short breaks in between.
6. Distractions. If you must get up from your desk, be aware you are still on the clock and use the time to solve a problem. Or take the laptop to a coffee shop for the afternoon.
7. Stay connected. If you’re part of a team, you run the risk of appearing invisible when you work from home. Check in at least once a day to let other know you’re being productive. It’s also hard to go a whole day without socializing try a networking lunch.
8. Be neat. Keep your desk clean, papers filed computer equipment up to date.
9. Customize. Add personal items to your home office just like you would if you had an office at a location. For example, to stay calm and enjoy the environment, keep the TV off, light candles, place family photos on your desk, add a vase of fresh flowers, or listen to a soothing CD.
Working at home can have its advantages, as long as you keep in mind that you still need to be productive. But why not make your home office environment a special place where it doesn’t necessarily have to feel like a sterile room? You’ll work more efficiently and be happy you got more organized!