When you are working from home you need to have a space you can call your own. This workspace is vital to your productivity and ability to perform your job. If you don’t have a workspace or you are trying to create one, here are some helpful tips:
Out of the flow – The first thing you should look for when setting up a work space or home office is to get out of the flow. This means you should not set up your work space in a busy area of your homelike the living room or kitchen. I know that you probably want to keep an eye on things but having your work area in a busy zone is just asking for distractions and disaster.
Instead try to set up in a back room or space that no one goes around during your work times. This can be the bedroom, the dining room, or even the garage. It can be hard to cut yourself off from the flow of life in your house but you can’t expect to be productive if you are right in the middle of things.
Shut the door – Another aspect of being out of the flow is being able to cut yourself off. A door or curtain is vital to a productive workspace. You have to make sure you have an uninterrupted zone of work where you can concentrate. Having a door or curtain to close helps a lot in this regard.
It can also be a signal to your family that you are working and need to not be bothered. This is a great way to cut out noise and visual distractions as well.
Distraction free – Speaking of distractions it can be hard to work in a noisy or visually active location. To prevent yourself for getting distracted try to do simple things like closing curtains, turning away from open doorways or windows and closing the door. You can also use a fan or white noise maker to block out noises. You can listen to music as you work but I find that lyrics distract me. Instead I listen to nature sounds, instrumental music and the like.
This helps keep me focused without distracting me further. You can invest in a great set of noise blocking headphones and feel completely serene even in the midst of chaos.
Room of your own – You should have your work room in a place that is just yours. I know it may seem selfish to cut your work space off from everyone else, but you do not need to work on the family computer or the family desk. Your work space should be your own to keep your organization and work all in line and safe.
It can be tempting to try to save money or space by letting your spouse or kids use your work area but it will backfire in the end. Make sure your space stays just for you.
Organization – Staying organized is a big part of having an effective work from home situation. It can be easy to misplace things at home and that can spell disaster. Make sure you keep your computer and desk as organized as possible. Do not lay things around your house or think you will get to it later or remember. You won’t. Instead make sure your filing system is used religiously and you know where everything is. It is the most unprofessional thing you can do to lose paperwork, payment info, or directions. Keep your work area mess free, even if the rest of your home is not as neat.
Dedicated time – You have to set aside a specific time to work if you want to be successful. There is always something that will pull you away from work if you let it. Instead keep your times no matter what is going on. Unless you have to visit the emergency room you should be at your desk working during your work hours.
Keeping work hours helps you to stay off the phone, out of the kitchen and at your desk where you belong. Let everyone know when your work hours are and make sure they work with your family. That way you can make the most of your time and still get the benefits of working from home.
Waste Free – Last but not least, make sure you are not wasting your work time. We all have times that we feel distracted and useless. Use that time for something productive. Even if you are just cleaning your desk make sure you do something work related during your work hours. It can be hard to force yourself to work when you do not feel motivated but if you get your brain used to a certain pattern of work hours then it will become easier.
Your brain is able to function at its best when you stick to the same patterns. Do not waste your time on Facebook or Twitter or even on doing the dishes. Work time is work time.
As you can see, working from home is all about having the right space and the right mindset. This is just another job, so treat it that way. Stick to your hours, have your own work space and cut out distraction so that you can be productive and make the most of your work at home.
This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.