How to Have a Super Productive Home Office
Have you finally achieved your dream of working for a corporate office from home, starting your own business or freelancing? That’s fantastic – and something that you should be proud of – but that could also mean there’s no more guaranteed paycheck.
Productivity is more important than ever before when you’re self-employed, and if you’re still working for a company, any show of decreased productivity will have your boss calling you back in to the office – permanently. It’s crucial for yourself and for your quality of work to maintain a super productive home office. Here’s how:
Choose Your Office Carefully
I once rented a one-bedroom apartment with an open den, with the assumption that the den would work well for an office. The layout was lovely and the lighting was excellent, but my cats kept storming my office. Yes, I love them, but they also demand attention on their terms. I really missed having a door.
When you chose your office space, remember that constant interruptions will damage your work day.
You don’t have to have a huge office. You just need a quiet corner of the house where it’s easy for the rest of the family – or pets – leave you undisturbed. If you need to, even consider using a corner of your bedroom.
Get the Right Furniture
Once your office space is picked out, it’s time to make sure you have the right equipment. The key pieces of home office furniture you’ll need are a desk, chair and storage space. Don’t skimp on these things.
Your desk is base camp for your entire work day. Make sure you chose a desk that allows for enough surface space to spread out your work properly. You want to make sure that essential objects are within easy reach and you have enough drawers to organize your projects.
Also, when you choose a chair, make sure that it works with the height of your desk. It’s wonderful to have a high-backed chair with armrests, but miserable if the chair won’t allow you to pull up to the desk comfortably.
There’s currently a debate over office chairs. Phrases like “sitting is the new smoking” are being used. I’m not sure on the accuracy, but I do know that without the right chair, you’re going to hurt before the day ends. Make sure you get a chair that doesn’t force you to hunch over when you work; or look into backless chairs.
Treat Your Workday Like Work
Don’t roll out of bed sometime between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and stumble to work in your pajamas. Establish a real work schedule:
- Set your alarm
- Take a shower
- Have breakfast
- Start work at the same time every day
If you treat yourself like a professional, it will reflect in your work. Your productivity will increase as you adjust to treating working from home in the same way you would work from the office.
Take a Real Lunch Break
Now that you’re working from home you can make yourself lunch every day. It’s cost-effective and much tastier than a packed lunch at the office. Nevertheless, staying inside every day from sunrise to sunset will weigh on you eventually.
Once or twice a week, make a point to take an out-off-office lunch. These events happen all the time at corporate offices, so there’s no reason to feel like you’re skipping out on work.
Taking a real lunch break will help boost your morale. Low morale often leads to low productivity and overall performance.
Even though no one’s looking over your shoulder, you still can’t waste hours on social media sites. For some of us, that’s easier said than done. After you’ve organized your computer, make a point to install a program with will block your favorite sites during the workday.
Yes, you have the power to undo this, but stay strong. Twitter and G+ just provide one more way for you to procrastinate.
Take the time to set your home office up for maximum effectiveness. Your clients and bosses will appreciate your promptness, productivity and the time that you spend with your attention focused on them.
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