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The first step to working from home is creating a home office where you can be productive. It’s amazing how much more I can get done when my office is organized and inviting as opposed to messy and stress inducing. Your space does not need to be fancy or even very big, it just needs to be a place where you can be creative and get things done. 

Let’s focus on creating a dedicated office space that fits your unique needs and work personality.

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Here are 5 things to consider when you set up your home office and 5 more important things to remember when you work from home. 

~ Do you have the privacy you need? If others will be home while you work, you may need to ensure a private space. If that is not an issue, then you have more options for the location of your work space. Just be sure you consider an appropriate background if you have video calls, and be sure to minimize sounds like barking dogs and doorbells if you need to be on the phone.

~ Do you have any distractions in your home office? Does you space inspire you to be productive? Make sure you don’t have anything around that will draw your attention away from the task at hand such as a television. But, it’s nice to have a few inspirational objects that make you feel calm or spark creativity. I like to include a few spiritual objects in my office space because that is something that inspires me! Check out www.yoursoulshines.com for inspirational items that I include in my own home office and beyond. 

~ Consider what organizational tools you will need to stay on top of things. Are you surrounded by clutter? Consider what items are in need of organizing and go from there. Do you need a more functional filing system? Do you need a way to keep your office supplies in check? Be specific about your pain points of staying organized and look for real solutions. Make time to keep your systems in place ongoing, but be realistic with yourself when considering your work personality. 

~ Do you have the right equipment? Is your computer up to the task of handling your business needs? Is your printer trustworthy? Do you have an ergonomically functional chair so you can sustain long hours at your desk? 

~ Is your calendar and appointment booking system working for you? Do you have a way to keep track of what needs to get done as well as when it requires your attention. Some prefer a digital calendar and some prefer the old fashioned written planner. Whatever works for you is the right choice. 

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Now that we’ve considered your physical space, let’s talk about some other important things to consider….

~Be sure to set times for breaks! It’s easy to get on a role and keep going, but everyone benefits from taking a brain break. Schedule them if you need to! If you seem to be working long stretches without a break, try setting a timer. 

~Keep a regular eating schedule. When I work from home it’s tempting to snack all day and never stop for a meal, or forget to leave time to eat! Meal plan as you would for a regular job that takes you out of the house. Or, take your work to a place where you can get a bite to eat…. and some coffee, I always need coffee. 

~Move your body. I’ve been known to walk in circles around my house when the weather is bad. I have to move my body everyday or I get stiff and sore and it’s harder to sit in one place for long period of time to get work done. Make sure you are leaving time to workout, go for a walk, or just get out of your chair and stretch.

~Drink water! Don’t forget to stay hydrated! I find that using a large water bottle with a straw leads to drinking more water. What are your strategies for staying hydrated and how can you incorporate them into your home office?

~Know when to call it a day. Because I work from home, it is often tempting to work throughout the day and night, even when it gets in the way of family time. It’s important to close the computer, be present for my family and resist the urge to keep going on projects that I’m excited about. There will always be tomorrow to get more work done. 

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Every home office looks different, focus on what works for you!