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.
~ 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.
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.