Getting the most out of your home office
With the rising freelance economy, more people are embracing flexible working schedules and working from home. After all, the extra freedom is a great luxury to be enjoyed. But with the convenience and comfort of your own home, comes the threat of complacency. Avoid the pitfalls and boost your productivity with these vital hints and tips.
Separate your personal space from your office space
Working from home means easy access to the fridge and Netflix – and that’s dangerous. Blurring the line between your personal life and professional life will kill your productivity before it even starts. The presence of kids, a lack of access to suitable office equipment and the temptation to relax at home are common problems. Start by creating a proper boundary between your home office and the rest of your home. You can do this physically with a cheap wall divider, or mentally by allotting set working hours in which you don’t leave your home office space. Other separations including business-only banking and business-only phone lines will keep you focused and help increase your productivity.
Plan your day in advance
It’s easy to wake up and start your working day from home without a plan, but this is not efficient nor sustainable for the long term. Set an alarm the night before and stick to that time every day. Don’t forget to dress the part too because sitting in your pyjamas isn’t stimulating for your body or mind. Remember, clothes are highly symbolic so dress like you want to succeed and your work ethic will follow. Another underestimated tip is to prepare your meals the night before. This will put your mind in the right mental state for a day of work to come and it will also keep you OUT of the kitchen the next day looking for food when you should be working.
Transform your room into a truly functional home office
Perception is reality. So when your home office looks professional, so will your work ethic. This isn’t just about keeping kids toys off the floor or making sure the family dog doesn’t burst in for attention. It’s about bringing an aesthetic and a style into your home that will allow you to work to your full capabilities. Ditch family calendars and replace them with motivational posters or a whiteboard to set the tone. It’s vital to have the right sort of equipment too in your home office, as the most energetic work ethic will still come up short without the best tools. Purchasing a good quality printer and photocopier is a worthwhile investment – they can help ensure your home office operates as smoothly as possible. No last minute dashes out to the local printers required when you have everything within easy access at home.
Set aside healthy break times
It may sound counterintuitive but putting aside time for yourself away from your work is one of the most important ways to stay productive. Just like if you were in a conventional office setting, you’d be encouraged to take your lunch break and walk out for some fresh air. One of the dangers of working from home is that it can be difficult to zap out of ‘office’ mode. Taking regular breaks to focus on activities that make you happy will restore your energy, refresh your mind and have you recharged to get back to work. Remember, there’s a fine line between taking a break and taking advantage of your freedom, so set a time limit and stick to it!
These changes to your home office routine may take time to become habit, but once they do you’ll see your productivity boom. Use these tips and experiment with what works for you to find your ultimate home office set up. Success starts with you.