Hi, friends! I’m so pleased to be back this month with a brand new business post for my boss ladies who work from home. Whether you’re just starting up or you’ve been in business for years, it can be a challenge to make the most of your workspace at home! Between the dishes by the sink and your adorably furry office buddy who just wants to play fetch, it isn’t always easy to stay on task. But working from home has every opportunity to be just as productive, if not more so, than working in a traditional work environment! So, let’s dive on into my top eight tips for designing a more productive home office, shall we?
Have A Designated Work Space
This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you aren’t keeping your work area separate from your home area, you’re not making the most of the space at your disposal. Whether it’s a private corner of your living room or your guest room, make it a point to create an area that’s specifically for your business. Not only does a designated work space give you the opportunity to literally walk away from work at the end of the day, but it also gives you a space where you can spread out, get a little messy, and make magic happen. Tight on space? Put up a pretty room divider in your living room to add a unique focal point to the space and create a more private area for your work. Which leads me to my second point, which is…
Work At A Desk
Or a table or really any solid surface that can fit your computer and any notebooks, files or materials that you need to have on hand. As fun as it is to work from the couch or your bed from time to time, those comfy cushions can be tough on your posture in the long run! Aside from being kind to your spine, working at a desk can provide you with much needed space to dive into your creative process.
Schedule Your Workday
I touched on this point a bit in last month’s post, but it’s so important I’ll say it again! It’s paramount to set office hours for yourself and tackle the various tasks of your workday with purpose and focus. Create a block schedule that assigns a timeframe for each project on your plate so you can work efficiently and effectively. For example, I give myself scheduled blocks of time throughout the day where I tackle my inbox. If I didn’t carve these times out for myself, I could easily spend an entire day just responding to emails!
Start The Day Right
When you wake up in the morning, you already know you aren’t going to get in your car and drive to your office. You’ll be spending the entirety of your workday in your own home, so don’t make it a habit of waking up and going straight to work every morning. Instead, create a routine that fosters your creativity and gives you a chance to do something that makes your heart happy. Eat a good breakfast, read a book with a cup of coffee in hand, or spend time with your little ones before you start your workday. You’d be amazed at how a change in routine will positively impact your mood!
If you’re anything like me, it can be all too tempting to lose huge chunks of time to seemingly harmless activities like scrolling through your Instagram feed. In order to stay on track during the day, disable notifications on your phone, keep it on silent or delete the most distracting apps altogether! You can always redownload them after your office hours conclude. Take it a step further and remove any TVs or loud electronic equipment from your office space. Need some background noise to keep the silence from driving you nuts? Try Coffitivity. It mimics the sounds of coffee shops and is said to bolster productivity in a non distracting way.
Simplify Your Workflow
Many of the tasks we do each day require the same actions or processes. If that’s the case, save yourself some time and find creative ways to combine tasks or simplify process altogether. To get through your inbox more quickly, have a set of canned responses on hand to reply to general inquiries or common client questions. For handling client contracts, invoices and more, try an all-in-one management program like 17Hats. Having important client documents in one happy location will save you time as you sift through folders on your computer for one simple document.
Customize Your Workspace
No one wants to work in a totally sterile work environment! Infuse your personality into the space around you with colorful yet functional desk accessories, encouraging wall decor or cozy textiles. Surrounding yourself with items that inspire you and feed your creativity will help you break out of those creative slumps whenever they strike.
We all have heard that line about all work and no play, and it almost goes without saying that you’ll be run down and exhausted at the end of the day if you never leave your desk. Schedule quick breaks throughout the day to get up and stretch, go outside or indulge in a little Instagram creeping. Time your breaks so you don’t accidentally wind up losing 45 minutes to Pinterest, though!
There you have it, friends. These simple yet time tested methods have helped me make the most of my home work environment, and enable me to make it my most productive space in our home. I’d love to hear what tricks you’ve used that work well! Sound off in the comments below with your favorite ways to make your home office more productive.
Photography by Courtney Dox
By Bonnie Bakhtiari for The School of Styling