Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Working From Home? Using Your Space To Stay Productive

If you’re reading this blog, then your home is likely one of your favorite places on the planet. It’s your sanctuary from the world outside, a place where you can relax and unwind after your battle with the daily grind. Hence, if you’re thinking of joining the rising ranks of the telecommuters it can seem like a dream come true. But, this dream can become a nightmare if you don’t go into it with the right mindset.

If you are to make a success of working from home, then you’ll need to stick to some abiding principles that will help you to stay productive while avoiding the time draining temptations that beset the home. From adjusting the heating and cooling to get the temperature right for optimum  productivity, to insulating yourself from distractions the telecommuter walks a difficult line. Here’s how you can walk that line with confidence and get the most out of every passing hour.

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Compartmentalize your space

Your first task should be to create a space that’s entirely dedicated to your work. Many have a home office but you don’t necessarily need a whole room if space is an issue for you. Your work space should be comfortable, ideally with access to natural light and filled with the tools to allow productive working.

Nobody’s suggesting that you should fork out big money to overhaul your home, but at the very least your workspace  should have:

  • A desk
  • A comfortable office chair (working from the sofa rarely aids productivity).
  • Appropriate decor (houseplants and motivational posters can aid productivity, but avoid anything that may prove distracting).
  • Access to a power outlet (you don’t want to have to change rooms every time your laptop runs out of juice).
  • A pad and pen (because you never know inspiration may strike).
  • Post-it notes (because nobody’s memory is perfect).
  • Quiet. Very few of us can concentrate in noisy environments. In some cases it may be necessary to soundproof the room.

Plan your working hours

Just because you’re no longer working in an office doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stick to prescribed working hours. Even if nine-to-five doesn’t suit you, you should establish working hours which will be spent in your workplace and nowhere else (bathroom breaks notwithstanding). This will ensure that you maintain a mindset of being at work even though you’re not in an office.

But, by all means take a break

Your brain needs rest to function optimally so allow yourself a 15-20 minute break every few hours. In this time get away from your laptop and find another space. Go to the kitchen and grab a snack or sit on the sofa and listen to a few music tracks. If you really feel the need to do some laundry or wash the dishes then have at it, just give your mind a few minutes’ rest. Try to avoid visual stimuli (i.e. screens) and you’ll come back to your computer far more productive.

With clever use of space you’d be surprised at how easy it is to make your home your place of business and your refuge from work.

 

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