When people find out that you’re self-employed and work from home, I always get asked the question ‘how do you get any work done?” Now don’t get me wrong, it is a crazy balancing act to get everything done. I never feel like I have much spare time, as there is always an email to write, or different things to check on. What I have to make sure is that I work the most productively as I can. I often have to stop and start my work, depending on what is going on that day. So I need to maximise the time that I have, to get the most work done in that time.
One of the ways that I help to maximise my working time is by having a space to work that suits my needs and helps me to be productive. Here are my top tips for designing an office or work space at home, to help you be productive.
Pick a Peaceful Space
What is peaceful to some won’t be peaceful for others. So you just need to pick a space that works for you and that will allow some quiet time. I like to have as close to silence as possible when I work. When my husband works from home, though, he prefers a little more noise. It could be because four days of the week he works in a busy office. So ‘peaceful’ is totally subjective. But choose a spot in the house that works for you. For me, a separate space with a door that can close is a must!
Declutter Your Desk
Yes to this a hundred times over! I am all about decluttering. I like to have most things in my home ‘just so.’ My desk and workspace is no different. If I feel like I’m sorting through papers all of the time, then it doesn’t let me be the most productive. I am very much a file and sort kind of person. Same goes for plates or mugs. If I’m done with them, then they have to go away. My desk needs to be kept clear. I know that might not work for everyone, but it certainly helps me be more productive.
Keep the Home Tidy
When I first started working from home, one of the things that bothered me the most was that I was sat at home trying to work, but thinking of all the different jobs that I needed to do. It really bothered me (I do have some Monica-esque tendencies)! So for a while, I had a cleaner come in as I needed to focus on getting work done, rather than stressing that the house was filthy. I have a better balance now, but you’ve got to do what works best for you. But I certainly work better and more productively when the house is clean and tidy.
Choose a Calming Scent
Anyone that knows me well, knows just how much I love a good scented candle in my life. That, a reed diffuser or an essential oils diffuser and I’m there. I like how it make the house smell, but it can also help me to focus too. Essential oils like lavender and jasmine are actually good for giving you a natural boost. So if you find it hard to focus, try getting a diffuser. You could also get a potted plant or just a candle. It can have a calming and productive effect on you.
Take Better Breaks
When I work online, and have some social media work, a break for me, isn’t just having a scroll through Facebook (though it can often default to that). I know that I work much better and get so much more done when I take proper breaks that are meaningful. Doing some exercise, making a smoothie or even quickly baking something are so different from my work. So for me they are a great break that distracts me from work, so that I can just get back on with it when its time.
Do you work from home? Have you got any tried and tested tips to be more productive that work for you?
*the desk was gifted in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.