If you’re working from home, you’ll spend most of your time in your home office space. Whether you work at the kitchen table, have an area in your bedroom for working, or have a room in your home that is specifically used for work, you’ll spend a lot of time in this space every day. This means you’ll need to ensure that you’re working as efficiently as possible.
Here are five ways to increase your productivity in your home office.
Keep Distractions In the Area–But Out of Your Way
Believe it or not, it’s best to have some distractions in your home office. When you take a break from working, you should do something just for fun to clear your mind so you’ll be ready to work when break time is over. Keep these distractions out of sight while you’re working so you can make the most of your time. This helps you maintain self-discipline and schedule your breaks regularly. Whether you want to play a game on your computer or play a few notes on your piano or guitar, you’ll find that you’re much more refreshed at the end of your break.
Use Your Space to Train Your Brain to Focus
Think about the first thing you do when you sit down to work. Do you check your email? Do you check social media? Do you start browsing the internet? If any of these sound familiar, you may have to trick your brain into concentrating.
While you may want to check your email in the morning, if this distracts you, it’s best to wait until you’re done with work to check emails. Setting boundaries and sticking to a strict daily routine can help you remain focused. For instance, if you use a Mac, remove Word from your Dock and place WriteRoom in the Dock instead. This allows you to do nothing but write when you access WriteRoom so you can complete the day’s tasks quicker.
It also is nice to do things for yourself. Treat yourself to leather iPad cases or a nice mousepad to dress up your office a bit.
Get an Office Plant
Plants add aesthetic appeal to your home office. Plants also provide more oxygen in the room so you can breathe easier. If your office is near your garden or you can see the trees in your yard from the window, this can serve as a peaceful backdrop for your office as well. When you take your break, you can tend to the plants to help calm your mind and prepare you for the next phase of your workday.
Choose the Right Colors and Lighting
The color of your walls can have a big impact on your mood. Some colors, like yellow and orange, can raise your stress levels and even lead to arguments, so you want to keep these out of your office.
You may need to repaint your walls with a color that stimulates your brain and motivates you to learn and work while keeping you calm. Shades of blue are tranquil and have a professional feel to them, and green is a great color for your home office if part of your job is to constantly come up with new ideas.
It’s also best to have plenty of natural light in your office. Just be sure the light doesn’t produce a glare on your computer screen, since you’ll be looking at the screen for hours at a time. Arrange your desk and other office furniture so that natural light can shine in the room and illuminate the space without forcing you to have to squint at your computer screen.
Declutter Your Office
Even if you’re not a fan of the minimalist decor scheme, it’s still a good idea to declutter your office. You can still keep all the stuff you need and the furniture you prefer in your office. However, you should remove items that distract you and keep your office area clean. When your workspace is a mess, your mind will easily wander and you’ll likely experience more stress. If you want to boost your energy and avoid spending too much time on a project, make sure your office looks its best each day.
Put away all the things that you don’t use daily and throw away anything you’re not using. If you enjoy the minimalist look, you can do a deep decluttering and work in an office with only your desk, chair, and lighting.
Remember these tips when you’re setting up a home office space or trying to work more efficiently in the space you’ve already created.