What are tips to be productive in my home office?
There are a few recommendations when setting up our home offices to be as productive as possible. It may seem obvious but having productivity on our minds when setting up office is key.
Create your home office with productivity in mind
It may sound obvious but sometimes it’s harder than we think. Being used to just working in the office and occasionally taking the computer out to check on some Emails, we don’t have a place to work, or if we do, it doesn’t inspire productivity.
In the coming weeks, we need to be able to “go” to work and complete our goals at home without going crazy. Therefore, it is important to designate a space in our homes for the well-known “Home Office”.
If you are at home with your partner, children, pets, room mates or whoever, the dining room of your home may not be the best option. Look for a quiet “corner” where there are few distractions, where you can put a proper desk and sit down to work without being disturbed. Unless you like working in a cave, it is recommended you set up your workstation close to a window.
Set up a comfortable office
You’ve found the perfect place! Now what? To be productive, it is important to be comfortable. After an hour of sitting on an uncomfortable chair at a desk too small, not only are you going to want to kill someone but you’re going to lose time between standing every 5 minutes and stretching your legs and back.
A good desk where you can have everything you need and an appropriate chair to spend hours and hours sitting is key to being productive at home. Make sure you also have good lighting during the day and get a desk lamp if necessary. A few plants near you will help give a calm and fresh atmosphere to your space.
Work with goals
At the beginning of your day write a list of what you would like or need to accomplish that day. Working with daily goals will make it easier for you to be as productive as you need to be; because when you are at home, sometimes it is difficult to work during working hours and we end up working at our own prefered time.
By having a list of clear goals we can make sure we have everything we need on hand and move forward with our work.
Rest the eyes
Whether you are at home or the office, it is important to rest your eyes when spending hours in front of the monitor.
Reduce the stress on your eyes by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes fix your eyes on something that is 20 meters away for 20 seconds.
Clear your space
Your goal is to be productive and achieve your daily work goals. This becomes difficult when you have coffee cup towers, papers, notes, your children’s toys on the floor and a thousand things that are only getting in the way.
Before you even sit down to work, clear your space. Go and leave those cups in the kitchen, clean out that paper tower and throw away all the little notes that are trash. Keep your workspace from becoming your home dump.
Sooner or later you’re gonna need a break from work. Plan from the beginning when you’re going to take a break and how long you want it to last. Don’t make your breaks so short that they only give you time to go to the bathroom, but don’t make them so long that you can watch a whole season of your favourite show.
For your breaks to be meaningful, it is recommended that you stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, and change your scenery for a moment. Stretch your legs and look for inspiration or activities; read an interesting article, make a sandwich in the kitchen, or walk around the house.
Be hard on distractions
Being at home with your partner, children, pets, companions or whoever, someone is always going to need something. And if by sheer luck everyone is locked in their rooms and the pets are asleep, that wretched Netflix is always ready to ruin your productivity.
Don’t let anything or anyone ruin your working hours. Be very clear about what your working hours are and when your breaks are.
Now about Netflix and co., a good way to maintain your productivity is to reward yourself at the end of the day’s goals. Force yourself not to open Netflix, Facebook, Instagram or the Whatsapp meme group until you have finished your goals.
Dress like an adult
It has become a joke to be in online conferences wearing pyjama pants; and if there is no conference planned sometimes we don’t get that far and sit up straight from bed, thinking we’ll take a bath on the next break.
Maintaining our routines of bathing and grooming ourselves before work is a good way to feel professional, productive and avoid a big embarrassment in the next urgent conference.