Many of my clients are small business owners and like me, run their companies from their home office. Working from home is rewarding, but it comes with its own set of challenges. This week, I am excited to share with you tips from Crystal Nerpel about creating a productive, home-office environment.
It’s a great thing to have the flexibility to work from home. Depending on your industry and if done correctly, working from home can be more productive than driving to an office. When you step into your home office are you being as productive as you could be, or do you find yourself getting sidetracked and distracted?
Even if you feel like you’re an organized person, you can still use these five tips to help you become even more productive and efficient while working from home.
Beginning and finishing your work day at reasonable hours encourages productivity. Starting work at the same time each morning helps you get into a habitual, productive mindset. If possible schedule personal appointments around your business hours.
Conversely, it’s very important to know when to stop working. Working long hours can actually be counterproductive because it causes fatigue and impacts family life. Try setting an alarm for yourself to act as your five o’clock whistle. My IRobot vacuum comes on at 6 p.m. That’s my clue to get out of my office.
If you have to close your office door, and post your office hours to remind family members that you are working. It’s also a great idea to disengage from social media during office hours. Another big distraction is clutter. File all important documents, have a special place for current projects, and throw away trash.
Everyone’s idea of a good filing system is different. Asking a professional organizer for advice on filing is a great idea, but it has to make sense for you because you are the one that will use it. Key word: use. You have to use your system once you have it in place. Immediately file important documents so they are handy when you need them. Also, I recommend keeping work and personal files separate.
Every day, write down each task that needs to be completed by the end of the work day. Even if you know what needs to be done having a visual aid can keep you on task and might even help you finish earlier than you expected. Additionally, writing down tasks has a way of jogging your memory and inspiring new ideas.
Yes, every day. You work from home, so there won’t be any custodians coming to clean up or empty the trash can after you leave the office. Before you leave your office take a few minutes to declutter and straighten up. Make sure current projects are organized and ready for you to address tomorrow morning.
Set yourself up for success by working in a decluttered office and using productive systems that make sense to you and your work style.
Crystal is the owner of Cloud Nine Organizing – a home organizing service. She works one-on-one with clients to help them implement systems that work with their lifestyles. As I was beginning my business, Crystal helped me set up my home office giving me a place to work that is tidy and free of clutter. To find out more about Crystal and her services, check out her website. For more of Crystal’s tips on home office organization see her article about inspiring offices.