A commute from the bedroom to a home office saves time and money, but it can be fraught with distractions. If you’ve struggled to improve productivity among the demands of home life, check out these three ways to boost productivity in your home office.
People who live with you regard the place you share as a home, not an office. But to complete your work, you’ll need to convince them that your “office” (even if it’s a tray table in a nook by the kitchen) is an office—a dedicated workspace that they must respect as such. Call a family (or a roommate) meeting, and ask for cooperation during your work hours. Let your housemates know that they’re important to you and that you look forward to spending time with them outside of your work hours.
Schedule two 15-minute breaks during the day to leave your workspace and play with the kids or spend time with your spouse or housemate. Have lunch together. Pack a lunch the night before, just as if you were going to commute to work outside the home. That way, you won’t waste precious minutes of your lunchtime preparing the meal. Instead, you’ll be enjoying it away from your desk.
Spending time away from your desk will refresh your outlook and gear you up for the rest of the day. If you left your desk feeling stuck or stymied, you may find that a break is just what you needed to jump-start your project or solve the problem that was obstructing your progress.
Lose Clutter, Add Comfort
Minimizing clutter can be the key to your productivity. A messy desk invites intrusion—it’s just a surface covered with papers and coffee cups, so why not add some toys, tools, and the cat? A tidy, decluttered space sends a message that this area is specifically for work, and it isn’t a way station for junk mail, things needing repair, or grocery lists.
At the same time, your home office should be comfortable. Make it a place where you can feel alert and energized. If possible, position your desk near a source of natural light. Add a plant for some greenery and purified air, and get yourself a modern office desk chair that’s sleek, functional, and supportive. Make sure your computer is at an appropriate height and that you give your eyes a break every half hour or so by glancing at something in the distance for 20 seconds. Get a compact standing desk so that you can periodically get up and move to reduce the negative effects of sitting for too long each day.
There are far more than these three ways to boost productivity in your home office. In addition to the suggestions above, you might find that listening to music, playing with a fidget toy, or going outside for a few minutes will also help you focus. Good luck in the ongoing reality of working from home!