7 Home Office Setup Tips for Increasing Productivity
Tips for Creating a More Productive Home Office
Like it or not, you're working from home now more than ever before. Home office productivity is no longer a want, it's now a need for many professionals like you.
Whether you're a full-time remote worker, taking a hybrid approach, or are currently in transition and looking for a new job, here are some keys to making the most productive use of your home office time.
Tip 1: Designate (and Protect) Your Workspace
Your office should be your domain. Your kingdom. But you may be planted on the living room couch. That's okay. You still need to designate this as a home base for your office… and own it. This will not just improve your physical effectiveness – having a carved-out, productive work environment – but it will also provide an emotional trigger that when you’re there, you're open for business. This is what we like to call “protecting your workspace.” Whether you’re in a legit office or just at the kitchen table, this is your place of conquest. You have tools, technology and high-speed internet – all the pieces that set you up for success. Make it yours.
Tip 2: Clock In and Clock Out
The conditioning of your mental state is so important for getting more work done. Don't take this lightly. Before you go to work, be sure to set office hours that give your permission when to start working and when to stop. When the clock hits your go-time, this is when you snap into professional mode. Don't half-heartedly hover around your computer in between refrigerator trips thinking you'll eventually settle down. Too non-committal. It's also key that you set a stop time. Don't let your day sputter out like a car running out of gas, get your work done and shut the laptop. It’s a great feeling. When you get in the habit of not clocking out you will burn out. It’s a real productivity killer.
Tip 3: Shut the Door
Setting boundaries is quite important for getting important tasks accomplished. Easier said than done when you have home-schooling tantrums, hungry dogs, delivery doorbells, and all the other stuff that usually happens throughout the day. Closing yourself off is a valuable activity. If there’s no physical door, you'll have to use a "shut the door mindset." This means closing out the world around you. Noise cancelling headphones and streaming ambient music are incredibly helpful for this. Be sure to communicate the rules of office time to your household. Place a sticky-note on the fridge. If your "door" is closed, you're in work mode
Tip 4: Valuables at Arm’s Reach
Being productive is challenging when you've spent half your day looking for a stapler. Creating an organized, decluttered workspace should be a daily priority and a number one item on your weekly task list. It takes ongoing effort. As a rule, keep only the items you use consistently within arm’s reach, and everything else in organized drawers nearby. Do you really need that assortment of binder clips, random pens, and notecards sitting on your desk? No. Don't waste time on clutter.
Tip 5: Use Time Boxes
Simple time tip here: schedule appointments to crank out your priority tasks. It's an activity often called time boxing or the Pomodoro technique, but the gist of it is you mark 45 minutes on your schedule and work on a single task – uninterrupted -- for those 45 minutes. Set a timer on your smartphone or watch and put your head down and work until the alarm goes off. Be sure to block out all distractions during this time. So, no web browsing, no Amazon, and no TikTok. After a successful time boxing session, reward yourself with a small break before the next meeting or time box.
Tip 6: One To Do List
This one will save you hours each week: have one place where you write down all your priority and secondary tasks and stick to it religiously. There is nothing worse than searching for an important note scribbled on the back of an envelope or random sticky note that lost its stick. Keep one task list and make it your bible. Update it daily, if not hourly. Your productivity depends on you devoting time to the right priorities. A simple Google search will provide tons of systems and to do apps you can experiment with but honestly any good yellow pad will do. Just make sure your list is visible and accessible at all times. That's crucial.
Tip 7: Master (and Secure) Your Tech
Technology is funny how it can either help or hinder productivity, depending how you have it set up. You can ignore all of the above tips but not your technology and connectivity. First, your internet quality is the key to every successful workday. Low speeds and spotty signals create meeting nightmares of epic proportions. There are many tips for boosting your internet speed like proper router placement, and using range-extending wifi products is also a smart decision. Just be sure your internet service is up to the job when it comes to the download and upload speeds you require. Security is also a no-brainer. Be sure you’re working with encrypted networks and keep your passwords safe and secure.
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