Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. While it allows you flexibility in your hours, eliminates your commute and is often more comfortable than an office, it can also add stress by combining two complicated worlds.
To maintain productivity and cut down on the stress of straddling these two worlds, it is a good idea to constantly be thinking of ways to keep your home office as free of clutter and organized as possible.
Some tacts for maintaining an orderly office are procedural - like establishing routines or finding the right hours - and others are structural - like using an online fax service or virtual phone service. Either way, taking a moment to create a strategy could repay your time investment tenfold in the longrun.
Make a schedule
Instead of aiming for one giant overhaul, aim to take a little time every day or a few days a week to keep your office tidy. It might help to build a standard time to clean your office or, conversely, to use make organizational tasks a way to utilize downtime.
Get the right furniture
Knowing that you will be spending a huge amount of your time there, making sure you have the right furniture and equipment is integral to maximizing productivity. It might seem to make sense to utilize unused furniture from your house for your office, but if it is not right for the space it could be more trouble than it's worth it.
On the flip side, having extra furniture and equipment could prevent you from using your space effectively. If you notice you aren't using something, find a way to discard or replace it. If you have both a printer and a fax machine, for example, it might make sense to convert to internet faxing and move your fax machine to storage so you can save space. Or use a machine that offers both printing and faxing.
Insulate yourself from interruptions
If you can hear your home phone, you'll be inclined to answer it even if it means stopping what you're doing. Minimizing distractions can be an easy way to boost productivity. If an incoming fax will likely distract you, you can use an online fax service to have your faxes sent directly - and less obtrusively - to your email or mobile device (such as mobile phone or iPad).
Finding simple ways to cut down on the clutter of your home office and prevent distractions can be a great boost to your productivity and comfort in your home office.
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