For many, working from home can sound like a dream come true. You get to skip your morning commute, have the entire pot of coffee all to yourself, take the dog for a midday stroll & work wherever you want, whenever you want. The truth is, as glamourous as it sounds it can be difficult to be productive without any structure to your day. Here are 5 life hacks you can adopt to create a productive working environment that will allow you to perform your job both efficiently & effectively from the comfort of your own home.
#1: Find a designated workspace.
It’s all about location, location, location. Pick a spot in your home that is quiet to keep you focused, has enough space to spread out everything you need & plenty of natural daylight to keep you energized. Try to avoid spaces that provide too many distractions or rooms with no windows. Ideally, you would want to work in the same spot day to day for consistency & convenience. Make sure you are inspired by the space you choose and have enough space to store all of the tools & equipment you will need to transition smoothly from task to task throughout your day.
You guys, this one’s HUGE. In order to stay focused & max out productivity throughout the day you must be comfortable. I spent 7+ years working in a 6’x8’ cubicle designing commercial office interiors & I can tell you that your health has a direct correlation to how well you perform throughout your day. What kind of chair are you sitting on? Does it have arm rests? Lumbar support? Are your feet flat on the floor? Is your screen at eye level? Do you use any type of blue light protection? Are your arms at a 90 degree angle when you type? Does your hand fit comfortably around your mouse? These are just a few simple things that if you adjust can make a big difference.
#3: Move your body.
The #1 reason for fatigue during work hours is lack of movement. Did you know that sitting for a long period of time (like your entire 8 hour work day) can have negative side effects that are worse for you than smoking?! My galaxy active watch will prompt me to get up and stretch every hour on the hour if it detects I haven’t moved in over 60 minutes. Feeling stuck? Instead of grabbing an afternoon coffee to boost your creativity try a dance party instead! Turn on your favorite jam and challenge yourself to get your heart pumping all the way through the end of the track… you will be shocked at how much of a difference this makes on your overall mood and energy level.
#4: Stop starting your day with emails.
Raise your hand if the first thing you do when you sit down in the morning is jump into your inbox only to bombard yourself with emails… Did you know that you are most productive & alert in the first hour of your work day? When you start your morning by skimming through emails, you are letting someone else determine the direction of your day. It may seem innocent enough, but as soon as you set your eyes on something unexpected your mind will not be able to focus on anything else. We quickly go into survival mode & invest all of our time and energy towards creating a cultivated response or solution as quickly as possible. Instead of rushing in to check your notifications, make a list of the 3 things you want to get done before the end of the day. By setting clear intentions with your self & starting off on the right foot, you are taking control of your day by focusing your fresh energy on something productive. You will feel great satisfaction when you are able to cross something off your to-do list early on & can check back in on emails when you transition into the afternoon & start losing momentum. They will all still be there, I promise.
#5: Be present where your feet are.
When you are in your designated work area, work mode turns on. You are fierce, you are motivated, & you can conquer anything with a Google search bar. But here’s the catch… when you log out for the day remember to leave work & come home. Just because you are working out of your house doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy time with your family & find relaxing retreat. It can be easy to fall into the trap of being accessible & having access to your work 24/7. Be present where your feet are & establish healthy boundaries so you are able to emotionally separate work & home even when they fall under the same roof.
I hope this was helpful for anyone who is struggling to find work life balance & focus while transitioning into your home office. With these 5 hacks I wish you great success & if you are looking to redesign your current home office space leave a note in the comments below! I would love to offer suggestions on furniture & accessories that will provide you a comfortable & functional work space.