Last Updated February 2022 by Crystallace
I think since the pandemic started we have all discovered that working at home can be a blessing and a curse. The flexibility that it affords you is incredible. Many people who work from home would tell you that their mental health is better for it.
On the other hand, the flexibility associated with working from home can also lead to unstructured days and lowered productivity and that’s not good! We don’t need anyone losing their jobs.
If you want to boost your productivity while working from home you should start with making your home office productive.
If you’re new here, welcome to my blog and please look around! This blog post is part of a series of productivity blog posts that I wrote because people always ask me how I manage to work as a full time lawyer, run a money making blog, and still have a social life.
Be sure to Pin 📌 this post so that you will have it for later.
Here are seven tips to help you make your home office productive:
1. Clear away the clutter
Clutter is incredibly distracting and can easily suck the life out of your workday. If you have to sift through piles of paper or navigate around boxes to find what you’re looking for, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.
If clutter is taking over, it’s time to become ruthless with your home office. Clear away any paper that doesn’t need to be there. You can use a digital filing system to keep things more organized.
Find homes for all other items. Drawer organizers can help organize small items. You might also want to add a cabinet to your home office if you need more space to tuck things away.
Take some time at the end of each workday to keep your home office clutter-free. It’ll make it easier to focus on the task at hand and will help you feel ready to jump right in the next day.
I wrote a blog post on How to Declutter Your Home. You should definitely check it out or Pin 📌 it for later. Btw, just so you know that I practice what I preach, check out this video of me getting my home office/shespace together.
2. Implement a planning wall.
You can use the whiteboard to brainstorm, track reminders, and do project planning. Get several different colored dry-erase markers so you can color-code your notes and be even more organized.
You can also use magnets to hang papers on the whiteboard or to organize your thoughts.
If you come across any quotes that you find inspiring, you can write them out in large letters on your whiteboard, too. Swap out the quote as inspiration strikes.
Use your wall calendar to track deadlines and important events. You can even mark work hours on this wall, so you can keep tabs on how many hours of productive work time you have achieved.
At the beginning and end of each workday, you can review everything to make sure you’re staying on track.
Again this is something that I do. I really have all of these things in my office and I use them daily.
3. Minimize distractions.
Distractions are one of the most common challenges for people who work from home. Myself included and I live alone! So I can only imagine what it is like with family members, pets, and the doorbell. But if were being honest, Netflix, leaf blowers, and birds can all compete for our attention as we try to get work done. It’s crucial to minimize distractions if you want to maximize your productivity.
Controlling outside noise is one step. You can sound barriers to block out noise from the rest of the house. You can also use white noise machines or play soft music in your office to buffer the sounds. Keep in mind that music without lyrics is best for working since the words can be distracting.
Keep working hours.
People will be more likely to leave you alone while you’re working if they know when you’ll be done. Start keeping office hours so everyone knows what to expect.
4. Invest in a comfortable chair and desk setup.
It’s hard to concentrate on work when you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair. Invest in a work chair that will keep your back and body supported while you sit for long periods of time. When it comes to making a home office productive, this may not include the prettiest options. I made the mistake or buying a cute chair that looked good in my home office but it is not the most comfortable option. I ended up replacing it.
Aim to spend at least fifteen minutes sitting in a chair before you buy it to make sure the fit is right. I highly recommend doing this.
At the same time, ensure that your desk actually meets your needs. Is it the right height? Does it have all the drawers and space that you need? Since you spend a lot of time there, it’s worthwhile to make sure you have the best setup possible.
I got my set up from Ikea and it gets the job done but I have a lot of functional pieces throughout my space to help make my home office productive.
From time to time, get up and move your body too. You can do simple stretches or even a few jumping jacks to loosen up. This practice is excellent for your body and mind.
I like to go outside and walk around the block 2-3 times a day during the work day. It only takes about 11 minutes but it does wonders for my brain.
5. Try aromatherapy.
Certain herbs can help boost memory and concentration, so try diffusing some essential oils in your home office while you’re working.
- Rosemary essential oil improves memory and mental energy.
- Peppermint oil is mentally stimulating.
- Lemon essential oil improves mood.
- Lavender oil helps reduce the effects of stress.
I don’t know about you but Lavender can be a little too soothing at times so I stick to using the Peppermint, Rosemary, and Lemon. In addition to making your home office productive these essential oils help it smell good.
If you’re into herbs for multiple uses like I am, check out this blog post I wrote on growing your own herbs in your kitchen. Doing this makes me so happy.
6. Dress for work.
This is major key. When it comes to making your home office productive, the big trick is treating it like work. While it might be tempting to work in your pajamas, you’ll have a better workday if you get dressed for the occasion. Our minds associate PJs and lounge clothes with relaxation, so if you work in your PJs, you might struggle to get out of that mindset during your workday.
On the other hand, getting dressed for work can help get our minds ready to work. It gives us a sense of purpose and responsibility when we get dressed for the day.
I started doing my morning routine including hair and make up before I sat down at my desk and swear it played mind games and me more productive.
Getting ready for work, because essentially that’s what you’re doing is a life hack.
7. Set up a refreshment bar.
Having a refreshment bar or basket right in your home office helps you keep your flow while you’re working. If you have to keep venturing out into the kitchen to get a snack, you will get easily distracted. You’ll also spend more time away from your workspace every time you make run to the kitchen.
Nuts, fruit, and whole-grain bars are a few healthy options.
You don’t want anything to derail your momentum while you work, so try to have everything you need right inside your office. If you drink coffee or tea consider setting up a drink station or even a mini-fridge stocked with your favorite cold drinks.
Now you know how to make your home office productive
Working from home can be a great way to have more flexibility and better mental health, but it’s important to make your home office a productivity haven. By clearing away clutter, implementing a planning wall, minimizing distractions, and dressing for work, you can create an environment that is conducive to getting things done.
Do you work from home? What challenges do you face when it comes to making your home office productive? Let me know in the comments.