The home office has the potential to see you at your most productive. Achieving more in less time is something we all try to do, but rarely manage. There are distractions to contend with and our own motivation can sometimes be lacking – especially when those houseplants on top of the industrial furniture really need watering, wouldn't you say? Your environment may also detract from your productivity. So why not take a seat in one of your leather office chairs, settle in and read these top tips to help increase your home office productivity - it will be a healthy distraction if nothing else!
1 Find peace and quiet
The first thing you need to do when creating the perfect productive home office environment is to find the space that accords you peace, quiet and, if it works for you, solitude.
To get something done, you sometimes just need to ‘get your head down’. You have to blank out the rest of the world, switch your phone off, minimise the email tab, sit down on that white desk chair and keep the ‘noise’ of home life at bay. Heading into an office space within your home full of reclaimed wood furniture can help you do just that.
2 De-clutter your desk (and the rest of your workspace)
When we are ‘busy’, things get piled on our industrial desk. From books we consulted months ago to printouts of spreadsheets that are long obsolete, it is amazing what accumulates.
All that clutter reduces your workspace. If you can’t see the beautiful grain of your reclaimed wood desk, you certainly won't be able to put your hands on the items you need, which will frustrate you…
Set aside a day – you’ll need a whole day – and de-clutter.
Top tip – if the rest of your home is cluttered with storage systems no longer working, you may also find that this clouds your mind and will be pulling down your productivity. Maybe the time has come to reorganise the whole house, starting with the storage cabinets and working up to the rest of your home office furniture…?
3 Calm the senses
With a quiet space in terms of noise and distraction, you have the beginnings of a calm environment in which to work. But your senses may still be on edge. You need to calm your mind.
With no clutter jarring your vision or noise ringing in your ears, add a calming scent to the room. Don’t choose heady scents that suddenly attack the nose. It needs to be barely there. Scented diffusers work a treat especially with a light floral scent that wafts gently about the room.
4 Set work times
With a long day stretching ahead of you, the sense of urgency can disappear. Setting pre-determined work slots can help. You have two hours, for example, to get the bulk of the report written. And when you do take a break from your reclaimed wood table, make it matter.
Walk the dog or even go for a run around the park, for example. Spend time outside, listen to the afternoon play on the radio… choose what works for you to rebalance and re-energise the mind.
5 Get dressed
We all have different routines, different likes and dislikes but there is evidence to show that getting up, showering and dressing, just as you would if you were going into the office, helps productivity levels remain high.
The armed forces have long used the discipline of ‘getting up and making the bed’ a part of training because it is known to work as a means of setting up the rest of the day. Straighten those sheets and ditch the PJs!