According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 percent of employed Americans did some or all of their work at home in 2015. I’m fortunate that my job allows me to work from home often. When I first set up my home workspace, I didn’t expect that I would run into some issues that you wouldn’t typically experience at the office. If you’re taking a new job that allows you to work from home, studying, or just working on your side hustle, these tips will help you do what you do best, effectively.
Get up earlier than usual.
When I work from home, I get up about two hours earlier than I usually do and crank out work. I get more done because most people aren’t up and at their computers from 6-8 a.m. so it gives me the chance to clear out my email inboxes. Plus, it’s nice to sit and enjoy the quiet with a pot of coffee.
Make a daily to-do list.
I know it can be tempting to keep all of your tasks on one major list, but that can be overwhelming. I’ve found that breaking down my tasks into daily, more feasible lists helps me get what’s most important done first.
Be firm about your working hours and don’t have visitors.
For some reason, saying that you work from home makes others assume that you’re always available to babysit or grab a matinee movie at the drop of a hat. If a friend wants to make plans, gently remind them of your working hours and offer an alternate time. Boundaries are only as effective as they are enforced.
Utilize cloud storage services.
I would be completely lost if my team didn’t keep files on Google Drive or Dropbox. It’s awesome when I can grab my laptop, log in from anywhere, and just get to work. It’s especially nice when I want to get out of the house and work from a coffee shop or the local library.
Don’t go to non-work appointments in the middle of the day.
I try to make doctor and other appointments either first thing in the morning or last thing in the day to minimize disruptions of my work. I also try to do the same with running errands. (Although sometimes it’s more fun to go to the grocery store in the middle of the day when it isn’t as crowded.)
Designate a home office space and invest in it.
I turned my dining room into my home office and haven’t regretted it at all. (Plus, who has a formal dining room anymore?) I invested in a coordinating desk and bookshelf along with office accessories that brighten up the room. (Plus they’re colorful and really adorable.) Working in such a pretty and cohesive space has made me more productive because I actually look forward to getting up, pouring my coffee, and getting to work. Here is one of my favorite photos from my home office:
I love how color coordinating books typically makes shelves appear more organized.
There you have it folks, my tiny little piece of the world that inspires creativity. 🙂