Having a home office is great, it’s convenient, cheap and you have your own kitchen a few steps away. Lots of people sit down and think they’ll create the ultimate productive workspace but sometimes your personal life creeps in and soon your office becomes a new home for your pets or drying laundry.
You know you need to do something about it but aren’t sure where to start. So here are a few ideas on how to inject a bit of much needed professionalism into your home office:
Banish the clutter
This one might cause you to groan in despair if you’re used to piles of paper or what you like to call “an organised mess”. While some people do work well enough this way, try to sort out the clutter and see if it improves things a bit.
The downside to clutter is that it’s harder to find things. Some people find that clutter is distracting and have a clearer mind when things are tidy and organised.
Get a filing cabinet
If you don’t already have a filing system then you’re probably used to losing important documents every now and then. All it does is add stress and take more time out of your day. So having a filing system is a good way to clear up the clutter and keep everything important in one place.
Of course there’s nothing stopping you from having everything stored electronically. You could make use of external hard drives and cloud storage. Just make sure you back everything up somewhere else in case something goes wrong.
Some people find that putting up pictures of calming nature scenes or motivational quotes can help give them a boost in motivation.
Having a motivational quote from someone that inspires you can be just the thing to remind yourself of why you became a freelancer and the goals that you have.
Keep it separate
If you’ve got a room just for office use, then this can be as simple as closing the door and letting your family know that you’re busy when it’s closed.
For others who have to work at the kitchen table or in a bedroom, you might want to decide on a signal like putting your headphones on or putting up a screen to let the people you live with know that you’re not to be disturbed.
Attack the cable jungle
Take a peek under your desk. Do you see a jungle of cables and have no idea which one is for what? You’re not alone, most of us have this problem at some time or another and we put off trying to sort it out.
However, as a professional environment, you should know exactly what cable is what in case there’s ever a problem or you need to work remotely. So make sure you organise your cables and keep them tidy.
Set up a business phone line
If you use the phone a lot with clients then you should really think about getting a business phone line set up so one of your kids doesn’t end up answering the phone. Most clients probably won’t be too bothered if this happens but if it happens regularly, it doesn’t look very professional.
Make your office somewhere you want to work
You don’t have to make your office boring and corporate-looking. Add splashes of colour, plants or treat yourself to an expensive coffee maker. Make it a place you want to step into every day and this will help with your motivation.
Have you got any more tips? How do you get into the work frame of mind? Let us know your thoughts.
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About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.