Do you need to make a positive change in your life? Would you prefer to work for yourself in a home-based business? If working from home is your dream, but not yet a reality, then consider these tips and recommendations to have creative home office spaces and succeed working from home.
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Ready to Start Working from Home?
Depending on the work you do and your personality and lifestyle, we all face unique challenges. Not everybody is cut out for working from home. To be productively working from home, you must be well organised, have time management skills and be a self starter.
So when you are working for yourself, you need to plan your day and week to be as productive as possible, and still maintain a balance in your life. If you are persistent, you will succeed.
Whether you are just starting out, or you are an employee currently working from home, there are certain things that you need to know, to start working from home. Use these tips to succeed working from home.
Barriers to Success
If you are working from home, or have previously tried and didn’t really succeed, it is most likely that you experienced these obstacles:
- Lack of focus and it could take many forms:
- Focusing on too many things at a time.
- Unable to have time without distractions, sometimes called creativity time.
- Spending too much time on social media, emails, text messaging etc.
- Spending too much time on things that do not matter.
- Negative attitude is a very big reason why people don’t get anywhere and give up.
- A negative mindset will destroy your passion for what you are doing or trying to achieve.
- When you are negative, it increases your fear of failure.
- A negative attitude means you give up at the first hurdle.
- So turn the thought that it is impossible to a yes, it is possible.
- Visualization and the inability to visualize the end result.
- You need an ultimate goal to stay focused.
- Without a game plan, you are heading for disaster.
- If you do not know where you are going to or heading for, then it is immaterial how you get there.
If you can get rid of these obstacles, then you have a far greater chance of success. You need discipline and you cannot afford to procrastinate.
Your Home office area
To achieve creative home office spaces might seem to be a daunting task, but it is easier than you think. If you are going to be working from home, you need to have an ambiance where you can be calm and productive.
Finding calm while working from home can be difficult, specially if you have toddlers or young kids that also need your attention.
It is therefore important to create an area that you can classify as your own. Whether that is a separate room, a corner or space within a room, or simply just a desk.
You might even have different areas that you work in. I think it is natural that when you are working, you are thinking about the family and personal things, and when you are with the kids, you are thinking about work.
Each one has to figure out where or when, is their most productive time and space, and these tips will help you to have creative home office spaces and to succeed working from home:
1. Create a tidy area
Clear the clutter from your work area, including removing unrelated items from your desk. Clutter is not only visually distracting, it can also overwhelm the brain and could compromise your ability to take initiative. This can lead to a reduction in your productivity.
An uncluttered area also creates calmness. Having a plant or a little vase of flowers on your desk, would provide something that will give joy on your desk. If it is a multi use area that you are working in, then have a basket or box in which you can keep relevant related items like stationary. That will also keep your work essentials out of the way so that you don’t get distracted when it is not your work time.
So keep your workstation simple and uncluttered.
2. Maintain regular hours
It is important to have a schedule, otherwise you might just “drift” for the day. Because you are working from home, it does give you the flexibility if you need to change it. If you need to start earlier or finish later, then compensate yourself and finish earlier or have a leisurely start the next day.
Find your most productive hours. If you are a morning person and an early riser, then start early and also finish early. If you are a night owl and struggle to get up in the mornings, then adjust your hours accordingly.
3. Signal the Start of Each Day
Create a getting started routine, which could be in the morning or later in the day. You can signal the start and end of each working day with a little ritual.
It could be that you have done some exercise and then get going, or grab that cup of coffee or pot of tea, before you start.
Working in your pyjamas might be nice, but not a good strategy for everybody.
Before you do start, take a moment to focus and center yourself. This can be something like lighting a candle or to diffuse some essential oil. Keep it simple that it is easy to do each day.
4. Define the rules
It is important that the people who share the space with you, know your rules for working. This could be your housemates or family members. Just because you are home, doesn’t mean that you have to do all the chores. So share the household chores and workmen or maintenance workers have to respect your “working” time.
Feeling guilty is a real thing, whether it is mum guilt or dad guilt, and for most people it is natural. Learn when you have to say “no” to maintain the balance. If a friend asks a favor because “you work from home”, be gentle to remind her that you can help when it is not you working hours.
5. Set Boundaries
Set boundaries and avoid the “urgency” trap. More than half of our time is taken up by interruptions, such as emails and meetings and non-essential and administrative tasks. So stay focused and differentiate between urgent and important.
Prioritize the vital calls and meetings that is essential to get your job done, and do not waste time on things that are not important. If you find that you get distracted by your telephone, then leave it in the room next door and look at it when you take a break or have lunch.
If you are easily distracted by noise, then invest in a pair of noise canceling headphones.
6. Schedule breaks and do take your breaks
It is standard for US office employees to have two fifteen minute breaks and also an hour for lunch. Whether you are an “employee” working from home, or are self-employed, make sure that you do take those breaks, even if you have to set an alarm to remind yourself of the time.
So get away from the screen and go and have a coffee or tea break and stretch your legs and your body.
7. Eat meals away from your desk
Don’t be tempted to have your lunch at your desk, take a break from your desk to have a meal. Schedule downtime in your day and week to go for a walk or to do some yoga and get away from notifications. This will help to make your brain sharper and replenish your creativity.
If it is a nice day, have your lunch in the park.
8. Use ergonomics to your benefit
Don’t sit all day, raise your laptop and have an area where you can stand in front of your screen. Many people find it beneficial to have the screen at eye height, so if you need to raise it, then invest in an adjustable laptop table.
It also means you can move it around to adapt to different creative home office spaces.
9. Get Outdoors
Weather permitting, get outside and escape the cabin fever. Make a point of leaving the house or the building during the day. Have your lunch outside in the sun, take a walk around the block after lunch, water the pot plants or take the dog for a walk. Anything that you can get some fresh air, and it will increase your productivity.
Meditation is another great way of clearing the mind, even if it is only for twenty minutes at the start or end of the day.
Remember to have social contact and nurture relationships, so sometimes work from the coffee shop. If you do have meetings or calls, be it a Zoom chat or WhatsApp, then turn on your camera to see other faces and connect.
Reach out if you are feeling isolated, but be careful not to get sucked into spending too much time on social media.
11. Channel Gratitude
Working on your own can be very hard and lonely. You might be feeling isolated, specially if you are working for yourself and you do not have a team that you can connect with. So make time to connect with others that are in a similar position.
It could be through groups on Facebook or LinkedIn or listening to an inspirational podcast. Find something that sparks your joy, it will help you to connect to your inner self and discover what is important to us.
12. End the working day with a routine
If you were working in a corporate office, you would tidy your desk at the end of the day before leaving for home.
That would mean putting away stationary, unnecessary paperwork and files and having your desk clear and tidy to start the next morning.
So get into the same habit if you are working from home.
In the same way, mark the end of each day. Turn off the computer, mute the telephone, change out of your work clothes, turn on some music, pour a glass of wine, or whatever you enjoy, to ease into the next part of your day.
13. Don’t be too hard on yourself
At the end of the day, do what feels natural for you and helps you to get things done.
People are quick to offer advice or criticism about your home office environment or the practices you follow. Feel free to ignore suggestions that does not work for you.
It is not a case of one size fits all, what works for me, might not work for you.
My top Recommendation
It is not easy to accomplish things in isolation. But you could go to the Wealthy Affiliate community to get support and inspiration. Other members are always there, available and ready to help us with their knowledge, guidance and expertise.
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I hope you will use these tips to succeed working from home and achieve your creative home office spaces. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them below and I will get back to you.