Working from home has its ups and downs. It can be incredibly convenient to have your office right around the corner from your kitchen and laundry room. However, this also means it can be very easy to blur the line between personal and professional work zones.
That is why we’ve created this list of tips to help you maximize your productivity in your home office and make it a stress-free work space.
Tip #1: Keep your office a work-only zone
Even though you’re at home, a home office is no place for your personal projects to live. Try to remove as many non-work related things as you can so you can focus on work in your office space. This will make your space feel more relaxing because you won’t feel overwhelmed or pressured to work on personal things while you’re trying to be productive.
Going hand-in-hand with removing non-work related items from your office, remove all non-essential items from your desk/work space! If it isn’t something you use every day, it shouldn’t be on your desk. Give yourself a clutter-free work space by only having things such as your computer and a notepad on your desk and storing any remaining office supplies. Don’t forget, your desk is a workspace, not storage!
Tip #2: Use your wall space
Okay, so you’ve removed any excess supplies and decor from your desk, where should you put it now? Try using your wall space! The wall space around your desk is a great option for storage for things that might need to be in-reach, but not things you use every day.
Wall-mounted hanging files, bulletin boards, and whiteboards are all great options to expand your work zone or hang personal pictures/decor without cluttering your desk space!
Tip #3: Use a “mailbox system”
A mailbox system is a place to organize papers that temporarily need to be on your desk. This is great for mail and other new items that need to be addressed before they are filed, tossed, or shredded. We recommend using at least a 3-tiered file organizer, preferably a wall-mounted one to keep your desk clutter-free!
Once you have that, you can label each section with your categories. Depending on your type of work, there are 2 main ways you could categorize your work
By Urgency/Status: “Immediate”, “Work-in-progress”, and “Ready to be filed”
By the type of work if you’re dealing with: Ex.) “Marketing”, “Sales”, “Financial”, “Reports”, etc.
Depending on the volume of papers you deal with, you could have multiple file organizers for each type of work, and then the urgency/status labels on each organizer.
Your goal should be to clear out your mailbox as soon as possible so it doesn't become a dumping ground for random papers!
Tip #4: Color-code your files
Color-coding can help you visually sort through your files quickly and easily so things don't get lost. It can also make it easier to notice if something has gotten filed out of place!
Start by categorizing your work into appropriate departments (ex. Sales, Marketing, Financial, Reports, etc.) and then give each category a color and stick with it! Use the same color folders, tabs, and sticky notes for that category to create consistency and visual organization.
TIP: If you upload your files online, don’t forget to continue the color scheme!
Tip #5: Clean up at the end of each day
The best way to have a productive day is to sit down in a fresh working space. Do your future self a favor and reset your workspace at the end of each day! This will help you feel relaxed and ready for the following morning instead of being overwhelmed and unmotivated.
Here is a quick checklist to use at the end of the day to give yourself the best space the next day:
Put away any non-essential office supplies.
File away all papers, even if you just have to put it in the “Work-in-Progress” section of your mailbox.
Clear any dishes, food, or trash.
Wipe down your desk.
No matter the size of your home office, you can always make the most of your space by keeping it organized. These tips are designed to help you create routine and establish organizing systems in your daily life so you can eliminate stress and increase confidence in your space and productivity.
Let us know which tip you enjoyed the most!