The 4 Golden Rules for a Successful Home Office

unnamed (1)It is perhaps to make room for commitments, such as managing domestic responsibilities, or to chase one’s dream vocations like writing or music that more and more people around the world are starting to give working from home a shot than ever before. New-age lifestyles, evolving work styles, the emergence of working housewives and the advent of technology are creating a prolific environment for home entrepreneurship today. And with passing time, the many advantages of this working style are emerging. For instance, working from home utilises travel time more effectively. Similarly, those who work from home also have the luxury of scheduling their day as per their preferences, thus maximising their hours for work as well as personally enriching activities.

On the flipside, not having to go to office may also drastically diminish productivity. Staying home can obviously throw up several distractions, making people less focused. Here are some tips to enable you to stay on track with work and optimise your productivity at home.

1. Don’t spend the day in your pyjamas!

Staying home has some horrible dangers. An undisciplined novice could dodge work by taking up more household chores; take an hour or two for a lunch date with a friend, and then grudgingly squeeze in a couple hours of serious work into this schedule. To make the day truly productive, you will have to think of it as a regular work day. This can hardly be achieved if you stay in your pyjamas all day. To ensure optimal productivity, freshen up with a shower and dress up as if you were going to an actual office. Knowing that you look ready to handle work is a great way to keep focussed and seriously tackle a work day. Even if you simply change to exercise clothes, these will give you a sense of activity and motivate you to work better.

2. Create a work space

Since we generally perceive our houses as our dens of solace, creating a work environment here is quite essential to actually stimulate you into working. Arrange for a home office – perhaps a desk – a space with adequate lighting that will brighten up your mood for work. A dull workspace can bring a feeling of malaise and fatigue, leading to demotivation and unproductivity.

Avoid getting too comfortable in a sofa or any plush seating. Because this can feel so relaxing and restful, it may lead you to dose off or simply tempt you to watch TV. Make sure that your desk is pointed away from most of the house, perhaps facing a window where you can get a glimpse of the sky. This way, you will avoid being distracted by what’s happening at home, enabling you to get more work done. Feel free to invest in a desk and chair that are good for your posture as well as your concentration.

If you work well with some office-like background buzz, you may play the radio or leave the news on. Avoid anything that may take away some of your attention from work and cause a distraction.

3. Create a routine

Since you chose to work from home, you likely have some chores or responsibilities you have to allocate some time of your day for. Create a schedule for the day based on this. For instance, if you need to walk and feed your dog twice every day, allocate some time each morning and evening to this task. Try adjusting your variable work goals around these fixed tasks.

Work out a mental to-do-list for the next day before you hit the bed every night. Having a priority list, where you know the top 5-6 tasks you have to complete the next day, in order of importance. Finish one task at a time, and before you know it, you will make it through the day in a jiffy. This formula will help you stay focused and bring you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. If using this methodology helps you start saving hours, you will experience a self-feeding rush of enthusiasm in your work.

4. Take breaks – stay fresh

Among the most significant complaints people have about working in an office is the monotony of office work. Sedentary work often leaves one feeling weary even if minimal effort has been expended all day (or perhaps because of it). In order to stay fresh through a work day at home, breaking your spells on the laptop with a break of 30-60 minutes to go outside; perhaps to run errands or simply to get some air. At the end of day, you will have completed your work, while feeling considerably relaxed as well.