Today will be a great day (both for you and your business 😉 ) since I’m sharing my best tips to create a beautiful and functional home office you’ll not only love to work in, but will also help you to be super-efficient.
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I can bet you’re eager to grow your blog or biz – it’s exciting to be your own boss and build the lifestyle of your dreams.
But, as you already know, for anyone who works from home either full or part-time (and that means you!), some form of a home office is a must.
However, having a home office doesn’t equal being more work-efficient.
The way you organize your home office makes a difference.
And another thing!
If you create a surrounding you’ll love to work in, there are greater chances for success!
(all right, it’s not scientifically proven, but pleasant surroundings sure help feeling excited to jump straight to work!)
So, if you combine lovely design with functionality, you’ve got a winning combination!
And… let’s begin!
Find the space (pssst… the size doesn’t matter)
There are slim chances your home office will be a mobile one…
So you need to figure out a space for it.
And since you’re in a blogging world, the size of your home office really doesn’t matter.
The basic equipment you need is a computer/laptop and some other (fairly small) gadgets, and you’re good to go!
(as you can see, all of these don’t require you to have a hall to place them in)
As an example, my “home office” is actually my room, and it contains not only all the work-related items but also all of my personal items as well.
(believe it or not, my room is 97 square feet! 😮 Yup, that’s right – 9 square meters for those who use the SI metric system! 🙂 )
But I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world!
(the secret of placing everything together – without being overcrowded? the height is the dimension I focused on. 😉 )
Others might transform a walk-in closet into a small home office, or have a designated place in the living room or kitchen for it, while others have a whole separate room, especially for that purpose.
If you do have a large enough space to use for your business command center, that’s great!
You’ll have more options when it comes to placing, arranging, and rearranging the items you need in your day-to-day work.
However, if you’re not in that situation, don’t feel discouraged.
Whatever space you have at your disposal, you can work with it to create a surrounding where you can work efficiently – and feel comfortable in it.
There is one thing, though.
I’d recommend you to choose a place which is as isolated as possible from the rest of the busy, noisy household.
(there has to be at least one such corner of your home!)
It’ll help you be more focused and therefore more efficient.
Trust me, you should really try to find such a spot!
(image of kids loudly rushing around, with toys all over the place, and your other half’s watching TV, while the smell of the meal that’s currently cooking enters your keyboard -and everything else!- Vs being alone in -relative- silence – even if it’s only for 10 minutes!)
You get the point, right?
View your desk as your home office main command center
Either way you turn – any type of work revolves around a desk.
Whether it is big or small, you know best which one fits you according to your needs (and capabilities).
I use my desk as a workspace (which by default it is).
But, what do I mean by it (because it sounds so empty-generic this way)?
When I’m not doing the work I like to keep my desk tidy – clear of all the unnecessary items.
(it keeps me calm because I get the feeling of overwhelm the second I see clutter – and I don’t like to feel that way, you know?!)
And even though my desk is fairly large, a laptop and two small desk organizers are the only things that populate it at those moments.
But, when it’s time to do the work, more often than not, my desk quickly transforms into a messy-looking thing.
(however, I don’t mind it then)
At those moments you can find a couple of pens and pencils, empty and half-written paper (scattered all over the place), a planner, and even a plate with some snacks standing on it.
It’s my creative chaos in which I work the best! 🙂
When the work is done, the desk is again restored into an item pleasant to look at. 🙂
Bottom line – your desk is your main place of action.
Choose the one which suits you, and treat it with respect! 😉
Some natural light (+ a lamp) is a home office must
A good source of light is imperative no matter what work you do.
(…unless you are being paid to sleep, which I highly doubt! 🙂 )
And when it comes to blogging, you’ll spend a lot of time hanging out with either a computer or a paper, and you don’t want to burden your sight.
(at least not more than you have to)
I guess you already know the best source of light is natural sunlight.
Therefore, position your desk accordingly.
Of course, there will be moments when you’ll work when the sun’s down (or not yet up), or maybe your home office doesn’t have a natural source of light.
In either case, adequate room lighting or some form of a desk lamp is a must.
I prefer having fluorescent white light tubes throughout my house, and my home office is no exception.
To me, it mimics the natural light the most, and it is, therefore, the choice I turned to.
However, if you’re not a fan of them, go with your favorites.
(but I do have to say in the defense of fluorescent tubes – the most common annoying issue – the teeny-tiny subtle flickering – only appears when the lamp is reaching its limits or the starter is getting weak and should be replaced anyway) 😉
Either way, keep in mind the position of a light source.
If you’re right-handed, place the light source left, the opposite goes if you’re left-handed.
Neutral position – the top.
I’ve said all there is to it! 😉
Having a good, quality chair pays off on multiple levels
I sometimes spend a total of 12 hours sitting at the desk, working. 😮
(yeah… not a thing to brag about, but it’s true! I do stand up from time to time, though!)
That’s a lot of hours sitting!
And if you don’t have the right chair to keep a good posture and be comfortable in, it’ll be hard for you to focus on your work.
Not to mention the possible health issues which might come up in the future due to frequent inadequate posture.
I personally have an office chair (a smaller one – I’ve told you what’s my room surface!), and to me – there isn’t a better chair I would use.
P.S. Don’t forget – take regular small breaks to stretch out (and maybe even do a few exercises) a bit.
Keep the items you frequently use within your arm reach
The one thing I think is quite handy and would recommend to all is having a desk drawer (or a few of those).
It’s a good place to keep the small items you use frequently (or often enough) without losing the focus on your work (say, if you had to get up to take/find them).
(plus, you’re keeping your desk clutter-free)
An alternative to this might be a drawer cabinet placed beneath the desk – it works very well, too, and can store even more items.
Have a lot of tiny things you often use in your home business?
Combine both desk and cabinet drawers! 😉
P.S. To have a clear look at the items you store in your drawers, there are some neat drawer organizers which you can use, as well.
Post it, post it, post it…
Speaking of items you frequently use, if you’re like me, you’ll always need a little piece of paper to be within your reach.
To write down a sudden amazing idea, or to jot down a note or two…
Or simply to do a quick brain dump if I feel I’m out of focus.
And if I write on the post-it, I can easily stick them to a relevant place.
(sometimes it’s a planner, sometimes wallboard, and sometimes a laptop – depending on what’s written on it)
That way I’m sure I’ve noted the idea (just to be safe, I don’t want to lose what might become the biggest revelation in history! 😛 ), and I can proceed with my work with a clear, calm mind. 🙂
Desktop organizers are life (and space) savers
When it comes to small items you frequently use, desktop organizers are truly a life (and space) savers!
Pencils, pens, permanent markers, scissors, rubber, paper clips, post-it notes, your phone…
All of those (and more!) can be neatly placed into some version of a desktop organizer, where they’ll be easily accessible to you – without being scattered all over the place. 😉
Get some file cabinets for your home office
If you’re like me, you’ll have at least a few folders, along with various paper, books, planner(s), and notebooks which also need to have their own place in your home office.
With the help of file cabinets, you can neatly place all of those items and make your home office look nice, clean, and clear.
Even a well-picked dresser cabinet can serve this same purpose.
It’ll give your home office more of a “home” look.
And precisely that is the charm of having a home office. 🙂
This one comes down to your own preferences.
Personally, I’m not a fan of shelves.
The only reason for it is dusting (it makes me grumpy).
(yes, I really have a problem with repeating tasks that waste time and give nothing in return!)
Therefore, I like to keep as many items as I can in closed-door cabinets and have a clear, flat surface above.
(they’re so much easier to dust, right?!)
However, I do have 2 shelves in my home office room.
One which is highly crowded with items I frequently use (and it’s close to my reach), and the other almost empty – just to make the room look a little prettier (a flower and a picture are all there is 🙂 ).
Oh, right! And another one – because my little girl needed a space to put her plant on! 🙂
It adds a touch of nature, so I don’t mind… 😉 (see, I almost forgot about it!)
Organize your home office with a wall-mounted board
If you need to keep an eye on certain notes/memos (and you most likely will), installing a cork or magnetic board on the wall near your desk is the best thing to do.
That way you’ll have a place to keep your small (or big) reminders at your sight.
If you use a magnetic whiteboard you can even write things down directly on it with dry-erase markers.
Also, you don’t have to turn the whole board into a bulletin board.
You can dedicate a section on it to hold a small version of your vision board or put a few of your personal (and dear) photographs on it – to keep the motivation and inspiration going. 😉
And there you have it!
10 simple steps to help you transform a place in your home into an enjoyable, highly productive home office! 😉
(and you can check out the post How to use a planner to be super-productive for an extra kick of productivity – some great tips are in there!)
Rock your biz! 😉