We all know that due to the technological advances that we have today, our society has been granted several commodities that have become part of our everyday life. This includes paying our bills, buying and selling products and even working from home.
Thanks to the internet it is possible to work from the comfortability of our homes. Of course; this is still limited to some professions and you should have whatever programs or gadgets are required of you to be able to complete the tasks you are being paid to accomplish.
However, having to do work at home might become a little more than unpleasant if you are not able to separate your work form your personal life. In this post, we will give you a few hints and tricks you can apply in order to find the perfect balance between those two.
First things first…
1. Find the perfect place to set up your office
When you start looking for that perfect spot to set up your workplace, it is best to look for a place where you can separate yourself from the rest of the house. This will help you avoid distractions. Pick a place where noise and other disturbances are turned down to the minimum.
2. Make sure that everything is comfortable to your need
Once you have chosen a place and before you start working, you should have the right furniture in the room. It is likely that you’ll spend several hours in it, so make sure everything is to your liking. Find an ergonomic chair, since it’s designed to protect your back and keep you focused while you work. You should also look for a desk that your legs can fit into, so that you can be nice and comfy while your work progresses without delay.
3. Remove everything that bothers you
Avoid having things you don’t need on your desk. Each and every one of these objects are just going to make a mess and you’ll lose precious time organizing everything again and again.
4. Keep your cables organized
Whether you are using a desktop or a laptop, cables will take up a certain amount of space. If they are just hanging everywhere, you are likely to trip over them. Ideally, you can keep them tied and as short as possible so that less dust accumulates on them and you can avoid having to untangle them each time you need to move something.
5. Find the perfect light
This is incredibly important. You ought to have the right illumination to be able to see at any time of the day. Make sure you have white light since your eyes can adjust better to it, it brings out the details of the room, saves power, all while you help maintain a better world!
6. Use shelves
If you use books or need some kind of paper materials, it is best to keep them in shelves, separating them from then desk to avoid disorder. This will also help you have fast and easy access to them, instead of just pilling them on the desk or tossing them on the floor; especially if you keep it clean.
Sort out your work documents and throw away those that are no longer useful to you.
Cool! My home office is set up but, how can I keep everything organized and avoid setbacks?
Before we start throwing tips at you about how you can keep up with everything, I want to show you the 5S’s methodology.
This method comes from 5 basic Japanese principles known as: Seiri, Seiton, Seisō, Seiketsu y Shitsuke.
It’s meant to identify and classify everything unnecessary from our workspace so that it is easier to throw them away.
It consists in giving a specific place to everything we work with. Keep everything I’m it’s rightful place.
This simply tells us to keep a tidy workplace. Everything in the office, your laptop, your desk, and especially the floor should always be clean. Cleanliness is godliness.
Seiketsu (Standardize )
Try your best to follow through the previous steps so that they are no longer limited to your office. Make them yours and take those habits into your everyday life.
Discipline will help you improve yourself. Sustaining the 5’S as a part of your life will make a difference in all the other areas you are involved with.
What are the benefits of implementing the 5´s?
- Saving time and space whenever you need to.
- Helps keep your desk workplace at optimal condition.
- Reduces the temptation to procrastinate.
Okay, now that you have the office and you know the theory, it is time to put everything into action.
1. Use folders, bins and other things to organize your desk
Earlier, we mentioned how important it is to choose the right furniture for the office. Now we want to make sure you know the importance of using the right organizational tools. Folders, planners and pins can make even the messiest of desks 100% more functional. Keep the cables from whatever electronic devices you are using tidy, so that whenever you look into your office you can see the soothing image of your personal workplace.
2. Keep a trash bin near you
We all know those frustrating moment when brainstorming doesn’t go as planned. Keeping a trash bin close to you can help you avoid having to get up every single time you want to throw something away.
3. Keep it simple
Seiri will make itself present here; since this’ll help you get rid of everything that is not essential on your desk. This will keep you focused and raise your productivity.
4. Find the best apps
Where would we be now if not for those amazing paper planners we have learned to love? They will always have a special place in our hearts but there are other options as well. Try looking for apps that will effectively help you manage your time. E.g GoogleApps. This platform has been improving itself and becoming more user friendly with each passing day, especially in regards to work.
5. Your home office is an extension of your work
There may be some times when you have some spare time and feel like using your work desk to eat, or maybe even use your desktop/laptop to watch a movie or a show, but it might not be the best idea. Spending your leisure time in your office will tempt you to do such activities during your work hours, leading you towards procrastination. Think of your home office as an extension of your work. Trust me; it is best to avoid the risk.
Wait a minute! We want to give you a few more hints before you go!
We all have procrastinated at some point or another. Whether it is by leaving a school paper for the last minute or by deciding to go watch that new movie in theaters when a project is due.
First, we have got to understand that procrastinating is a bad habit, and we owe it to ourselves to be able to recognize the symptoms:
- Always wishing for an immediate incentive.
- Overestimating your proactivity.
- Being scared of deadlines.
Some of us can even find ourselves paralyzed in fear of those deadlines and that can lead to procrastination. Unconsciously, you are already thinking you won’t be able to complete the assignment that was given to you, so you decide to go with something you know you will be able to do.
However, we cannot be defeated by fear. Luckily for us, Hardvar University has a few guidelines so that you can also overcome it:
1. Think about the consequences
Keeping in mind the stress of the previous times you left everything to the last minute will help you stop doing it. The possibility of upsetting your boss, your teacher or even your family or maybe even losing a client for your company will keep you focused on the goals you have set for yourself. Make every second count.
2. Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today
Believe in yourself and in your skills. It is vital that you face the activities you are supposed to do as soon as you get them instead of filing them for a while. You must keep your mind in the game; know that the more you delay the worst the results you’ll get. This will make you infamous among your friends and peers. If you don’t trust in your capacity, then no one will.
3. Investigate the reasons for working slowly
Ask yourself what is it that’s making you procrastinate? In the best case scenario you will find out whatever it is that’s making your progress slower than you should. Knowing the reasons that delay you, will help you change that part of your routine so that you can have a better outcome.
4. Pair up an uninteresting assignment with an interesting one
You are not sure if you feel like starting on X project? Try starting it together with a more pleasant activity. E.g. you can start a certain uninteresting activity, accompanied by listening to your favorite music or by enjoying a cup of coffee. You may also try generating a more comfortable working ambiance until the feeling of doing something that you don’t like goes away and you can focus completely in your work.