when we purchased our home, i didn't plan to dedicate an entire room to being a home office (at the time, i was only working remotely two days a week). for those of us who have transitioned to being remote full time, having a quiet, comfortable place to work has become invaluable. i wanted to share some of the things i do to ensure that when i sign off for the day, i leave my work behind and can transition back into my home life waiting right outside the door.
keep to a routine. in my post last friday, i shared some of the tools i've learned to maximize my productivity. one of the most important components of my work from home life has been having a routine. i need structure to keep myself disciplined, so by waking up and doing a workout, showering, and get dressed everyday, i feel more energetic and stay far more focused and productive throughout the day than when i didn't have any structure or routine.
situate your room to give yourself a good view. i've worked the 9-5 cube life for over a decade now, so the fact that i could actually see out a window again was huge to me. it may seem obvious, but i know some of you out there have your face to the wall when you don't need to! a friend expressed to me how she just feels like she's always hitting a wall in her workday and i pointed out that she faces a wall, when she had a beautiful window to look at. just pivoting around made all the difference. at any given time, i can peek out the window to watch the wildlife activity, or see which delivery drivers are making their way down our street.
if you don't have a window, set up your desk so you have a view of something else you enjoy looking at, like some art work (i opted for an absurd camel in a living room print), any awards or achievements (certifications, diploma) or styled shelves with keepsakes which bring you joy. look around, and if you can, pivot yourself to optimize your view.
3. hide the clutter. i left the decor on the top half of my bookcase pretty simple, with decor that is meaningful to me, but hid all the messy in the wicker baskets. as this is office for my full time job and my wedding planning business, those bins have everything from printer paper, notebooks and office supplies, to my branding and gifting goodies, candles, and fanny packs. having the clutter away and a clear workspace brings me peace.
if you're looking at your desk, and there are papers everywhere, go pick up a filing system to sort your paperwork and keep your space clean and tidy.
4. have your most used daily essentials on hand. for me, this is my water bottle, vitamins, a candle, lip balm and hand lotion. i have everything i need right in a small basket so i don't have to run back and forth from the office to my nightstand to the bathroom when i need something. when i'm not working in my office, i know where everything is and have one central hub for all my things.
5. supplement the space as needed. i'm always cold, so i made sure my chair has a throw blanket and i purchased a small space heater that keeps me toasty. i also have a happy lamp to get through the gloomy portland winters, a salt lamp and diffuser. i don't always use them, but i'm going to light a candle, turn on a diffuser or sit still with my happy lamp, it's only going to be while i'm sitting in a room for a long period of time so for me, the office is the only place which makes sense.
let me know how your office looks and feels and let's see how we can make your office work for you!