While working in a regular office, you sat under fluorescent lighting in a grey sterile, bland cubicle. However, with working from home, you are the one to design and maintain your office in any way that you would like — provided it’s well organized.
Your functional home office holds everything — textbooks, computers, keys, and even your pets. Within a short period, it may look more like a frat house than a home office. Here’s how to stay organized while working from home.
Maybe, you’ve never seen the top of your desk for a couple of months. It’s time for a clean sweep. First, collect every piece of paper and pen off the desk. Then, clear your desk, leaving only your computer. Although it seems overwhelming to clear off documents on your desk, it gives you a fresh start. Organize your items accordingly by creating three piles (scan, save and shred). With that, they won’t scatter or pile again to your working space.
Also, remember to clear off your desk after every workday. Don’t leave any item lying unorganized on your desk. Instead, place your files in separate folders corresponding to different clients or projects. In this way, you’ll quickly locate them (your files). This is an excellent strategy to organize your place of work, especially if you are working with different clients.
Thinking vertically is another idea. Storage is vital in any office. Regardless of how many papers you shift to the cloud, there shall always be some papers scattering around. And of course, to make your office functional, you’ll need a pen, stamps, and many other items.
The problem is that many functional home offices are small, making storing difficult. So, taking your storage vertical is a perfect way to utilize the available space.
Create more organizational space for your work using the walls. Furthermore, consider highly functional storage solutions like hanging clipboards. This will allow you to change what is featured on the wall quickly.
Develop your daily schedule
Bookkeeping and freelancing can give you a lot of freedom over time. However, this can lead to procrastination. Since no one commands you and you are responsible for yourself, you may forget meetings and important events.
To be more organized, you need to learn how to manage your time. Before starting your day, make sure you have a daily schedule set up.
If you are just starting out, it can be pretty challenging to determine deadlines and time allocations. Also, as a starter, you don’t know how long it takes to complete a particular task or project.
However, you shouldn’t be worried much about it since you’ll be familiar with everything as time goes. Just try and figure out how much time you’ll need to do a task. Then check the activities you can finish in a day with other events you scheduled for that day.
List down tasks you can accomplish for a day
Jobs such as freelancing are always associated with flexibility and freedom. However, with much space, you may end up not knowing whether you were productive on that day or not.
For easy monitoring of activities, put down all the tasks you need to finish each day. You can do this manually or use online lessons management to track your daily activities.
Clearing your desk and your workspace alone isn’t enough.
Although it seems tempting to work in your pajamas, it’s good to refrain from doing it for several reasons:
● It might not be easy to get into the work mindset. Can your subconscious associate pajamas with bedtime? Of course not. Therefore it might be challenging to focus at work.
● Looking good can help you feel good.
Set and enforce working hours
Working from home and controlling yourself doesn’t mean getting shorter workdays. In your functional home office, you need to know how to separate work from home. Therefore, it is essential to set your working hours.
Apart from helping you know when to start your task, setting working hours lets your clients know when you’ll be available for contact.
Multitasking doesn’t work. It instead lowers your productivity since you are not focused on the scheduled tasks. Instead, focus on one task before handling another one.
You don’t need to be too rigid to focus and stay organized. Some circumstances are unavoidable. For example, you are doing everything to ensure a distraction-free day, and then suddenly, your kid becomes ill. Since you are the manager of your home, you’ll have to handle it all.
After the destruction, it might not be easy to focus on your scheduled activity. And that’s the weakness you need to eliminate. You need to be flexible and be able to focus back on your task after the distraction.
The good thing about having a flexible schedule is that you will and must be adaptable.
Use customer relation management
Working from home means you are self-employed. Therefore, you need to ensure you have the right tools for you to be at your best. One of such tools you shouldn’t is) writing software.
Take a break
Working continuously can be overwhelming. So you need breaks after every significant task. With that, you’ll get to reset and adjust your focus.
The bottom line
Organizing your functional home office is the first step in creating a better workflow. It can help you stay focused and on top of your workload. Additionally, it can help you track the job applications you are sending. A clean home office is easier to maintain and can motivate you to keep it tidy.
Although it seems challenging to work from home, you can overcome destruction and focus on your daily tasks with the right strategies. In the end, staying organized while working from home should not be challenging. Rose Rosie is a writer for the personal finance website, Joy Wallet, which provides readers with useful information, resources, and tools to help maximize their financial fitness.