You’ve been working from home for some time now. Most of us have. During that time, you've done what you needed to do. You set up a dedicated workspace, you created a system, and you found yourself in many, many Zoom meetings.
But now that it’s been almost a year since this pandemic started. How have you been holding up? Is your system still working? Is your workspace still organized?
Are you wondering how to stay organized and productive while working from home?
None of us know how much longer this will last. If you’re finding the routine you created isn’t working for you anymore, it’s time to restructure.
I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks. They're sure to get your office organized again and increase your productivity.
Before productivity comes organization
Maintaining an organized workspace is one of the most important things you can do. Especially when working from home. It’s not easy. You’ve let papers, your kids’ toys, and coffee cups cover on the surface.
If you want to redo your home office, here are some organizational tips to get you started.
Start fresh. Clear everything off of your workspace. Yes, everything. The best way to start fresh is to see what space you have available. After everything is cleared, do a deep clean of all surfaces.
Separate work from personal. Before you start rearranging things, take any paperwork that isn’t work-related away. Keep this space as your work-only space. Nothing home or personal should be here. Take that stuff somewhere else for now. You can always find a new home for it later.
Update your system. Things have changed since you first started working from home. If you no longer need hard copies of paperwork, file them away or shred them. If you find you’re accumulating more paper, install vertical file folders to store them. Always make sure your system is up to date and works for you, not against you.
Repurpose. Don’t think a major overhaul of your workspace means you need to spend a ton of money. Look around your house. Is there anything you can repurpose? Need an extra pen cup? See if a coffee mug you never drink from can be used. There’s always something around the house you can use.
Clean. This is a big productivity hack. Take five to ten minutes to clean up at the end of each workday. File papers away. Put loose pens or highlighters back. Bring any cups or dishes to the sink. Leaving a clean desk at the end of the day means sitting down at a clean desk in the morning. That’s an immediate mood booster.
Work from home productivity boosters
Productivity is different for everyone. We all have different ways of getting the most done throughout the day. If you’re looking to boost your productivity, there are a few tried and true methods. If you’ve let yourself get lazy with these, it’s time to get back on the wagon.
How many times have you stood up from your desk chair only to feel all your muscles ache? I know, it’s not very comfortable.
One of the quickest ways to boost productivity is to make sure your workspace is comfortable. That means having the right kind of chair. Or invest in a standing desk. Set an alarm to go off every hour. Walk around for five minutes after the alarm goes off.
Don’t feel like you need to be confined to your workspace because you’re working from home. Get up and move around. Stretch. Watch your productivity skyrocket just by being comfortable.
Keep regular hours
Working from home doesn’t mean you need to be available every hour of the day. You still need to establish boundaries. You have meals to prep and a family to see.
Keep to your regular business hours as best as possible. You already know when you’re most productive during these hours. That’s why you want to maintain them.
It’s important to keep a certain work/life balance. Now more than ever since you’re working from home. Be sure to let your colleagues know what your business hours are. And do your best not to check emails outside of those hours.
Like maintaining normal business hours, it’s vitally important to take breaks. Consider the times you took them at the office. Try and follow that same schedule.
Get up and walk around. Refill your coffee cup. Get outside! Your commute to work used to be the time you got outside. Now you’re not going anywhere so it’s important to step outside when you can.
Fifteen minutes of fresh air every day can greatly increase productivity. A little sunshine on your skin can make a huge difference in tackling the rest of your day.
Take sick days
We live in an overworked society. And now that working from home has become normalized, we feel we need to be on call 24/7. But you can still get sick. And you’re still entitled to sick days.
If you’re feeling unwell, take a sick day. Yes, it’s easier to check your work email, but if you don’t give yourself time to rest and heal, you won’t get better. It’s important to give yourself the time you need to restore your health.
Don’t let your productivity suffer because you’re working while sick.
Working from home has made everyday communication a little tougher. Remember how easy it was to tell a colleague something? A walk down the hall to their office. That was it. Now you have to email them, text, or call.
Productivity thrives on communication. And in this era of working from home, you need to overcommunicate.
If you’re working on a project with a team member, make sure all your correspondence is as thorough as possible. Don’t leave anything out. Schedule weekly Zoom check-ins. Whatever you have to do to make sure everyone is on the same page as often as possible.
Choosing to reorganize your home office can be a fun, but daunting task. I personally love it! I can help in workspace planning, file management, and time management strategies. If you're looking to learn processes that stick, schedule a free consultation today.
How long have you been working from home? Is there anything in your home office workspace that has grown out of control? Hit the comments below.