Before the magazine, I worked in the nonprofit sector for several years. During my time in the nonprofit sector, I was able to work from home and in the field. Now as an entrepreneur, I work from home, and coworking spaces. It is a bit difficult to be creative with your space, especially if you live in an expensive area such as the Bay Area. However, if you work from home, you need the environment to be productive.
1. Create an office space.
My desk/office space has always been in the “living room” area or in our spare bedroom. I make sure that my desk faces away from the TV. With my back to the television, it’s easier to focus on my work while still having some white noise. I also pick an area where I get as much natural light as possible, with plenty of windows. Watching life outside the window keeps the creative juices going.
2. Have Artistic Distractions.
Take a note from some of the cool Silicon Valley offices: Add some fun distractions to keep you motivated. Writing in front of my laptop can get dull. Add some beautiful artwork around, create a chalkboard, have paints and canvas boards nearby, or a hoop. You need something that is not work related to help you get out of those creative funks.
3. Do Not Work In Your Bed.
I had a hard time with this one. I love my bed. It is very comfy and warm. But alas, it is not a place to do work. Why? Well if I start working in bed, then I don’t get out of bed until later in the day. I take my shower later, and I just start everything later. You want your bed to be a relaxing place. Not a place of work.
4. No New Shows.
Most people, including myself, need background noise to work. It’s weird to work in silence at home alone. I have found that I need music or a travel show playing in the background to stay productive. If I put on a movie or show, it has to be something I have watched a million times, such as “Friends” or “The Office”.
5. Give Yourself Practical Office Hours.
Working from home means you can make your own hours. But that can be tricky. I know for me, that means I can work 24/7 (which is very counterproductive) or start my day late. You know when you are the most productive. For example, I start writing and doing magazine tasks at 10 am and go until about 6 pm. I do have a lot of energy at night; but, I realized that at night, I may have the energy, but I just want to play. Plus, people I need to contact are not up at 10 pm, like me. Giving yourself time to work and time to play is essential to keep the mind going.
This spring season, create a productive at home office for yourself.