Organize Your Home Office Day Schedule And Work Space
Today, I have prepared a set of Top 25 Tips to help you organize your home office day schedule and workspace. As a lot of us have started working from home starting from last year, and this work from home trend looks set to stay with more work from home warriors setting up work from home stations and transitioning to a work from home position permanently, I thought this would be useful for you.
I cannot work when my desk is disorganized and my workspace is messy. The physical clutter adds to my mental clutter, and I find it hard to work efficiently. It doesn’t help that my house is usually littered with toys all over the place. Although I will try to block out the physical clutter from my mind when I work, I prefer to keep things organized and pack up the toys before I work.
I may be a firm believer in keeping things organized but I am not exactly the neatest person. I always make an effort to keep things need and free of clutter, but I tend to become messy throughout the week. I try my best to clean my workspace when this happens so that the physical clutter doesn’t distract me from my work.
How To Organize Your Home Office Day Schedule
There are plenty of ways to organize your home office day schedule. Let me share some of these tips with you here:
Plan Your Work Months, Weeks, And Days
To stay productive and organized, you need to plan your work down to the months, weeks, and days beforehand. This will give you a bird’s eye view glance of what you need to work on on any specific day. If you have a big project and many tasks to perform, it is important you break down these tasks so that they are bite-sized and easier to handle.
It is best to list down every sub-task that you can think of so that you know exactly what you need to prioritize and do. By managing your time better, you will also be able to take more breaks to unwind.
In addition, breaking down your project into small tasks also makes it easier to outsource these tasks to your colleagues, if required. This is all the more important if you are self-employed. You may need to outsource pieces of your work puzzle to other freelancers as you may not have the capacity to handle everything yourself.
It is also important that you set your top priorities and tasks that need to get done for your home office day. Since I am my own boss, I have a tendency to attend to easier tasks first whenever I am tired or feeling unmotivated. This is not a good productivity technique since it pushes important things you need to do further down the pipeline. Attend to the most essential tasks first so that you will not feel stressed when the deadlines for these tasks draw near.
Since I manage a website, the most important thing I need to do is to create content. I admit that sometimes I find it a chore to write, write and write! Thus, I used to procrastinate on writing tasks until I absolutely needed to do them. However, now I allocate a certain time to writing, which is usually the mornings when I think best.
I allocate graphic work and product design work to the afternoons when I would feel a bit sleepy after lunch. This works best for me: write in the mornings and create products in the afternoons. I leave my email management to the evenings as I sometimes check emails in front of the TV, heh.
If you have many tasks to perform throughout the day, such as answering emails and scheduling appointments, you may wish to set aside specific times for everything you need to do. This will ensure that you complete these tasks in time and stay organized.
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How To Set Up And Organize Your Home Office Work Space
What Do You Want To Accomplish And Need To Do In Your Home Office
The first step in setting up your home office would be to consider what you need to do in the office. If you need to conduct meetings with potential clients, then obviously you would need a nice meeting table setup to impress your clients. Imagine conducting a meeting over your messy table strewn with your dirty coffee cups and homeschool worksheets. What would your potential clients think of you? They may think that you are not interested in their business and that you are messy and disorganized even in your work.
If you are going to be conducting lots of online meetings via Zoom, you may want to consider investing in a couple of nice plants or wall art to serve as your backdrop in your video call. This is not essential but I do enjoy seeing the extra effort someone puts into their Zoom calls and I believe this will serve you a couple of nice brownie points. Of course, be thoughtful with what you put in your backdrop and leave anything controversial like sexy art out of your background decoration, hah.
If you run a private dining kitchen or conduct cooking workshops, your home office workspaces where you do paperwork, cook, and serve your guests may be in different areas. If your paperwork workspace and kitchen are messy, you will need to segregate these places from where you serve your guests so that they do not see your mess. If I were a guest dining at a private kitchen, I definitely wouldn’t want to see the chef’s messy kitchen!
Organize A Distraction-Free Workspace
It is easy to get distracted at home when you work. After all, you have easy access to your phone, TV, and social media on your computer. Thus, you will need to ensure that you work in a distraction-free zone so that you are in the work zone when you have to work. Put your phone out of reach, work far away from your TV, and lock access to your social media when you have to work.
Also, if you get easily distracted by snacks, do not work near the fridge. Set aside snacking time so that you can snack and take a break from work.
It would help if you allocate some time for potential distractions, such as TV or social media breaks so that you have these mini rewards to look forward to when you take a break from work.
Keep An Easy To Remember Filing System
Since I work with many documents and graphic files, I am very meticulous about keeping a digital filing system that is logical and easy to use on my computer. I create separate folders for my different projects and different documents like graphics, pdf files, etc. And I make sure that these folders are labeled clearly so that I know exactly where every file is when I need it.
If you organize your files neatly and sensibly, you will find it easier to retrieve them when you need them. There’s nothing worse than not knowing where your files are when you need to work on them.
Also, always ensure that you have a file backup system. The worst feeling is working on an important document the whole day, only to realize that you have forgotten to save it when you need to submit the document to a client.
The same logic applies to physical files and storage. Although I have tried to cut down on the physical files and clutter in my home office space, I will inevitably have many paper printables around my workspace since I create and sell printables.
I file all my paper printables in binders or bind them with planner discs. I prefer binders as I find that flipping the planner pages in a disc-bound system tricky. Perhaps it’s because I love to stuff a lot of paper printables in my planners due to my greed, hah!
I also create organizational systems on my shelves to know precisely where my printables, folders, stationery, pens, and papers are located.
I hope you find my tips helpful!
If you want to be more productive, you will need to organize your home office day and space. Use my cheatsheet now to help you stay organized and productive at work!