A trend that’s becoming more and more popular? Working from a home office. I’ve spent the last 12 years working from home.
And the one thing I’ve come to learn is that while working from this sort of working environment offers a lot of perks, it also creates a lot of stress. Many Americans work from home and although this has decreased pollution and actually (for the most part) increased productivity, most of us would complain that the problem is our homes feel like work and our work never gets done.
The line between home and work becomes a fuzzy blur and you begin to wonder if you ever really stop working for the day. I’ve recently started noticing how much this was affecting me, as my work spread onto the kitchen table and into my bedroom, yet, the work had been completed. Why was I always having it tag along?!
Where is the BALANCE?!
The first tip I garnered from research was that if I was to work from home I had to create separate spaces. This doesn’t mean a separate desk, or room, but more a state of mind. For instance, if you want your home to feel cozy, welcoming and relaxing, create a zen space- perhaps a corner- that induces this state.
After you’ve organized separate spaces within your home (can’t hurt to consult with a feng shui expert) you’re ready to tackle how you spend your time. The biggest problem I have working from home is distraction. Its easy to get caught up vacuuming instead of writing, or preparing dinner instead of tackling paperwork, but that only creates a state of anxiety when my family gets home.
Organize your time into blocks and stick to it. Multi-tasking, although highly valued, is not the most productive means to finishing anything. It’s the most distracting and stressful way, however.
Start with time blocks. I prefer hour blocks as it gives me the incentive and motivation to stay on task. I.E. I will clean for an hour, and then I’m putting an hour into XX project for work.
Finally, can you create a space for both work and home that you want to go to, like a zen den work space? Add aromatherapy, strategically place peaceful figurines around, play peaceful music. For me, I need a notepad, a computer, and a clean surface. If my desk is a mess, I’ll take my work elsewhere, so figure out how you can physically clear space so that you can mentally clear space as well.
You will be a much happier worker and much more productive both in your profession and in your life!
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