Today’s guest post comes from Angela Taylor, a staff writer for Apron Addicts, a blog about kitchen fashion and home style. Angela also likes to write about mobile technology, business, productivity, and anything else that catches her attention.
As a writer who telecommutes full time from a home office, I’m constantly battling what I like to call “productivity suckers”. You know what I mean, those little, every day distractions that can suck your will to work virtually dry?
Sure, as a person who works from home, we don’t get sucked into to the usual culprits—such as office water cooler gossip, distracting coworkers, disrespectful coworkers, and controlling bosses. However, our distractions come from other places, mainly needy kids, friends who casually call or drop in while we’re working, and the mounting laundry or pile of dishes that’s just begging to get washed.
To help increase my own productivity, I find that keeping my office and my work day organized really is the key. So without further adieu, here are five office organization tips to help you proactively prioritize your efficient work day.
1. Give yourself the tools to remain productive
A year ago I started working from home, but it took me 6-months to figure out that my home office did nothing but make my job harder. Why? The way my office was laid out, I had to scramble around to find what I was looking for. Since then I’ve done the wise thing and invested in a few tools to help me do my job better. Take for example the purchase a larger desk with enough storage to store and find the things I need most (i.e., with file cabinets), or the two Krystal whiteboards that I installed and use to post research, ongoing client files, and my weekly schedule. Both of these tools help me keep my desk organized and tidy.
2. Motivation is nice
I love my job, and feel very fortunate to work from home. However, there are still days when I’m distracted, procrastinating, and uninspired. On those days I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get myself back on the inspired track. For instance, I go get a cup of my favorite cappuccino in the morning, or take a few minutes out of my day to peruse the read my favorite fashion blog. After a little incentive, it’s much easier to return to work ready to take on the day with gusto.
3. Organize your workspace conductive to your job
Putting in a productive work day is difficult—especially from a messy office. How can you expect to get any work done when you can’t find anything? I know that a disorganized office is just going to leave me frustrated and drained so I do the proactive thing and leave 15 minutes at the end of each work day to tidy up my mess. This way, I can expect to enter a tidy, organized office each morning and get right down to work.
4. Prioritize, prioritize, and prioritize some more
I’m not the kind of person who gets to work and knows exactly what I should be doing (especially without coffee in hand). That’s why it’s important for me to sit down and prioritize my tasks so I’m clear on what exactly what I need and want to achieve that day, and even that week.
5. Tackle each day bright and early
I’m not a morning person by any means. However, I find when I make the attempt to wake up early I actually get a lot more done! Why? Probably because when I start working most of the professional world is still asleep so I get a few productive hours of work before the phone calls, emails, and daily chaos begins.