It’s no secret that working from home comes with a unique set of challenges, the least of which is staying productive. Whether you have a designated room that you can close the door to at the end of the day or work at the kitchen table, it’s important to have an organized and efficient workspace.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably always looking for ways to boost your productivity and get more sh*t done while working from home. A significant part of that is to have a well-organized workspace.
Here are some tips on how to organize your home office for greater productivity.
Make a Plan
The first step in any organizational project is to make a plan. Good planning will save you time and money in the long run. Plus, it’ll help keep you focused on your goal.
Start by assessing your current situation and your needs. What do you need in your home office to be productive?
Make a list of everything you can think of, including big and small items. Then, look at your budget and figure out what you can realistically afford to buy or build.
Once you clearly understand what needs to be done, you can start mapping out a plan of action. This will help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Keep Your Desk Clean and Clutter-Free
No one can focus and be productive in a messy workspace. It’s just a fact. A cluttered desk can be a major distraction, so keeping it as clean and organized as possible is essential.
One way to do this is to invest in storage solutions, like baskets, drawers, or shelves. This will help you clear your desk surface and give you a place to store your supplies.
Another good tip is getting rid of anything you don’t need. Do a monthly purge of your desk and get rid of any superfluous items. Throw away that empty pen cup or that pile of paper you’ve meant to sort through. The less clutter you have, the better.
And finally, make it a habit to clean up your desk at the end of each day. This will help you start each day with a fresh slate and a clear mind.
Create a Filing System
Another way to keep your desk clean and organized is to create a filing system. This will help you keep track of all your important documents and make it easy to find what you need when you need it.
There are a few different ways to do this. One option is to use a physical filing system, like file folders and labels. This is a great option if you have a lot of documents that you need to keep track of.
Another option is to use a digital filing system, like Evernote or Google Drive, especially if you have to deal with many digital files. This can be a great way to keep your desk surface clear and reduce paper clutter.
I personally opt for the physical system since I like things to be organized and in their place but to each their own! So, I set up a small place in the upper right corner of the working table where I put all the papers in a two-storage tray—one is for ongoing projects and the other for… half-used paper.
The ongoing one is obvious. I put all the papers and notes related to the project I’m working on in that tray. Once I’m done with any project, I’ll throw them all away. My job’s nature doesn’t require any documents, at least any print-out versions, which makes it much easier when it comes to decluttering.
But what about the half-used paper? Let me explain.
You know those times when you start a project and realize that you need just one more piece of paper, but there’s only a half sheet left in the printer? Yeah, those times. I hate throwing away perfect paper, so I started storing them in this tray, together with abstract paintings from daycare (mommy is guilty) or even half-used notebooks.
Before you say it’s a waste of time and space, let me tell you that this has saved me so many times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed just one more piece of paper and been able to find it in this tray. This way, I save money, time, and paper. Win-win-win!
Set Up a Command Center
If you’re constantly looking for your keys, phone, or wallet, then it’s time to set up a command center. This is a designated spot in your home office where you can keep all your essential items. A command center can be as straightforward or as elaborate as you want. The important thing is that it’s organized and that everything has its own place.
One way to set up a command center is to use a bulletin board or corkboard. You can use this to pin up important documents, notes, or reminders. You can also use it to hang up your keys or your purse.
You could even set up a command center in your entryway, so you’re not tracking mud and dirt through the house. This is a great way to keep your home office clean and organized.
Make Use of Storage Solutions
Like in the previous tip, storage solutions can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your home office organized.
If you have a lot of supplies, consider investing in a storage cabinet or shelving unit. This will give you a place to store all your materials, so they’re out of sight and off your desk. You can keep small things (for example, paper clips and push pins) in mason jars or other small containers while storing bigger items like headphones, a keyboard, and a mouse in the same drawer.
Another great storage solution is a wall-mounted bulletin board. This is a great place to hang essential documents or keep track of your to-do list. You can also use it to display photos or other items that inspire you.
I’ve always had my inspiration board above my desk, so I can see it daily, stay focused on my goals, and stay motivated when things get tough.
Invest in the Right Tools and Supplies
If you want to be productive, you need to have the right tools and supplies. This includes a comfortable chair, a suitable desk, sufficient lighting, and all necessary office supplies.
One thing that I can’t work without is my whiteboard. I use it to jot down ideas, make to-do lists, and keep track of my daily tasks. It’s a great way to stay organized and on top of things.
Another essential item in my home office is my planner. I use it to plan my week, set goals, and track my progress. A physical planner helps me stay accountable and keeps me from getting overwhelmed.
If you don’t have a lot of space, plenty of compact home office solutions can help you make the most of what you have. For example, a laptop stand can help free up some desk space, while a wall-mounted shelf can provide extra storage without taking up too much room.
Get Rid of Distractions
Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Distractions are the enemy of productivity, so getting rid of anything that might take your focus away from your work is important.
This means turning off the TV and working in silence for some people. Others might need to close the door to their home office or put their phone on silent.
Figure out what works for you and do whatever you need to eliminate distractions. This will help you stay focused and get more done in less time.
Sometimes, kids can be your biggest (and most adorable) distraction. If you have young children at home, it might be necessary to hire a babysitter or put them in daycare while you’re working.
This can be a tough decision, but it can pay off in the long run. Having some time to yourself will help you be more productive and less stressed, which will benefit both you and your family.
Set Up a System that Works for YOU
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to organizing; what works for one person might not work for another. It is important to find what works best for YOU and stick with it! Just because someone swears by a certain method doesn’t mean it will work for you., too.
The best way to find a system that works is to experiment until you find something that clicks. The goal is to find a system that helps you stay organized and get things done.
And don’t be afraid to change things up if your system isn’t working anymore. As your life changes, so will your needs. Be flexible and adjust your system as necessary.
By the end of the day, it’s YOU sitting at that desk, and a productive home office should be where you enjoy working! So make sure you’re happy with the way things are set up!
Organizing your home office doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, it should be the other way around. You should create a home office that works for you, not that you have to work to organize constantly.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get your home office in order and make it more productive!