For people who have an office in their homes, getting and staying organized can be as much of a challenge as the work. Ending the day with a clear desk and an empty inbox is important. Here are some tips to help you stay organized in your home office.
Get organized for the next day on the night before. Make a to do list or a schedule for yourself. Figure out what time your appointments are, when you should make phone calls. Start the morning with a plan in place.
Create a specific workspace/office area. This area should not be used for anything else. Put all of the documents, files, computers, phone lines, copiers or other equipment you will need in that space.
Have an emergency backup office. What will you do if the power goes out at your home? Is there a coffee shop nearby where you can sit for a couple hours and work? Or is there a family member or friend’s home you can use while they are at their job? Figure out ahead of time what you would need for your emergency office to do your job. It could be a laptop, cell phone and a small file box, for example.
Make regular hours for each day you work. Hours can be somewhat adaptable to other parts of your life like picking up the kids from school. Set the number of hours each day you will devote to work. Your schedule will always have more flexibility than conventional jobs when you have a sick child, dental appointment or emergency.
Clean your desk on a daily basis to keep it uncluttered. Put everything away at the end of the day. Pending jobs can have their own spot, but the files should be put there every day or moved to the completed file drawer when the job is finished.
Decorate your office in a professional manner. One artistic thing you can do is to create a bulletin board with inspirational quotes and images. If you are saving up for a new car, a trip with the kids to Disney, a new coach bag or even a washing machine, add images of these things to your board. When work is slow, dull or your day is difficult you can look at what inspires you and trudge ahead with your goals in mind.
Avoid personal calls during work hours. If there is an emergency, of course, this is the exception. Chit chat is for after work or during lunch.
People may brag about being able to multitask. However, multitasking can cause you to do a poor job at everything. The best way to work is to prioritize your jobs and then do one task at a time, rather than do a sloppy job while trying to talk on the phone.
Take breaks as people who work in offices do. You will feel more refreshed when you give yourself a chance to stretch your legs every now and then.
While you should do everything like a regular business office, you can also sometimes take advantage of being at home. Throw a load of laundry in the washer when you are on a break. Take a short walk at lunch time. Look out the window at a bird every now and then.
Make the most of your home office. Take advantage of the fact that you get to avoid rush hour traffic, just taking a few steps to get to work. With an organized office, you spend your time wisely and you could end up getting a lot more accomplished each day.