Your home Workspace should be a fortress of Concentration and Organization
Unexpected shifts in the global economy have given rise to one of the signature workspaces of our times: the home office. More people than ever are completing their corporate jobs remotely. And this trend is matched by a corresponding rise in independent contractors, freelancers, small business owners, and self-employed artists, designers, and technical experts.
If you’re among them, you may be setting aside a room or corner of your home strictly for work. But you may also be discovering the unexpected challenges that come from combining your personal nest with your nine-to-five office, primarily distraction. How can you stay focused on the task at hand when there’s nobody looking over your shoulder and your napping couch is five feet away? And how can you protect your productivity from the havoc and messiness of family life? Here are a few ways to make your workplace into a fortress of concentration and organization.
Your Efficient Workspace
Begin by culling all unnecessary objects. Remove everything from your workspace. Then bring back only the items you absolutely need to complete your daily tasks. Computer, pad and pen, desktop calendar: check. Hole punch, shredder, magazine, bowl of old cereal? No. Why is the stapler on top of the desk? If you don’t use it every five minutes, remove it from the work area.
Maintain a zero-tolerance clutter policy. Don’t let anything land in your space for more than a minute if it doesn’t belong there. This includes extra furniture. It also includes noise clutter. If you can, choose a workspace in a part of your home where external noise and street sounds are muffled and muted.
Even in a paperless world, most of us are in no danger of running out of paper any time soon. File your papers in folders and place your folders in trim, clean, color-coded organizers. As with other objects, be merciless about the paper you decide to keep. If in doubt, scan it into a digital file, then throw it out. The best place for most paper that dares to enters your work sanctuary? The trash.
Try to make sure your workspace gets plenty of natural light. Keep all TVs far away from your zone, unless they’re off. Most important, educate your children, spouse, and roommates about the sanctity of your space, and enlist their help in keeping it clutter-free.