Did you know that mompreneurs are growing at a rate of 23% annually?
And, did you also know that 94% of those mompreneurs work from a home office?
Here’s the biggest secret that all professional organizers know, that you may not:
There is not a “correct” way to set up your workspace.
No, really – that is the truth…
The best workspace is one that:
- best supports the type of work you do,
- has the appropriate tools you need to be successful,
- is set up in an efficient, productive and supportive way for your style. and available where you need them
An organized office is defined as: knowing what you have, having what you need, and knowing where to find things when you need them. It is NOT a clear surface, with all paperwork hidden away in drawers with alphabetized files. If you like to see things out, you need to create organizing and retrieval systems that are easy to see. You may prefer an organizer on top of your desk with colored files that you can see all the time!
Here are five tricks to make sure your home office space is working for you.
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Create a Real Work Location
Many home-based businesses start small, and work space is often an afterthought. But when your business starts to grow you quickly realize the inconveniences to your original set up when you begin experiencing ‘pain’ in terms of breakdowns and piles. Piles are indicative of unfinished and postponed decisions. Decisions are postponed often due to missing systems. Create a space and invest in the systems you need for support. Consider your furniture arrangement, the ‘bones’ of the room, your hardscapes (fixtures) and soft-scapes (accessories and arrangements).
Close The Door
If you can, find a separate room for working purposes only. It’s a convenient way to isolate yourself from the rest of the activities in the house while you focus on your work. When clients call, less noise creates a more professional environment.
Find a space that you can close the door, or at least separate from the family. It’s important for you to create a clear distinction between work and home. A real office location can help you focus and stay in a productive state of mind. When your office is no different from where you live, it’s impossible to get away from work. Virtually every single work-from-home professional says that unless you live alone, trying to work in the midst of the family is a recipe for inefficiency. You’ll give your work half the attention and twice the time it deserves.
It is difficult to focus on work in the flurry of family activities. And continually relocating work at dinnertime is a drag. Not only it is difficult to keep your work in order, but time lost trying to recover from interruptions is much more than you think. Studies show that people who shift tasks mid stream during work lose as much as 40% of their focus. Not to mention risking important details lost in transit.
Get Out Of The Flow
When we relocated, my husband chose to locate his home office on the first floor, just on the other side of the kitchen (hint: the major freeway/thoroughfare of our home). This was a nightmare. Not only for him due to the constant noise, distraction household activities and interruptions (kids are loud…) BUT – the entire family had to flex to this reality. I found myself constantly ‘shushing’ the kids – and trying to keep them quiet while they were in the house… It was very difficult to do because virtually all the activity that took place was simply on the other side of a door.
Your ideal home office location is an unused room (with a door) that’s not located on the main floor. As long as you have proper lighting, comfortable heat, electric and pleasant working space, the ideal solution could be anywhere. You just want to be sure you are in a space that gives you what I refer to as ‘juice’. You want to feel good in your workspace. A good feeling generates a higher vibration and better productivity
Invest In The Right Tools
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about running my business from my home office, is the value of having not only office supplies, computer and phone, but also things like a head set, a keyboard, a workable filing system and others that make a huge difference in your work environment. The right tool makes the job so much easier! What do you need to do your job that you may not have yet. Would the right software, online tool, or piece of hardware make a difference in your productivity? If so – invest in it!
Universally, people who work from home consider the biggest diffficulty to be managing around the sea of distractions available when working at home.
Some work-from-home parents like to have the office located where they can easily keep an eye on their children, even including a television so that on days the children are home from school they can join them in the office. BUT – working and caring for your children (unless you are a daycare center) are two things that do not go well together. You can’t really do one while doing the other… well. So, consider finding a wonderful care provider who can take full ownership of the kids and whisk them away from the house if necessary. It’s a tricky deal to try to do both things at one time.
The main thing you want to do is choose a place you will want to be. I’ve seen beautifully furnished offices going unused because they were too isolated, cold, or inconvenient, and the business owner ending up working somewhere else entirely.
If you can, work to eliminate distractions by planning your work day around your own body clock and bio rhythms. Create your schedule to coincide with high and low energy time in your body’s own clock. Plan work that requires concentration for a time when there’s less activity in the house. Use tools like timers, Do Not Disturb signs, and office hours to help family members know what your needs are and honor your boundaries.
If you need help managing your space to create a more productive environment, contact me to see if a Discovery Session is right for you! I coach somewhat successful mompreneurs and those still stuck at the start who struggle to manage their time, space and the systems they need to support their success. My clients learn how to manage their time, set up repeatable systems, and get more support so they can do their best work and love their lives again!