As you all know me and Jon run our own photography company which means we do most of our work from our home office, which happens to be situated across the back wall of our living room. We have a huge wooden topped desk made from an Ikea kitchen work top and Ikea kitchen cabinets, sounds random but it was the best way for us to get a really large work space for the two of us, and it perfectly fits the available space we had. It’s also a great crafting and blogging space for me and allows us to be organised and have the ability to interact with each other when we need to.
Working from home sounds like a dream to most people, and it can be great, but it can also be super difficult to focus on work rather than procrastinate doing stuff around the house, or get distracted by other things (especially with the little dudes arrival). That is why having a calm and productive work space can be really important, me and Jon have got some tips and tricks we use to allow us to get work done even with a 7 month old whirl wind in the room.
- Make Sure Your Comfortable – If your serious about working from home and your going to spending a lot of time at your desk then you simply have to be comfortable! Don’t go buying the cheapest desk chair you can find as the likely hood is after 30 mins on your butt your going to be aching and uncomfortable. If your uncomfortable your less likely to be focused and your less likely to sit at your desk for long periods of time. Check out sites like Furniture at Work for great office furniture, they have a huge selection of desk chairs for all budgets and styles. I personally found a high back mesh chair the best thing for me, but Jon has a lower backed chair with a padded cushion and seat instead. Go test out some chairs to find the best thing for your body.
- Decluttered/Organised Space – Try to keep your work space clear of distractions and as organised as you can. I have a fairly untidy desk by the end of the day, (which is fine!) but try to clear it every evening before bed so I start the day with an empty organised desk. We have found the best way to keep organised is with filing boxes for different paper work (contracts, invoices, receipts, etc) a Raskog trolly houses our stationary and mail (plus I have one to organise all my craft stuff) and our cupboards contain plastic boxes to house small bit and pieces like packing materials and cables so everything is quick and easy to find. Lastly get your self a note book or daily planner pad, so you can easily keep lists and notes for work that needs doing, ideas for upcoming projects or client details. Me and Jon have both found that keeping a to-do list is one of the best motivational tools we have, so simple and cheap but it lays down in black and white the work we have on-going and gives us an idea of what needs doing at any one point in time. We now use Evernote on all our devises so we can have a to-do list on the go, and so each of us knows what the other is working on.
- Music to Focus – In any sort of office based work environment you have to learn to work with all sorts of distracting noises and this is the same for a home office, rarely will you have a silent house to work in (and silence is sometimes just as bad!) So having a way to help your mind drown out the background noise and allow you to focus on the work at hand can be a great help. But rather than blasting your entire house with your tunes invest in a set of good head phones and an mp3 player or a spotify account (we recently signed up for a membership and it’s awesome!)! Jon has his own productivity playlist, which to most people wouldn’t call calming at all, but it really helps him get into the editing zone when editing weddings. Find what works for you and make yourself a playlist to keep you focused.
- Channel Positivity – If you really need to knuckle down and get some work done, if you’ve got deadlines approaching or clients on your back it can be really hard to feel positive at the work in front of you so promoting positivity in your work space can be a huge help to keep you motivated. Me and Jon aren’t ones to post quotes and affirmations around our house as it’s just not us, but we do have a sign above our desk that reads ‘The only way to do Great Work is to Love what you do!’ and we both firmly believe in this statement. We love our job, yes it can be hectic and stressful and difficult at times (but who’s job isn’t) but we still love it. That is the whole reason we both left our jobs in Cardiff to launch our business. There are a whole host of awesome positivity quotes around so spend a little time finding the perfect one for you, the one that fills you with an urge to get stuff done! Here are a few of my favourites from Etsy.
So that’s our tips and tricks for getting our butts in gear and getting keeping our home office space calm and positive. What helps you get work done?