I’d like to welcome Danielle McAnn as our guest blogger today. Danielle is a copywriter working with http://www.
Image above courtesy of stockimages and http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.
If you’re lucky enough to work from home, you know how hard it is to keep organized when blending both your workplace and your living space. Having struggled with this myself for a few years now, I feel I have finally got a system down pat, so I wanted to share my advice with you!
Before I go into it though, I want to clarify what I mean by “work from home”. In my case, it means freelancing, but it can mean a whole bunch of different things. People who work mainly through telephone communications, those who run their own business, but it also includes anyone really who is running a whole house! Even those who go to work or school during the day use their home to do extra work after hours. Work is definitely a central part of most people’s lives, so it’s important to have a space that is organized and dedicated to productivity.
1. Workspace. Firstly, decide on your workspace. You don’t have to have a whole room dedicated to work to be productive. Perhaps it is a corner of the living room or garage, as long as it is enough space to store everything that you may need.
2. Backup. Consider an emergency backup office. If you don’t live alone, perhaps the house is a little noisy some days, or there is construction going on right outside your window; you’re going to need a space to go to where you can continue working. That may just be a different corner of the house, but sometimes it may mean an entirely different location like the local library.
3. A comfortable work space. You’re going to spend a lot of time working, so you should make it the kind of place you want to be. Put stuff up on the wall, decorate your desk with meaningful trinkets; you have the freedom to work how you want so why not make it the best place it can be!
4. Have a system. Unless you share your business with someone, you probably don’t have any colleagues around. This can be a little tricky because it can be really easy to slack off, so it’s important to have a system that you trust and stick to. Keep your records organized and up to date, there is nothing worse than realizing you have missing documents, especially around tax time! Services like Smart Docs can transcribe any audio documents, like important phone calls so you have records of business conversations.
5. Break time and flexibility. I know that sometimes you can really get stuck into your work, and before you know it, you realize you’ve been staring at a screen for 2 hrs. There are a bunch of apps out there that can help you with this, like Breaktime, that remind you when it’s time to take a little break. It’s also important to be flexible with your schedule because things come up, like sick kids or power outage, so accept that these things will happen and resolve to make up time later.