Without a boss looking over your shoulder, you may find it a little bit more challenging to keep your productivity up. After all, there are so many cool ways to accomplish absolutely nothing that it’s difficult to choose how you will squander your precious time.
The Internet! The sum of all human knowledge (sort of) at your fingertips! Television! What will happen next? The doodads on your desk! Just how do you get those two metal thingies apart?
Your home office shouldn’t double as the room where you watch TV…
If you’re going to be productive in your office, it’s crucial that you take steps to make it a more productive environment.
What can you do to take advantage of your quick, bathrobe-clad commute, and turn yourself into a home-office productivity dynamo?
Create A Dedicated Space
Your home office should be just that. You may want to make it a “no personal calls” zone. It shouldn’t double as the room where you watch TV. It should not contain a ping-pong table, your Lego collection, or your paints and easel. It should have everything you need to be effective at knocking out the items on your work agenda, and nothing else. Creating a dedicated workspace can go a long way to eliminate potential distractions and keep you focused on the tasks at hand.
Get Rid Of Clutter
If your office is full of little eyesores or intriguing fidgety thingamabobs, it would be in your best interest to spend some time de-cluttering your workspace. Get rid of those stacks of magazines. Open (and deal with) those piles of incoming mail. File what needs to be filed and recycle the rest.
A couple of simple mementos on your desk are fine, but you probably don’t need half the items from thinkgeek.com in your office. You get the idea. Remember, less clutter equals more productivity.
Stay Off The Internet (If You Can)
Oh, Internet, how I love thee. The Internet is a bigger distraction than 5 wheelbarrows full of clutter. Staying away from it is twice as hard. After all, you’re sitting at your computer. Your computer has the Internet. The Internet has… everything! Don’t do it! The magical rabbit-hole vortex of the world wide web will have you watching stupid animal videos or researching 1970's Glam-Rock in no time.
We know, sometimes you have to get on the web to get things done. It’s just the reality of the world we live in. Perhaps you should just make a rule that you will not go to non work-related websites during your workday, and follow it. Good luck with that.
Invest In Quality Equipment
Saving money by buying shoddy office equipment will only cost you time in the long run. Good quality office supplies make it much easier to be productive. That broken-down office chair that always makes your back ache? The stapler that constantly jams and only works half the time? The file folders that are prone to dumping your documents into the drawer? Ditch that stuff and get equipment that works.
You might also consider doing a little bit of research about ergonomics and making sure your office is set up correctly for your body geometry, like you would when adjusting a bicycle. Consider things like the height of your monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and examine the effect of your chair on your posture.
You want to be comfortable while you’re working, and you don’t want to have to mess around with trying to fix things that should work correctly in the first place. Otherwise you’ll end up with a backache, a foul mood, and very little to show for your workday.
What about you? What productivity tips for the self-employed do you have for our readers? Let us know in the comments section below.