Working from home has become a new lifestyle for most of us–whether we like it or not and while some may be thriving in a more homey atmosphere, some of us struggle to stay motivated, focused, and organized while working from home.
Let’s face it, our workspace from home does not compare to the one from the office. In that case, here are some tips to tidy up your work area for when you are working from home;
Less is More
Yes, you read that correctly. The less clutter you have on your desk, the better! This is a staple in organizing because the less you have, the less you have to clean, organize or put away. Working from home for most is painful, mainly because of a lack of motivation and an increase in distractions. Having less on your desk and around your room will limit the number of distractions that can cause procrastination. This also will help to create more room on your desk, and ease feelings of being overwhelmed.
Be A Minimalist
Similar to the ‘less is more’ concept, being a minimalist will allow you to appreciate the simple things and give you less to worry about when it comes to organizing your workspace. An example of this can be finding a consistent colour scheme and arrangement for your office/desk. Simple and calming colours (ex: white, grey, beige, blue & pastel shades) tend to be less distracting than bright and bold colours like hot pink or green. Having simpler shapes and colours surrounding your workspace gives an illusion of a bigger and brighter area. Only keep necessities on your desk.
With some office/art stores being closed due to the quarantine, you can DIY your workspace by reusing household items to help organize your set-up. A popular example is reusing an old soup can to act as a pencil holder, charger storage or a snack jar. Another great DIY is to use washi tape to colour-code your cords and chargers. You can label each cord with a name or a different colour so that you can avoid a tangled mess and know which ones to unplug at the end of your workday. What’s great about DIY projects, like these, is that they are versatile, and are fun projects that can be customized to match your personal aesthetic.
I can speak for myself and admit that I will get hungry throughout my work session. Rather than getting up from your focus-zone and losing your train of thought to go grab a snack, have it ready by your desk so you can satisfy your needs and not lose your focus. Keep it simple and have healthy snacks such as nuts, granola bars, fruits , trail mixes, etc., by your desk at all times to avoid getting “hangry” in between your tasks.
Pro Tip: Snacks also work as motivation. Treat yourself with a snack after finishing a big or important task.
One of the most useful and simple accessories you can have in your office is a calendar. Giving yourself a visual outline of your daily, weekly and monthly tasks can help you stay organized and optimize your time. I personally keep one right above my desk so I can easily locate my tasks and get a general sense of what needs to be done first. Calendars also make for great decorations with all your options out there. You can purchase 12-month default calendars via Amazon.ca or your nearby office store. For the creatives out there, opt for a chalkboard or dry-erase board at your nearby art store, so that you can customize it as much as you’d like and erase/add tasks easily.
Pro Tip: colour-code/highlight to prioritize each task.
Plant a Friend
Working from home ultimately means less time spent outdoors. To keep your work area more alive, consider having a plant or two in the room as it provides many physical and psychological benefits. Studies show that office plants can reduce stress levels, clean the air and the green colour from the plant can enhance your perception of your space.
Pro Tip: There are specific types of plants you should put on your desk; visit ambius to learn more.
Aside from cleaning and rearranging, there are my helpful tips to keep your workspace tidy and organized so you can optimize your work free of distractions. With most companies announcing that remote work will continue in North America, we should be prepared and stay focused at all times and having a proper workspace is a priority. Stay safe, everyone!