People who work at home require a special set of skills. They must be proactive types with lots of organizational behaviors, and the tools to match. Here are tips for those professionals working from home.
Organization Tips for Home Offices
Image via Flickr by Denverkid
Break Emails Into Categories
By breaking your email box into categories you can sort out the unimportant emails and focus on the business contacts. Consider creating categories like these:
Tweak your settings and sort your categories so that the most vital one appears at the top. Consider setting up a filter to put every non-work-related category in a folder that you cannot see during work hours. This will keep you from accidentally getting distracted by friends’ emails and interesting newsletters.
Keep It Clean
If your office is tidy, you’ll feel more comfortable and focused. Try to spend at least half an hour a weekend preparing your space for the upcoming work week.
Hide Paper Clutter
Turn stacks of paper into digital files by scanning them into folders. This way, you will be able to review documents and re-print them if necessary, but otherwise they are safely tucked away out of sight.
Tools for Working at Home
Via Flickr by Jblyberg
White Board & Markers
This tool will allow your creative mind to run wild. You can use your board to keep important notes, create checklists, or to doodle while you think. White boards are inexpensive and fun to use, making them an essential home office tool.
Love Thy Calendar
Utilize a large promotional calendar to keep track of appointments and upcoming deadlines. Stop using your smartphone for these functions, so that you can see them plain-as-day in your office. This will keep you from forgetting dates until the last-minute smart phone reminder.
Create a Playlist
Consider creating a playlist that’s broken into segments. If each segment is one hour-long, then you can track your work subconsciously by keeping pace with the music. For example, set your playlist to high-energy music that you love for one hour: for this hour work on a specific project. When the playlist clicks into a different groove (such as 90s rock), you will know it’s time to move to your next task.
Whether you have a loud house and need sound proof Bose headphones, or a quiet house that requires speakers to keep sweet melodies playing, you should create sound barriers for your office. Try to incorporate both ambient noise speakers as well as sound-canceling devices for the kids’ snow days.
Smart Phone Apps
Nothing helps professionals stay organized better than smart phone apps. With so many options, professionals can find the niche product they really need. From apps that keep you on task and efficient to the apps that are great distractions for creative types, you can find everything you need by searching online.
By keeping your office clean and organized you will be better able to focus on your projects. Also remember to ask family members to respect your work space by leaving you alone while your door is closed, and you should become more focused and efficient.
Guest Contributor Amanda Brown is a freelance writer whom enjoys playing and coaching volleyball. She loves her friends and family including her dog, Charlie; as well as traveling all around the world.