The 5 Productivity Roadblocks that Could be Hiding in Your Home Office
Raj Jana is a busy entrepreneur and business owner who loves the freedom of working from home. But he knows it’s important to get that home office set up just rights. He has some tips that have helped him be more productive.
Having a home office requires self-discipline and having an office that lets you avoid distractions helps. Set up your space with a mind to productivity.
But it requires a good bit of self-disciple in avoiding distractions. Making sure your home office is set up for you to succeed is critical. Yet a lot of what hurts our productivity goes unseen, such as:
You may not think about lighting first when you think of productivity, but it can make a difference. In fact, offices with more natural light have been found to make people happier and more productive.
Make sure your home office gets lots of natural light, and equip it with warm, yellow lighting that mimics it. It won’t always be sunny, but you want to feel like it is whenever you’re in your office. This will help improve the energy of your home office and encourage productivity.
Constant snacking takes you away from your desk and forces your body to expend energy on something other than the task at hand, hurting your brain’s capacity to focus. Also, eating large, heavy meals in the middle of the workday weighs you down, makes you feel tired and makes it harder to focus on what you need to do.
But there are more subtle ways food can affect productivity. For example, many people like to drink coffee at home. However, most coffee you buy in a supermarket is old and stale, and therefore void of its powerful health benefits. Consider stocking up on freshly roasted coffee to help make this part of your day contribute to your overall productivity.
Lists are usually thought of as a way of helping you be more productive. But if you don’t make them the right way, they can actually slow you down. Consider the following about to-do lists to make them truly work to promote productivity:
- Putting too many things on your to-do list is overwhelming. When you do this, you will be constantly focusing on all the other things you need to do. And all this does is divert your attention from what you’re working on, making you less productive
- Your to-do list needs to be structured according to priority, with the most important tasks coming first. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up spending too much time on less-important tasks, leaving critical ones for later when you have less energy and are less productive.
- Don’t clutter your to-do list with small things. The general rule of thumb is that if it’ll take less than two minutes to complete, do it right now while you’re thinking about it. Following this will help you keep your list manageable, making a productivity asset and not a hindrance.
One of the key benefits of working from home is that you can spend more time with your family. But this can easily become a productivity roadblock if you’re not careful, especially if you have kids. This is because most people still don’t associate the home with work. If they see you at the house, they assume you’re not working, and therefore don’t see a problem in disturbing you.
Even though you can be flexible, you do need to establish some boundaries. Designate a space in the house for the office, and establish some “do not disturb” hours. Consider blocking time off on a calendar so that everyone knows when you’re working, and make sure everyone understands you’re only to be disturbed for emergencies.
Phones are tricky when it comes to productivity. On the one hand, they’re incredibly useful communication tools. But on the other hand, they can absorb your attention and take you off task.
Ask yourself: do I really need my phone to work? You’ll find a lot of the things you use it for, such as email, also have web apps. It might be a good idea to leave the phone in the other room and use these apps for work so that you’re not tempted to keep looking at and responding to whatever comes through on your phone.
Turn your home office into a productivity zone
Take a look at your home office and see if any of these productivity roadblocks are lurking around. If they are, make some changes and turn your home office into a place where you can truly function at your best.
Featured image by Roberto Nickson