The dream of working from home is but an enticing one. It’s less enticing though (and kind of unfortunate) when you have to bring work back home. Nevertheless, work is worship and on that note, we are going to set up your shrine.
Step 1: DESK
But before we start, which of the following are you?
Guess what? It doesn’t matter… as long as you get things done.
But since your desk is where you get cracking, place it preferably by or against a window and keep it interesting by changing things around every now and then.
The second thing about your desk – always use coasters and even if you spill some, just ensure to wipe off the coffee/tea stains before they take permanent residence. And don’t forget to bust the dust with the occasional rag and brush treatment.
Third thing – keep a pen and paper handy.
NOTE FOR THE COMPULSIVE ONES: WET WIPES ARE AWESOME FOR THE JOB!
STEP 2: ATMOSPHERE
Let there be light!
This one’s a no brainer. Whether artificial or natural, make sure there’s ample light. Regardless of whether your walls absorb or reflect light, bright cushions, light curtains, colourful carpets and framed paintings on the walls will certainly help your cause. But make sure that you don’t overdo it. Bright colours could prove to be a distraction.
Let there be life!
Breathe some oxygen into your room with plants. And avoid smoking inside the room at all costs.
Let there be love!
Fill your room with things that you love. Framed posters of your favourite film or musician, a corner library, a beanbag, printouts of internet memes, motivational Steve Jobs quotes and the like, I’ve heard work wonders.
NOTE FOR THE PROCRASTINATORS: If it’s your musical instrument, your pet, the gripping novel you’re reading or your Xbox/PS, it’s up to you to balance the act – anything beyond an hour, save for exceptional moments – is risking procrastination.
Let there be music!
While it may not be true for all, I find music extremely conducive to my productivity. But only if it’s instrumental and unfamiliar. Familiar music usually tends to distract and decrease productivity. This also means that work-time is the best time to discover new music. But if you need to refresh your mind for a bit, you’re most welcome to listen to whatever you want.
STEP 3: MUST HAVES
- A wall-calendar: For you to scribble out your deadlines and draw doodles of your goals on.
- A clock: To remind you of your deadlines and your goals.
- A blackboard/whiteboard: To chalk out the strategy to meet your deadlines and achieve your goals.
- A drawer/cabinet: For A4 paper, pads, sticky notes, files, folders, staplers, felt pens, cello tapes, paper-cutters, scissors, glue sticks, CDs & DVDs, pen drives, hard disks, etc.
STEP 4: HOME OFFICE DISCIPLINE
Now this is the important part.
For those who jump out of bed and hit the desk in their pyjamas – you’re going to have a tough time getting through the day. It’s ideal to take a shower, dress up as though you were commuting to work, and take a walk outside to allow the sunlight to bless you with vitamin D. The morning bustle will also invigorate you and finally wake you up.
Take breaks for a power workout followed by a deep breathing session. Ten to fifteen minutes at the most.
Eat short meals, drink lots of water and maintain fixed meal times.
Set fixed working hours if you can. Also figure out when you’re the most productive throughout the day because some of us are morning people, some of us aren’t. You must capitalise on your optimum productivity period – and not waste that time watching cat videos on YouTube.
Learn to say no. No matter how difficult, do not entertain people in your office during work hours.
No matter how busy you are, devote time at least twice a week to keep things organised and your office spic and span.