People are working from home more than we ever have before.  Unfortunately, not everyone’s houses were ready for this massive shift.  Many people have converted dining rooms, guest rooms, and living room corners into offices.  Although some are transitioning fine, many others are having trouble with the shift.  Here are four ways to improve your home office, regardless of what it looks like now.

Set Office Hours

This step is less to do with your physical office, and more to do with your mental load.  If you know that your family members will be excellent without you while you work- make sure they know when you’ll be working.  You can create a sign for your door, or make a group calendar for your phones.  Let them know that you don’t want to be bothered during those times unless your door is open and that you’d like them to keep the volume lower if possible.  Hold yourself accountable too, and don’t let yourself get distracted during those hours by YouTube or Twitter.

Toe The Line With Comfort

Your work chair should be comfortable.  You should want to sit down at it and bury yourself in work.  In that same stretch, you shouldn’t let yourself be too warm.  Don’t work from your bed, and don’t work lying down.  If we’re too comfortable, people work less, get distracted more quickly, and let their bodies trick them into a nap.  Keep yourself awake by sitting in a chair or standing while you work, and take hourly breaks for just a couple minutes to get up and move around.

Declutter Often

Clutter is a natural thing that happens, especially while we’re working.  We can get so absorbed into our projects that we lose sight of what’s going on around us.  At the end of your workday, take five to ten minutes to straighten up your office and get it back to working order.  The lack of clutter will make it easier for you to start work the next day- and it will also give your brain some time to unwind from your workday.  

Clutter can also make spaces feel smaller, so instead of looking at the cost of selling a house so you can buy a new one- consider looking at what you can do with your current home.

Think About Lighting

Our surroundings very easily sway our minds.  Think about your office’s lighting, and if it does an excellent job at helping you focus and keeping you awake.  Natural lighting is the best option for both of these- but if you work overnight, it’s not an option.  Avoid soft or warm light while you’re working.  Go for bulbs with cooler tones since they’re more likely to keep you awake and able to work.  If your office has a window facing east or west, avoid sitting somewhere where the sun will reliably hit your eyes every day.  This misstep will lead to distractions and can keep you from your full potential.