How to set up a home office for maximum productivity

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity

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How to set up a home office for maximum productivity

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity

Working from home can be exciting and challenging at the same time.

Who doesn’t love not having to commute? Don’t get me started on the joys of having a kitchen and bathroom all to yourself.

There’s nothing that quite compares to the environment of your humble abode.

The problem is, many of us find it difficult to stay focused and get work done at home.

It might be your kids playing, the dog barking or you slacking off to watch an episode of your favorite show. The motivation to work just seems to disappear as soon as you turn on your computer.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take today to set up an office in your home for maximum productivity.

We’ll go through them in detail below. When you’re done reading, you’ll know how to setup your home office for maximum productivity.

What is productivity?

Let’s begin by defining this buzz word. The Oxford dictionary describes productivity as the state or quality of being productive.

This definition can be confusing especially if you don’t know what productive means. Productivity also has different formal definitions in fields such as management and economics.

For the sake of this article, we’ll go with my own simple definition. To me, maximum productivity is getting the most high quality work done within the shortest time possible. We’ll call it ‘being in the zone’.

Do you think the home office below is setup for maximum productivity?How to set up a home office for maximum productivity

Let’s go through the steps you’ll need to take in order to set up your home office to always be in the zone and have maximum productivity.

1. Find some inspiration

Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in this single space, it’s worth taking some time to plan the layout.

I personally find it easier to accomplish a task when I can visualize it. If you’re anything like me, then pictures are a good tool to help you visualize your ideal home office setup. Head over to Pinterest and browse through some home office pins to get ideas and inspiration.

This will get your creative juices flowing for the tasks ahead. For any setup that excites you, note down the elements you can borrow for your own use. 

Just be careful not to get carried away and drift off into wonderland. While doing this exercise, you always want to remember one key thing; the primary goal of your home office is to provide a space to get work done.

That means keep it simple.

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity
Find inspiration for a clean and simple setup

2. Find enough space to work

Now that you have some ideas for a home office setup, the next step is identifying a space that will accommodate all your furniture, work documents and tools. 

Most people will need to find enough space for a desk, chair, filling cabinet and printer. Painters, musicians and other artists may need much more space than this.

At this stage, note down the storage options you have available as well. This includes shelves, cabinets, trunks and boxes. Think of how you’ll find additional space in the future in case you need it.

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity
How much space do you need to work?

3. Look for a light source and power outlets

Once you’ve found enough space for all your work stuff, the next step is looking at your lighting and power options. Natural light is the most abundant light source available.

It’s also free and has numerous health benefits. Just be sure to keep the sun rays and glare under control.  

If you can’t find a space that let’s you use natural light, then you’ll need to invest in table lamps and bulbs.

At this stage, its also important to locate power outlets for your computer and other equipment. You’ll need extension cords if the power outlets are too far. 

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity
Find power outlets. Watch out for glare and direct sun rays

4. Check for distractions

Once you find a space with enough light, power outlets and space for all your work stuff, you’ll need to do an audit for distractions. 

A distraction is anything that diverts your focus. Common distractions you’re likely to encounter at home are children, spouses, pets, roommates, smartphones, TVs and the kitchen.   

While some distractions are difficult to control, it’s essential to try and find a space where you can tune them out and focus. 

This means no TV, no loud music and no wearing the same t-shirt daily until it fails the smell test. If you want to get in the zone, identifying and controlling distractions is the most important step.

If you can’t find a space without distractions in your home, you’ll need to get creative and play around with time. Identify ‘office hours’, when your space has the least distractions.

Remember our definition of productivity; it’s all about getting the most high quality work done within the shortest time. This means you can work in a space that isn’t quiet throughout the day. You’ll just need to find the right time to work.

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity
Can you work in this environment?

5. Put it all together

If you’ve made it this far, then good work! Now comes the fun part. Setup your space with the equipment you currently have. 

If you followed the above steps, then this part will be simple. Move your desk, chair, computer and other equipment into position.It may take you a few tries to get the perfect setup so take your time and don’t be afraid to move things around.

Use the below guide to make sure your desk and chair are ergonomically positioned as well:

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity
Such positions will hurt your back. Always work seated upright!

6. Plan and execute

We started by finding some inspiration, then we checked our potential office space for a good light source, power outlets, enough space and minimal distractions.

We’ve also setup everything to make sure our body is comfortable and ready to focus. Now comes the hard part, dealing with yourself.

In most cases, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to productivity.

It doesn’t matter if you can eliminate all distractions and have the most ergonomic home office setup. If you can’t sit down and get actual work done, then you’ll never be productive.

I’ll go back to my definition of maximum productivity, which is getting the most high quality work done within the shortest time possible.

To achieve this, you need to plan your work day in advance. You also need to be well rested and get a good night sleep.

I like writing down my tasks for the next day at night. I also pick one task that I have to complete the next day no matter what.

When I wake up the next day, I start with this one task in the morning. This way, if I get distracted during the day and don’t complete any other tasks, I’ll still have accomplished the most important one for that day.

Avoid beating yourself up and feeling like a failure if you slack off. This normally happens when you try to do too much too soon. Instead, come up with a less intensive plan and proceed to execute.

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity
Plan then sit down and actually get it done!

7. Add some good vibes

The final icing on the cake is adding your own custom touches to your home office space. Make sure to keep it simple though. The aim is to add a few items that inspire and motivate you.

This can be a painting, desk plants, a carving, an aquarium, flowers or some framed motivational quotes.

Use the ideas you got from Pinterest if you don’t have anything in mind. This will make your home office more welcoming and give you a better chance of maximizing your producitivty.

How to set up a home office for maximum productivity
Stay motivated

Conclusion

Being productive while working from home is totally doable. You’ll just need to do some planning in advance and find a space that allows you to focus. Don’t think of productivity as a destination. Rather, view it as a daily process that you can refine and get better at over time.

FAQs

What is a good size for a home office?

A good size for a home office is  8’x8′(feet). You can go higher, but try not to go below 6’x6′ (feet). This will ensure you have enough space for a desk, chair, file cabinet, printer and shredder. 

You also need enough space to sit ergonomically and be able to focus. Use the seven step guide above to make sure you set up your home office for maximum productivity. 

What is the best home office setup for productivity?

The best home office setup for productivity is any that allows you to focus and get high quality work done within a given time frame. These home office setups tend to have the following qualities:

  • Clean and simple layouts
  • Proper lighting and access to power outlets
  • Enough space for all your work equipment
  • Ergonomic setup for the desk, computer and chair
  • Very few distractions to break your focus
  • A positive environment that inspires and motivates you

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