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Design Tips for a Productive Home Office

Design Tips for a Productive Home Office
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Home is where the heart is, and sometimes even where the office is. Setting up a home office is no joke. It is essential to have a good environment in the home office so as to ensure maximum productivity. Certain criteria’s must be kept in mind and followed strictly while designing the office at home. Though there are some key rules that should be followed, they can be adapted and changed according to personal specifications. It does not matter if you have a large room that you are converting into an office or a tiny corner of your house or simply moving into the basement to start work. These tips will help you in setting up a productive office almost anywhere.

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  1. It is very important to have a comfortable chair that does not strain your back and a complimenting table to go with it.
  2. A proper section for the computer should form an essential part of the table so that you can protect your machine and clean it easily. One can choose from various sets depending upon the size of the home office and individual preferences. If your work requires you to seat clients then it would help to have the same color scheme chairs as the table.
  3. Place your work station in a comfortable and airy area that has good natural lighting. Having a lamp on your desk top could help in reducing the strain on your eyes. Make sure that the place is not humid and gloomy since working under such conditions will not only hamper your productivity but also harm your electronic equipment.
  4. Keep a paper pad on the table and a pen stand with pens as well as pencils and erasers handy. Stumbling around for something to write on or something to write with will waste time as well as thought. It is very essential to be completely organized when working from home.
  5. There are certain colors that stimulate your brain in a certain way. Oranges and yellow hues are said to make one hungry and this could be the reason why more and more restaurants are using it in their schemes. Choose a color that is not too gaudy so that it does not distract you. Keeping in mind the climate and the heat try selecting a neutral color that will soothe you in summer and provide warmth in winters. Lemons, pastel blues and creams are good color choices.
  6. Try placing a nice painting or some other bright and happy picture to keep your spirits high. Gloomy and abstract designs tend to have an adverse effect on the mind and so affect its creativity.
  7. It is essential that all files and other work related papers are kept near the work station so that in does not entail walking to far off points to go through them. A filing cabinet that suits your requirement can be chosen for this purpose.
  8. Lastly it is greatly beneficial to choose an area away from noise and other disturbances while setting up a home office since working in a peaceful and undisturbed environment will add greatly to productivity.

By keeping these simple tips in mind you will be able to set up a nice home office that will be a steady step for you to establish and increase your productivity.

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Vishal P. Rao runs the Work at Home Forum, an online community of those who work from home.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why We Procrastinate After All?

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

Is Procrastination Bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How Bad Procrastination Can Be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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Procrastination, a Technical Failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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