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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 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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