I’m looking to redo my home office, which is also the headquarters of not only The Hustle Life, but also marketing consultancy MoxieDot and sister journalism content company StoryShout. In a few years, I will get an office space, but for now, a dedicated room in our house works great.
I have found that the way my office is set up has a direct impact on my productivity and how I feel throughout the day. Here are some of the things I’ve found to be most useful since I started working from home full-time as a business owner in 2011:
Inspirational Decor or Art
If you are in a creative field, it is crucial to be surrounded by things that inspire you. Whether that’s great art (Society6 has some good prints), quotes by your favorite authors, or clips of your work, having reminders of what you enjoy and what motivates you can help you work more effectively.
If you’re not in a creative field, use items that inspire you or showcase your past work and accomplishments. That way, when you’re feeling down, you can use these as reminders of how far you’ve come in your career.
It’s crazy to me how small desks can be, and how many people purchase the smallest desk available, usually because it’s the cheapest. Instead of focusing on price, I urge you to measure your monitor, keyboard, mouse, lamp, and other required desk items.
Then, get a desk larger than what you need in order to have writing space for notes during calls or incoming mail. Things are always going to accumulate on your desk, and having the space for it can actually motivate you to clear it faster (because you can see it and it’s not under piles of clutter).
Ergonomic Office Equipment
I can’t stress how important paying attention to ergonomics can be. Spend the money to get ergonomic office equipment (like a chair, keyboard, monitor stand, and mouse)– it can often save you hours of body aches and trips to the masseuse, doctor, or chiropractor. Pay attention to recommended height of your workstation and take frequent breaks.
A Yearly Calendar
This was something I never thought about until I bought one and it’s made a huge difference. I got a laminated yearly calendar and hung it right next to my computer monitor. That way I can quickly check dates when someone asks me about a meeting, conference, or deadline. It doesn’t have any of my standing engagements on it but helps give me an idea of my availability or how far out something is. I surprisingly got mine (in a cute design!) at FedEx, but Amazon also has one.
Good Speakers or Headphones
It’s been shown that music or white noise can help you concentrate, increase your mood, and help you be more productive. According to the New York Times,
In one study involving information technology specialists, she found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood.
I am always using Spotify or Pandora on my Amazon Echo, which amazingly has really good sound for such a small speaker. If I’m not using that, I have USB computer speakers or even listen to headphones, even if I’m the only one in the house. Music going directly into your ears can help you tune out.
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