Tips for your home office equipment
1. Separate the rooms.
There should be a clear boundary between your study and the rest of your home. For example, a door that you can also close if you do not want to be disturbed.
This is the only way to show yourself psychologically, but also to the rest of the family, that you are “at work”.
2. Wherever possible, have a quiet room.
Sure, not everyone can choose the study in their apartment. But whoever can, should choose a quiet room.
So not necessarily adjacent to the neighbor with heavy metal preference and not directly towards the heavily trafficked road.
3. Invest in good equipment.
It may sound banal, but don’t cut back on technical equipment. Fast internet access, a large screen, a quiet keyboard, a good phone with a strong battery, a good headset, and professional headphones are the minimum.
Don’t buy every fancy gadget – the equipment should make your job easier and not distract you. The quality of the equipment is crucial: devices that do not work reliably only wear down your nerves and minimize your desire to work.
4. Buy yourself a good chair.
The money is definitely not spent wrong here. After all, you sit on it for a good eight hours every day.
The office chair should be easy on your back and not hinder you in your work processes – for example, because the armrests are so high that you hardly fit on the desk.
A high backrest also allows you to lean back and relax and think.
5. Eliminate non-work-related furniture
Your home office should have the character of a workplace and not a hobby room, not just for tax reasons.
It also has a psychological effect on performance if you don’t constantly have your bed, wardrobe, or moving boxes in front of you. That of course doesn’t mean you have to put yourself into isolation.
6. Create a thinking niche for yourself.
If you have space, set up a corner far from the desk where you can withdraw to think and be inspired. This could be a sofa, a wing chair, or a pile of large, colorful, common cushions.
The corner is of course also suitable for occasional coffee breaks.
7. Never sit with your back to the door.
This sounds like Feng-Shut and poison there, too, but has a sensible reason: If you keep the door in front of you, you can’t a) be surprised by some, which also gives more peace of mind and b) get something official like a reception at the same time.
8. Do not overload your home office.
Do not overload your office with furniture, pictures, and accessories in the room. They will only shrug on the atmosphere, make you nervous, and reduce your feelings.
An open space will give you more freedom and also will allow your thoughts to flow more open.
9. Provide sufficient light.
Of course, it is best to have plenty of daylight – so please do not use dark curtains! Artificial light is best suited for indirect lighting, ideally with daylight lamps.
Spotlights always cast ugly shadows. But you can also experiment with colored light and thus positively influence your mood:
Blue light, for example, invigorates and inspires, while yellow-orange relaxes.
Very important: Make sure that lamps or sunlight never shine directly on your screen, but also that you not sit against the light.
Otherwise, the contrast will be too high and your eyes will get tired too quickly.
10. Integrate plants.
Plants not only enhance the indoor climate but also your mood. Fresh cut flowers, for example, with their colors and smells create an inviting atmosphere. And it does no harm to share your space with something living.
11. Experiment with fragrances.
Fragrances aim directly at our brain. Via the limbic system, the control center of the brain, aromas can influence instincts such as hunger or fluidity as well as sexual behavior or sympathy – even before we consciously perceive a scent.
Even the memory is guided by fragrances: A light whiff of vinaigrette or mulled wine and we think of Christmas.
Other scents can directly influence our performance: Lemon aroma, for example, demands concentration, lavender helps solve mathematical problems faster and errors more easily, vanilla or ylang-ylang can reduce stress, peppermint is said to revitalize the mind and Yasmine scent is said to make you sleep better.
12. Rearrange your furniture.
Yes, you read correctly. Rearrange your home office from time to time. Use a different wall color or rearrange your furniture from time to time. In your regular office, you might not have the chance to do so.
But take advantage of your opportunity in your home office. Doing so will get out of your regular routine at work and stimulate new thinking processes.
Get more productive in your home office
13. Go to work also mentally
Dress up in your home office as if you would go to your office. So no pajamas, shave if you did so before and put on your shoes.
14. Differentiate your tasks.
Always separate your private and professional life. For example: Don’t constantly do your private stuff in your home office, like calling friends or surfing the internet.
The danger: Many people either extend their time-outs when they really should work and steel time form their employers. Or they can’t really relax after work since there is no real difference between work and free time.
15. Start right away.
As soon as you arrive at the office, you should start your day’s work and not tidy up or read the newspaper. The 72-hour rule, for example, says: Whoever plans to do something, must do the first smith within 72 hours, otherwise the chance that he will ever start the project decreases by one percent.
16. Concentrate your forces.
Focus on the essential: Only one thing at a time. Do not try to multitask! First, because it won’t work anyway, and second, because it only makes things more complicated. If you have problems with this, you can also create a to-do list.
17. Make use of your high phases.
Every person has different performance phases within one day. Decisive for this is the so-called chronobiology. The organism, i.e. metabolism, organization, concentration – everything fluctuates considerably within one day.
Especially the early birds differ. They are already free in the morning and are immediately in top shape. And the late risers (also called owls), who are still awake in the evening and can concentrate well.
These types are independent of the amount of sleep the individual needs. Their individual performance phases are strongly time-delayed. If you know your own type and take this into account in everyday life, you can significantly improve your performance, creativity, and productivity.
Therefore establish a core working time for yourself. Just as you will do in the office. So your colleagues know exactly when you can reach you.
19. Set priorities for yourself.
Decide what is really important and urgent and what has time left or can be delegated.
The Eisenhower method is suitable for that. But also the ABC technique. We will discuss both methods in another article.
20. Avoid interruptions.
For example, make sure that you are not disturbed by children or friends during your creative phases and do not watch TV while you are working.
Scientists at the University of California have found that an office worker can only devote eleven minutes to a task before being interrupted.
What is even worse: After the involuntary pause, it sometimes takes up to 25 minutes to pick up the thread again.
You should not take these uninterrupted interruptions home with you.
21. Eat regularly at lunch.
The temptation in your home office is growing to satisfy the small hunger with snacks and to work through the day. Dangerous! First, it is usually bad for your figure. Secondly, it demands stress. Thirdly, you isolate yourself even more.
Instead use your regular lunch breaks to have lunch with friends, business partners, or new contacts from your network.
22. Take breaks.
Always go full throttle – even the most powerful engine can’t take it.
The burnout syndrome – the rapid loss of joy and drive – can otherwise be the result.
Every now and then you have to let go, come to rest, get up, stretch, take a few steps in the fresh air, drink water, recharge your batteries, motivates more.
And: At home, you can even take a short nap after lunch to regain your strength. However, only uses such breaks productively, don’t dilly-dally.
23. Get rid of your routines.
While the daily routine of trying to do the same tasks at the same time over and over again can make for monotony and boredom, it can also make some of the other tasks a little more difficult.
24. Stay organized.
Breaking down tasks, getting an overview – maybe even using to-do lists or mind maps – is one thing. But you can also conserve it. Otherwise, you only oscillate between chaos – list – map – chaos.
25. Praise yourself.
Especially lonely home workers who lack the encouragement of their colleagues
suffer from a lack of praise. Lack of such positive feedback, causes people to tend to give up. On the other hand, appreciation has an enormously positive effect. Albert Bandura, psychology-professor at Stanford University, proved prived that point:
Praised ones are more motivated, set themselves higher goals, feel more committed, and assume that they have even better skills, which in turn
improves their performance.
26. Start with the most unpleasant task.
Most home workers tend to push the most unpleasant tasks in front of them all the time. Why not get it over with the morning while you are still fresh?
The rest of the day will be much easier and pleasant for you.
27. Define goals.
The great danger for homeworkers is that they can muddle along at home without knowing exactly what they have to do, when, and how.
Especially people who are not so good at organizing and motivating themselves should definitely define precise goals with their boss in advance and plan their day or week in advance: What documents do I need from the company office? What needs to be done by when? Whom should I call and where can Io find the numbers? And so on…
28. Share your goals with others.
Talk to others like your workmates about your tasks and what you want to accomplish.
The effect: You feel more committed to your task and automatically you also concentrate more to reach these goals.
29. Continue working.
Even if you absolutely have no desire to work or miss the good ideas and wish for productivity – remain disciplined and focused.
Freedoms that you took autonomously (“I earned that”, “It’s not so bad”, “Nobody notices”), have the tendency to become independent.
And soon, all Ste deserves is a scolding.
30. Make 3×3 lists.
That a tip out of the get-ting-done-school. Create 3 to-do list every evening for the next day:
On top of that are the things that have to be done on the next day. On the next list write down projects you would like to accomplish , but still, have time. On the last list, you name 3 projects you would like to do in the future
31. Careful with music.
Music transports many moods and therefore has an immediate effect on your brain. That is why lounge background music can be a wonderful way to relax in times of high stress.
But it can also be an enormous distraction. Personally, I cannot listen to English vocal music while writing, for example, because then I’m too busy listening to the lyrics. Classical or instrumental music is therefore usually my first choice.
32. Declare special days.
To give more structure to your free time, you can dedicate certain days of the week to special tasks, such as:
Tuesdays to call important customers, Wednesdays to have lunch with colleagues, Fridays to clean out the filing cabinet.
The principle can also be applied to pleasant tasks. So you have something to look forward to every day.
33. Keep a daily schedule.
Even if only to be able to prove in a dispute with your employer what you did all day, you should keep a diary.
List there the exact hours from when to when you worked and what you did.
And if had a slack, you can look it up just as productive you already have been. That builds you up.
34. Be grateful.
Always remind yourself that it’s an asset, to be able to work from home (if that was really your wish) – and not to slave away in a cramped work honeycomb.
Gratitude increases motivation. But it also protects you from boasting to disgruntled colleagues.
35. Stop when you are finished.
This means: Stick to your finishing hour when you have finished your day’s work. And be consequent with if: Switch off your computer, clean your desk and call it a day.
And don’t start working later just because don’t have anything to do.
36. Continue your education.
A great danger of the home office is that you don’t develop yourself further. At some point, you have found your routines, optimized all processes, made your performance more efficient and effective.
You master your work easily. And now? You stop learning because there are no colleagues who challenge you and you hardly know any projects in your company where you could be additionally involved.
Do not fall into this trap. Still, look for challenges. Read books, educate yourself, initiate new projects. No matter what. But you should not be satisfied with the status quo.
37. Go outside once a day.
Like in the morning to get rolls or cake for the afternoon or to go jogging with a running partner. It doesn’t matter if you do that after lunch or after the official end of the day – take a walk outside at least once a day, walk around the block, meet neighbors, have a little chat with the bakery saleswoman or go for lunch with business partners on a regular basis.
The main thing is that you get out, get fresh air and meet people.
38. Move to a joint office.
Who says a home office has to actually be at home?! Especially office communities have the advantage that you can share some of the equipment and thus save costs. You also can represent each other or maybe even provide a common secretary. But most of all, you can have a chat in between with colleagues at a while holding a cup of coffee.
39. Move your office to a coffee shop.
Mix business with pleasure: Buy a laptop with W-LAN and move your office into the café for a few hours in the afternoon. Many coffee house chains already offer hotspots and thus free Internet access.
With Latte Macchiato it is not only more pleasant to work, you might also meet interesting people there.
And if you prefer a quiet environment, you also can move into the university library.
40. Always take enough business cards with you.
Firstly, because experience shows that they go out faster than you think, and secondly because you almost always meet new people. And too bad when the cards run out.
Important here: Never hand out business cards like playing cards, but with due self-respect. Only in this way will you be held in high esteem.
41. Stay in contact with your colleagues.
In your own interest, you should keep in touch with the flow of information and the radio (!) within the company. In this way, you will be informed of serious restructuring measures in time, and will also hear about any top jobs advertised.
In addition, you should remain visible to you superior and thus actively fight against the prejudice that you are simply enjoying yourself at home while everyone else is working hard.
Therefore, arrange a fixed lunch with a colleague or your boss at least once a week and also take part in important meetings at the office.
And of course, don’t boast how well they are doing at home. That stirs only envy!
42. Read this blog regularly.
In this article, you not only find useful tips for working in your home office but also suggestions that can have a positive impact on your work in general.
Share this information with others as well.
Take real breaks
43. Change the location.
Consciously stay away from your workplace and consciously take your lunch or a snack in a place where you normally do not work.
44. Establish rituals.
New homeworkers often find it difficult to resist the urge to look immediately after each notification and to be constantly available. If you recognize that you are the same set up a clear daily plan with fixed break times and make it a habit to take it piece by piece.
Once this rhythm is more ingrained, breaks are no longer a real problem.
45. Switch off.
If your problem is based on too many distractions and disturbances, only consistent isolation may help. In this case, you should cut all communication channels and take your break in peace.
If you check your mailbox afterward, you will miss no important phone call and very few projects are so time-critical that an hour lunch break makes a real difference.
46. Schedule your break times.
Another way to force yourself to take a break: Test official break times and communicate them clearly to customers and colleagues. In this way, you will remain largely undisturbed during these times and can really relax.
47. Take a power nap.
A short nap – the modern version is called Powernap – can help you regenerate and recover. The advantage: you really recover and don’t let yourself be disturbed by e-mails and the like. A real break.
48. Exercise daily
Of course, you can use your daily break for regular sports. That doesn’t have to be an extensive sports program. Often a 15-minute break to get outside will reenergize yourself.
49. Allow yourself reading time.
If you choose to take quiet breaks without having to work, you will not benefit from them. But if you don’t like quite breaks, schedule time for reading during your breaks. You are guaranteed to keep to the breaks and automatically switch off any interruptions.
But set a timer so that you can also see the end of their break.
50. Listen to music
Do you want to be busy during your breaks, but not read or deal with other topics? Then enjoy your favorite music or use the time to discover new artists and albums.
This is a great way for you to switch off and take real breaks.