It’s a blessing and a curse to work from home: a blessing because it means you’re capable and trustworthy enough to stay employed without having to go into the office every day; a curse, on the other hand, because you almost have to produce higher-quality work than your office mates if you want to keep it going.
That second part is only possible if you can work long hours in your home itself. Coffee shops are fun, and working in them a great way to get some fresh air, but things like unreliable wi-fi, cramped working spaces, and random distractions conspire against working in them exclusively. Also, there will be nights when you’ve got to finish up long past closing time, and mornings when you need to get going well before one’s open.
Your home is where you have to work, then. Get used to it, and it’s an awesome way to take care of business. One thing, though: it’s much easier to work at a clean desk.
That might sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at what you’ll allow yourself to get away with when you don’t need to put on airs for a boss or co-workers. And also, don’t forget that no night janitors come around after you leave to tidy up. In a home office, things get messy, quick.
The room itself is one thing, but a messy desk? That’s just self-defeating. How are you supposed to produce if you’re main working surface is cluttered, disheveled, and disorganized?
Keep a clean desk, and you’ll notice a marked difference in the amount of work you get done, and the way you feel about doing it. Here are a few simple ways to stay on top of the task without making it a huge deal:
- If you eat at your desk, put away your dishes and clean up any crumbs immediately upon finishing
- Keep a wastebasket handy, and THROW STUFF OUT
- Invest in a filing cabinet, shelving unit, or drawer cart and keep it beside your desk for important papers, records, and rough drafts
- Dry-erase boards are your friends; so are pushpin cork boards
If you landed a work from home gig, congratulations! You’re going to love the freedom it provides from the stresses of a traditional office job. Keep your desk clean and the sky’s the limit when it comes to getting things done.
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