Whether you’re lucky enough to be able to work at home full time, or you just need a workspace to be able to use a few hours a week, you need a dedicated small space in which you actually want to spend time and maximize productivity during work hours. This is especially if you spend a lot of time in this space. Whether you will be working alone or it is a coworking space, you want your “office” the first thing on your to-do list is to be somewhere comfortable, free of distraction and will provide you with everything you need to get the job done. So, now that you’ve established that you want this idyllic workspace, how do you go about getting started? I certainly wouldn’t have known how without doing a little research, as this is something that I definitely struggle with myself. Let me take you through my thought process of establishing a workspace as a writer and how I would go about making it ideal for my personal needs.
What Am I Using This Space For?
Okay, so we’ve established I’m using my at-home office to write. Check. Am I going to be using my home office for anything else? Well, I am not a work-hungry typing machine that does not need to take breaks, so I will also be using it for the occasional social media browsing, research, checking emails, and potentially listening to music. I will also be using the office space to take physical notes on a notepad; therefore, I need some space to be able to spread out.
What Tools Do I Need in This Space?
So, now that I’ve established what I need the space for, I need to think about what tools I need to be able to execute this—without thinking about any extras. I most definitely need a desktop computer or a laptop. I also need a desk or a table to put it on, a chair, and a section of my home in order to put it. I also need notepads, pencils/pens, and sticky notes.
Where Can I Fit This Workspace into My Home?
After establishing what you’ll need, you’re going to get a better idea of how much room you’ll need. So, you’re going to need to think about what space you have in your home for this. Of course, you can most definitely set up your workspace at your kitchen table if you are tight for space, but we’re looking for a more permanent at home work space set up. Let’s see. I have some room just off of my dining room, where I can fit a decent sized desk and block it off with a room divider to make it feel a little more private and secure. Distractions will be minimal in this area. I think I’ll use that.
How Can I Make This Workspace a Place Where I Want to Be?
No matter what it is you’re using your workspace for, sitting at an office desk for potentially hours on end is not going to be the most ideal way to spend your day. Therefore, you need to think of ways to make it more visually and physically appealing. This may or may not sound silly to you, but it will make an absolute world of difference. Your workspace needs to be somewhere that you would choose to spend your time, rather than just staring at a boring office with a blank wall, while sitting on a hard, uncomfortable chair. So, ask yourself this. What do I find visually appealing, which I could easily fit into my home work space, and use to make this space more comfortable? Remember the old work-life balance? Well, it is a little bit like that but home-office balance. While you do want to make your home work space more visually appealing, you do not want to fill your space with too many unnecessary objects in order to do so. Clutter can often be a factor in making us feel overwhelmed, which is exactly the opposite of how you want your workspace to feel—you want to feel motivated. I think I’ll put in a couple real little succulent plants that I can watch grow as I’m thinking of my next brilliant idea. (It helps to think positive, okay?) Maybe I’ll have a photo of my adorable pup in a picture frame and a stress toy to squeeze in my not so brilliant moments. However, that’s it. Along with clutter comes distractions and you want to minimize these as much as possible. Not surprisingly, working at home can be one of the most distracting places for you to work, especially if you have kids, pets, a partner who can’t find something…the list goes on!
How Much Money Should I Spend in Creating My Work Space?
The answer to this is as little as possible! You did not create a workspace where you potentially make your income, just to spend more money doing so. Use as much as you already have in your home or find little ways to spruce it up at places like Target, Walmart or Homesense. Thrift stores can always be a great way to find like-new or vintage objects that will add so much value to your workspace. I would even recommend getting your work desk from a thrift store. There’s so much potential for upcycling or even just rocking the beautiful vintage look that a thrifty item can give you.
How Can I Block Out Outside Distractions?
Ultimately, blocking out outside distractions is probably the ultimate key in even having an at home work space. So, how do you ultimately achieve this when home offers so many distractions? I have been known to actually leave home in order to get any work done and have ended up preferring the varied noises of busy coffee shops, where I’m balancing a coffee and a laptop on my lap. If you have other people in your home that are presenting a distraction to you, you need to establish some ground rules as best you can. When you are in your home work space, that is your time to work, and you are not to be distracted. While this may or may not actually work, have some relaxing instrumental music going in your workspace to set the mood, maybe put some soothing scents in your little oil diffuser, and get to work!
Hopefully, these tips have helped you to think about creating a home workspace for yourself and, most importantly, how to go about doing it. Setting up a space just for you in order to get your work done and slay your goals is important and necessary if you work at home. Get to it!