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7 Secrets of setting up a home office (Part 2)

Want more of Kerri Rodley's great tips on creating your dream office?  Don't miss her 'Creating Your Dream Life' workshop this Saturday afternoon!

Secret 4 - Scheduling

Time management and scheduling is a big component of how well your home office fits into your home and lifestyle. You can’t be stopping projects to put a load of washing on the line no matter how much the laundry is piling up. If you we back in the corporate world in a high rise, the washing would still be waiting for you after hours and that is the attitude you must have.

The same applies for those drop in visitors – just because you work from home does not mean you are available for coffee and a chat at any time of day. On the other hand, make sure you schedule time for breaks every hour or so; set a timer if you have to. When you don’t have office co-workers to meet with or to discuss issues, you can find yourself sitting in the same position sitting at your desk staring at the screen with the hours flying by.

Keep the fluids up, do eye exercises or sit outside in the sun for a few minutes (but don’t put that washing out!) And most important of all – make a prioritised task list every day and do those urgent and important jobs first; the ones that will be bringing in the $ (not the quick and easy jobs that can wait until later).

Secret 5 – Storage

From filing cabinets of paperwork & bills to garages filled with product & packaging supplies, storage of business paraphernalia is a huge factor to deal with in your home. You don’t want your work taking over your families personal space and you don’t want items such as toys or washing in your work space if you  have clients in for a meeting (plus the visual clutter is distracting).

Unless you have an office with a door that can be shut at the end of the day keeping work and home lives separate, you need to have defined  spaces where “never the twain shall meet”. Set ground rules for yourself and family members so things are either put away (if you are using the dining room table for example) or can be covered up (a filing cabinet in a family space).

And stick to them, otherwise you become complacent and before you know it your time and space for work and home become intertwined and you won’t be comfortable or focused in either space.

Secret 6 – Simplicity

You don’t know how long you are going to be working from a home office, your business may grow rapidly and you need to hire extra employees, your storage area for supplies may double overnight, or  God forbid you may need to go back to working for someone else until things pick up.

The point is don’t be spending the big bucks on setting up the home office when the money can be better spent in building your business – on your website, your marketing, distribution channels etc.

A large table is as good a desk as a purpose built one as long as it suits your style (see secret 2). Make sure the chair is comfortable and supportive but that doesn’t mean spending $500.

Always shop at discount stores first for supplies rather than the big name brands – be a spend thrift and your business dollars will go further.

Secret 7 – Serenity now!
To make your work space inviting and serene, you need to add touches such as a family photo, flowers, music or other items you enjoy. I actually have a water fountain next to my desk on the floor that provides not only a lovely sound, but I add lavender oil to the water to create a calming aroma too. Great for Feng Shui.

Hint: don’t overdo it! You don’t want to add unnecessary clutter through personal items, just a few things that give you pleasure and keep you grounded and balanced.

For more ideas and tips on decluttering, organising and setting up your small business, visit Kerri's Domestic Downsizing decluttering blog or follow her on Twitter.

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