3 Steps to a Home Office

February 10th, 2018

Whether you’re working as a freelancer or plugging away at your side-hustle in the off hours, crafting a home office is an essential element of success. While working from home has a significant amount of perks (like a fully-stocked fridge), it also allows for more potential distractions (like a fully-stocked fridge). So follow these 3 simple steps to create an environment filled with focus, inspiration, and productivity.

1. Designate a Space

When creating your home office, the first step is designating a workspace. Whether it’s a transformed spare bedroom or a single desk in the living room, the important aspect is allocating an area that is exclusively your workstation. By doing this, you’ll gain an instinctual focus simply by being in this environment. Pay attention to what helps you feel most motivated when deciding on the space. Does facing a wall help focus your energy and allow for less distractions? Or do you operate better in an open setting, perhaps near a window overlooking the city? Take note of how your surroundings influence your productivity and find ways to incorporate those elements into your home office.

2. Check In With Your Senses

  • Sight: Lighting is key when crafting your workspace. When possible, take advantage of sunlight, which has a natural energizing effect. Solar shades or sheer curtains are perfect for this, as they allow sunlight into the room without risking any mid-afternoon glares.  When it comes to lighting design, choose both overhead fixtures and desk lamps so that you’re able to easily shift to accommodate different tasks. Likewise, opt for LEDs as they don’t omit as much heat and have a brighter glow that lends well to productivity.
  • Smell: Keep the air in your home office from becoming stale by utilizing a diffuser. Essential oils have been proven to boost mood and mental clarity through aromatherapy. Feel free to play around with different combinations to find what works best for you. If you’re not sure where to start, mix lavender and peppermint for a relaxed focus, or diffuse citrus scents for bright, energizing aroma to avoid that mid-afternoon slump.
  • Touch: Since you’ll be spending a significant amount of time in this workspace, it’s worth investing in your office furniture. Find a chair that allows for lumbar support, or utilize a standing station to avoid the health hazards associated with sitting for extended periods of time.
  • Sound: No matter where you live, the hustle and bustle of Manhattan has a way of creeping into your home. Particularly during rush hour. Consider investing in an ambient noise machine or high-quality sound system, to help drown out traffic.
  • Taste: Just as aromatherapy can aid focus through your sense of smell, taking advantage of your taste buds can also increase productivity. Mint helps to keep the mind alert, so why not add a jar of wintergreen lifesavers to your desk? Or keep the espresso machine in your home office for a quick caffeine pick-me-up.  

3. Inspire Yourself

The final step gets a bit more personal. To figure out how to organize your workspace, you’ll need to take a look at how you are motivated. Do you need clean spaces to keep the mental clutter at bay? Or are you most creative with a bit of organized chaos? Whatever works best for you, consider restoring your desk to that state at the end of each work session. That way you’ll have a fresh slate for the following morning. You may also want to include a bit of visual inspiration to the mix. Add a pop of color by painting an accent wall, or designate a space in your office as an ever evolving vision-board. As you find articles or images that inspire you, pin them above your desk. Not only will this motivate you to work towards these goals, it also influences your mind on a subconscious level. When you see it, you can achieve it!