These days, a lot of people are working from home at least part of the time. Here are some tips to help you stay focused, productive, and healthy when working from your home office.
1. Create an uncluttered workspace.
We’ve all heard the term “Less is More,” and taking a minimalist approach to your desk and work area is a proven way to stay organized and de-stressed. Having too many papers, folders, or reminders around your desk can be a distraction. In Inc’s “7 Tips to de-clutter your desk” article, expert Tracy McCubbin suggest removing all unnecessary post-it notes and reminders and keeping only what you need to see to get your work done.
Not only will this enable you to stay focused on the immediate work at hand, it is a proven way to reduce stress. When you’ve put all unnecessary items away to keep your space free of clutter, it’s easier to find what you need, when you need it.
2. Set up your workspace with good ergonomics.
If you work in front of a computer a lot, it’s important to position your back, legs, arms, and even your eyes are ergonomically correct to ensure comfort and limited neck, shoulder, and back strain throughout the day. Sit-to-stand desks are becoming more common because they allow a seamless transition from working in a sitting position to a standing pose. These desks encourage you to vary your posture throughout the day, which has many health benefits, including burning a few extra calories.
Your desk should be 28 to 30 inches from the floor when you are seated, and hour knees and elbows should be bent at 90-degree angles. Choose a monitor that is adjustable for height. Ensure your line of site when looking straight ahead at the monitor is right in the center of the monitor. It’s common for people’s line of sit to be looking down at the monitor, which causes neck strain as the day progresses. Also, studies show that the best seated posture is a reclined posture of 100-110 degrees not the upright 90-degree posture that is often portrayed.
3. Take short breaks every hour.
Health experts suggest that you should take a break every hour to stretch, move around, and blink. Not only does this keep you healthier in the long run, but it also helps you maintain better focus on your work throughout the day. One great tip is to schedule meetings and calls for no longer than 55 minutes. That will afford you to have 5 minutes in between meetings to stretch, walk, drink water, etc.
4. Schedule specific times for emails.
Check your emails during specific times in the morning, mid-day and afternoon. This enables you to focus on completing specific tasks without email interruptions increases your productivity.
5. Put your iPads / tablets in airplane mode.
Getting distracted by your news feed or personal emails? Either put your tablet in airplane mode or put it in a different room. You can check it during a break or after work to catch up on personal emails or news.
6. Stay hydrated.
When you are in an office it might be easy to remember to walk to the water cooler to refill your glass. But at home, you might grab a cup of coffee in the morning, walk to your office and shut the door, and forget about the water until lunch time. Since we are composed of 60% water and should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to stay healthy, be sure to place water on your desk before you begin your work morning.
You can keep a large pitcher of water next to your glass, and you could also get a time-lined water bottle that reminds you how much water to drink every hour. That’s a great way to stay hydrated while also staying focused on your work.