Initially, I was going to write about making your office as stress-free as possible. However, given the world we live in today, I have changed that to HOME office; because there are huge differences in the working situation between a dedicated office that you have to leave the house to get to and working from your home.
Let’s be clear… the word ‘stress-free…’ it’s non-existent. No matter what you do professionally, whether you are the CEO or CFO of a company or an entrepreneur or a schoolteacher, you will have stress. It’s the very nature of working. Especially in the current world we live in… And I shall not mention the “C-19” wordJ
But what is possible is to organise your home office in such a way that it works to minimise ‘functional’ stresses. As an Executive Virtual Assistant, I have worked with several clients whose office and the lack of planning in its organisation have added to completely unnecessary stresses; taking away from the focus on the actual job.
I thought I’d share some must do’s that will help alleviate some of these needless irritations in your home office space.
1. Separate the space
Keep your office in a separate space within your home… give it a dedicated space, so that each morning when you enter that space you know why you are there. Not to make breakfast, not to watch TV and not to work on a puzzle. There is no confusion or overlap of boundaries. When you enter ‘that’ space, it is for one purpose and one purpose only; to get on with your job.
Of course, some of us don’t have large homes where we can ‘designate’ a space just for work. In that case, try and assign a part of a room and put in a ‘work only’ desk and chair. The point is that when you are in that space or on that desk you are ‘at work.’ Not only will this help with your focus, but it will send a signal to others in your home that when you are in your ‘space,’ you are not to be disturbed… (unless there is a real emergency of course).
2. Working hours and routine
Just like if you were actually going into your office, set yourself specific work hours and make sure everyone at home knows them. If you’re usually at your desk by 8:30am, be at your ‘home’ desk by that time too. Remember, you don’t have a commute so that will save you time. You might wonder why this is important; because it conditions your mind to be in a zone during those hours. If you don’t have fixed hours, trust me, you will not get much work done because your mind will not be focussed.
Also, create a daily routine. It might be different from when you did go into your office. A routine creates a sense of order which is definitely a way of reducing chaos and stress. For example, a run before starting work may clear your head and get it ready for the tasks at hand or a walk after your workday might be relaxing and gear you up for the next day.
3. Organise your mess
We all work in different ways. Some of us need a space that is clutter-free and tidy to be able to think clearly. If that’s the case, make sure you get rid of unnecessary paperwork regularly. Also, cull the clutter on your computers. Organise your emails and files in categories and folders so that you know what is where. I have had clients go into a complete frenzy because they are unable to find old emails or documents.
There are some of us who work better in chaos and mess… that’s fine too. As long as the mess makes sense to you. If your personal filing system defies convention, who is anyone else to judge. Just make sure it makes sense to you… and to your EVA if you’ve appointed one.
This list can go on… but I thought that my top 3 would be a good start.
So how can we help? We provide a highly flexible but comprehensive Executive Virtual Assistant service with the singular aim of making your professional life easier. So think about getting in touch to see how we can help make your ‘new’ work situation as stress-free as possible. We offer a flexible, reliable and responsive service at a very competitive price.
If you’d like to know what an EVA really does, have a read of one of our blogs – What does an Executive Assistant do?