One of the best ways to get your work life humming is to get your home office area in shape. When you set the tone
Before and After

One of the best ways to get your work life humming is to get your home office area in shape. When you set the tone with a well organized, focused and efficient working environment— free-of-clutter and distractions— you set the tone for success, deep personal fulfillment and the feeling that you are, indeed, the captain of your destiny.

Following is a tried-and-true formula for a home office makeover (as well as a few suggestions for work-at-home protocol) that can make a big difference in how you work:

1. Get rid of the clutter. Ruthlessly. That includes the magazines you’ll never read; the bills you’ve long since paid; the scraps of paper; note pads; business cards; books that are not relevant to your business; odd knick knacks, index card box (that you’ve never opened)— and how about those post-it notes that have long since stopped catching your attention. Consider moving those sentimental items— the photos, the statues, the stuffed animal you got for Valentine’s Day, to the living room or another place. Your goal is to make space for what is needed and keep space open so you can focus and flow. Be crystal clear: Your office space is about making your work life productive and rewarding. According to the ancient Chinese system of feng shui, a cluttered environment clogs the flow of energy— translating to many factors in your life including prosperity and abundance.

2. What a difference smart shelving can make. Shelves can be one of the best ways to take your office from feeling cluttered to organized in one fell swoop. Once you’ve ruthlessly thrown out unnecessary items, look at what’s left and see how it can work on your shelves. This will free up floor space and desk space and can add an appealing dimension to your office if done with style.

3. More on walls… A great tactic to stay organized and focused is to also utilize wall space with whiteboards, bulletins and a calendar. Keep such items in prominent view as a reminder of your appointments, goals and  “must dos.” Feature your “daily goals” list front and center.

4. Use a proper filing cabinet with an efficient filing system. Creating the feeling of efficiency and effectiveness in everything you do builds the momentum for success. Keep all of your files in a filing cabinet except for the ones you need that day. Consider color-coding your files for easy reference, for example: green for financial, red for personal, blue for medical, orange for home, etc.

5. Light check. Are you happy with the lighting in your office? Is there enough light? Do you like the quality of light provided? Does it feel comfortable and pleasant? Nowadays you can create almost any kind of “lightscape” necessary. A desk lamp allows you to focus on your paperwork, and a floor lamp nearby (with three settings) is great for overall light. You may also appreciate natural light and may want to consider moving your desk near a window. When it comes to proper lighting, you never want to strain and always want to feel comfortable. You also want to make it easy and efficient to turn on and off your lighting, so look for the wireless devices that allow you to do so from one remote or your phone. When you pay attention to such small details, you improve the efficiency in all aspects of your work.

6. Sound check. Noise is not only distracting and unprofessional to clients when you’re on the phone or conducting a computer-based meeting, but it makes it more challenging to focus. If the noise is coming from family members or your dog, you may also feel curious to find out what’s happening. Keep doors closed, boundaries clear, and if you live in a particularly noisy area, consider soundproofing your office with curtains, door sweeps, and materials on the walls that absorb noise. You may even want to consider double-paned windows. There is a plethora of resources on the Internet for tips and advice.

7. Ergonomics. Is your office chair comfortable with proper back support? What about the placement and height of your computer screen? Details like these make work more of a pleasure than a pain and can also help you prevent health problems from occurring down the road.

In addition to getting more work done, these home office makeover suggestions will also help you FEEL better about showing up at your desk every day, providing you with a deeper sense of work-life well-being. 

Click here to find out how you can win your very own home office makeover!

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