Looking to improve your home office Productivity?

Research from a recent Harvard Business Review article suggests that people who work their same office schedule from home get more done per day. The employees’ explanation? The quiet environment helped their productivity. What’s more, working from home gives you the freedom to create the space you need to do the work you need to do. At home, you can control (at least most of) the features of your surroundings, while in an office, you’ve pretty much just got your desk to design. Here are some hacks to improve your home office productivity.

What puts you in a productive mood?

Spend some time on this, TINKER, and get it right! Here are some hacks that work for me:

  • Get Tunes Going.
    It’s been said that listening to music while working and studying gives you a boost in productivity, creativity and memory retention. If that doesn’t cause a distraction for you, create a specific playlists prepared for different kinds of work and concentration levels.
  • Keep a distraction around; it’s OK.
    When you take a break, doing something just for fun can help you refresh. But remember: keep them out of reach and out of sight while you work, because you may end up spending more time distracted and playing than actually working. Examine your home office from time to time to see how much of your work-space has been infested with distractions.
  • Take Meaningful Breaks.
    When it’s time to take a break, most of us default to clicking over to Facebook for a while. But for a more productive way to recharge your batteries, try reading relevant articles to give you some inspiration, learning about new innovations in your field, or even taking a walk around your block. The Cutting Cafe blogger Regina Easter works in paper crafts and designs, so when she hits an unproductive slump, she’ll spend some time on Pinterest, getting some inspiration and motivation to keep working. Just time your breaks.
  • Get a plant.
    Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they convert the gases you create throughout the day (yeah, had to be said) into the much more pleasant oxygen variety. Some real flowers even smell great…or spray the pot with essential oils.
  • Lighting and color.
    Yup, that stuff your graphic designer friends like to rabbit on about all day. The color of walls in a room can influence your mood and some even cause more stress and arguments in a relationship (yellow being one…Yikes). Lighting is one of the most important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired to create, yet it’s one of the most overlooked and least invested in. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. Dark spaces can actually produce depression. Find a color that puts you in a relaxed, productive mood and paint it. If you don’t have the view from the image above that we found on RightRoots, don’t fret. Get a beautiful picture of a seascape that inspires you.
  • De-clutter.
    Even if you are anti-minimalist, you should de-clutter. Clutter signals the brain that there is a pending task (and it’s not earning money). You can still keep plenty of stuff around – we’re defining clutter here as distracting material, including mess. Nothing is worse for your mental state than living and operating in a mess. Anything you don’t use on a daily basis should be put away, and anything you don’t use should be thrown straight in the bin. That said, if you’re not averse to minimalism, then you should take de-cluttering to the extreme and keep only the bare essentials around you.
  • Get Ergonomic.
    This is seriously one of the best things I’ve done in my home office, and sometimes I don’t realize how fantastic ergonomic peripherals are until I’m without them. The best thing I’ve ever done for my office was spend on Ergonomic chair at Costco, and a keyboard and mouse that does not destroy my wrists.
  • Powerful Kitchen Allure.
    Try to reduce the number of times you walk into the kitchen each day. To do this, keep quick and easy snacks and water ready and near your desk. If you’re a coffee or tea fanatic, consider bringing the coffee maker or kettle into your office so you’re not tempted to wander around the house and lose time poking through the pantry.
  •  Digital Spaces.
    For most people, our primary work is housed within our laptops and our physical environment simply the backdrop to our digital lives. Make sure your computer has software that helps you sculpt the digital environment that best elicits productivity. Use focus apps like Focus Booster or Cold Turkey to decrease distractions. Or design your day using intervals with an online timer to keep you at your peak focus throughout the day.

Have any hacks to share with us on how to improve home office productivity? Share them with us here.