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How to Have a Functional Home Office and Keep the Costs Down and Work Ethic Up!
Working online is a fantastic way to not only be self-employed and achieve financial independence but also to enjoy the freedom of being able to work from wherever you want! And, to set your own hours and to pursue something that interests you as your career.
As a work from home entrepreneur, also homeschooling my children for the past twenty years or so, I get it – this isn’t easy! However, if you can embrace work online, you’ll likely find that you naturally improve almost every aspect of your lifestyle.
And what you might not also have realized is the sheer amount of money saved when you work from home. Think about it: you no longer have to pay to commute to work, which might mean saving hundreds a month on rail transport, or perhaps a similar amount on parking.
You’ll also spend less money on eating out, and you’ll get extra hours or more of your day to yourself because you won’t have to travel… it’s glorious – albeit stressful.
But while there are lots of benefits to working on the web and having a home office, it’s also important to consider that there can be some downsides too.
This was a unique and unusual lifestyle prior to the quarantine and when compared to what most of us are used to, it’s actually very different to adapt to for many people in the early stages. So let’s look at how you go about working out of a home office while keeping costs down.
Create a Functional Home Office Space Cheap
The problem that many people are dealing with is that their home office is not really a home office. At least that is to say that they don’t treat it like a genuine home office. Rather than creating this space out with professional-grade furniture and technology, many people will simply find their space is the dining table.
Since so many have been thrown into this lifestyle overnight, they’ll be working out of a home study, corner of the living room, or the like. This might be a lovely space, but it is not going to be as conducive to work as a real home office.
Unfortunately, though, many people just don’t want to stock out their home office because it can feel like a waste of money. If you are working from home during the quarantine, saving yourself cash, rather than spending money to add furniture can seem a little counter-intuitive. A solution is to invest in second-hand furniture, or refurbished furniture. This way, you can stock out your office to make it functional without breaking the bank!
Supplies for Your Functional Home Office
You might find you also need several different supplies for your home office – things like paper and pens, for instance. The trick here is once again to treat your office like a real office and to buy in bulk.
That means a bigger upfront expense, but the result is that you’ll never run out of the things you need, and you’ll be able to make significant savings. You can even try buying from wholesalers and manufacturers using sites like Alibaba!
Write Off Your Functional Home Office Expenses?
Finally, remember that you may be able to write off your bills as an expense. That means things like electricity, internet, and more. You can also often find deals for businesses. Of course, check with your CPA.
How to Break Your Workflow Up and Make it More Manageable
One of the challenges when working from home is learning to be fully responsible for your own workload. Juggling multiple tasks is much harder when there is no boss leaning over your shoulder. So how do you stay on-task and make sure everything gets done? Here are some powerful tips.
Eat the Frog Makes Your Functional Home Office Space Successful
One crucial tip from Mark Twain is to always tackle the most significant and most difficult task first. This means that you’re going to tick the biggest item on your to-do list off first, which in turn means that you’ll have started the day by being hugely productive.
That also means that if you run out of time, then the hardest job (and usually the most important, therefore) will be done. AND it means that you can tackle this job while you are fresh and before you get tired by the end of the day.
Big tasks are better behind you than in front of you!
Leave your home office space – ready to deal with the frog, first thing in the morning!
The One Minute Rule When Working from Your Home Office Space
The one minute rule dictates that any job that will take less than one minute (shooting off a quick email, fixing a broken link on a website) should be completed right away. This is such a minor interruption to your day as to not hurt your workflow. BUT by completing it now, it will be one less thing that you have to do.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t switch tasks, however. If you are deep in work, then turn off notifications and deal with the one-minute tasks when you finish.
Grunt Work Tasks You Can Leave Your Functional Home Office For
Finally, there is one other category of working I would like to address: the grunt work.
So what is a grunt task?
Essentially, this is any kind of task that doesn’t require you to be particularly focussed. For example, you might need to edit an image, or you might need to collect email addresses into a spreadsheet. These are jobs that you can do while doing something else.
These can be structured differently to allow for additional productivity or even some kind of downtime.
Writing, coding, or communicating for long stints is tiring and can get dull, so why not treat yourself to an episode of your favorite show while you do your web design?
Or better yet, listen to something on a podcast that you can then use to better inform your next piece of work.
Find the Very Best Productivity Apps for Working From Home
Working from home introduces several challenges when it comes to being productive and getting work done. Apart from the issues relating to remote collaboration, you also have the problems of staying on task (avoiding distractions), preventing data leaks, and accessing the powerful tools, you would typically use in an office.
All in all, working from home can be a wonderful blessing. Some adjustments to create a functional home office and you’ll be thriving in no time!
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