If you work from home, you know how difficult it is to maintain productivity. Your home is brimming with distractions, a routine is allusive, and your manager is miles away.
Since the 9-to-5 has slowly become 9-to-whenever-the-work-gets-done, your workplace clutter has probably begun to pile up. A Princeton study found that clutter drains the brain because the visual complexity keeps distracting the subconscious mind. Science has backed up the old adage that – ‘A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind’.
But help is at hand. Instead of working irregular hours in a distraction-filled home environment, you can have a better, more organized WFH routine – simply by tidying up.
Create A Dedicated Workspace
Having a place where your minds first though is to work will help you focus. It’s best not to make your workspace the kitchen, bedroom, or living room. Instead, have a separate space in your house where you can work uninterrupted. If other people in your home continually access your workspace, it may make it difficult for you to concentrate.
Being able to physically separate your personal and professional lives develops a better work-life balance.
Adopt the KonMari Method
The KonMari method was developed by Marie Kondo. Her book—The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up—has spent years on the New York Times Bestseller list. Many successful individuals rave about the KonMari method, from actress Jennifer Garner to political commentator Stephen Colbert. In fact, her method got so famous that Netflix developed an acclaimed show based on it: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
In Kondo’s words, the concept is to sort items by category and then touch them. If something doesn’t “spark joy” you should thank it for being in your life and then donate or discard of it.
In essence, you get rid of the clutter by leaving behind items with no utility or sentimentality attached to them to make your remote working space less distracting.
Here are some ways to stay on top of your clutter:
- Clear your desk when the workday is over.
- Fully shut down your work computer (yes, those thousands of tabs count as clutter).
- Use the method once a week to declutter your entire workspace of everything you don’t need.
Develop A ‘Start Work’ Routine.
It’s easy to get into a working mindset when you enter an office because there are so many signals that you are ‘in’ work. The smell of coffee, your morning commute, workplace chatter, all of these are part of your routine- they trigger your brain to get to work.
Creating a work from home routine can trigger you to get working. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate process. Marie Kondo’s morning routine comprises of striking a tuning fork and diffusing an essential oil.
Here are some simple signals you can use:
- Drinking coffee, tea, or green tea.
- Dressing up in work clothes before sitting at your desk.
- Set an alarm on your phone to be at your desk.
- Say a pray or recite an affirmation – ‘Today is going to be a good day’.
Similarly, you can also employ an evening process that signals the end of the workday. Like, putting on music in the evening after your work is complete.
Working from home has its unique challenges. But you’ll be more productive once you declutter your workspace and create trigger to work.