FOR some people, working from home might mean their own office or it might mean the kitchen table.
Regardless of where you work, it is important to consider several desktop strategies to make your day more productive:
1. The paperless desk
Remove all paperwork from your desk.
Establish files for your projects; reference folders for information you need to access regularly; a reading file for articles, reports, journals and FYI documents; and a daily file for administrative, miscellaneous and day-specific tasks.
Keep these on shelves or in drawers.
2. One thing at a time
The only thing on your desk at any point in time should be information relating to the task or project you are currently working on.
Before you move on to the next task or project, file your paperwork and ensure you only have items relating to the new task on your desk.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
Remove your in-tray from your desk or get rid of it all together if you can!
Keep it out of sight so the contents don’t distract you and so that people at home don’t drop new items into it without you noticing.
4. Avoid distractions
Having an overflowing in-tray in front of you can make you feel guilty and tempt you to get distracted from the task at hand.
Educate the people in your home office to leave documents for you on your desk, where you will see them.
Then, either take action or file the documents as they arrive, rather than having them get lost in your in-tray.
5. A stationery drawer
Keep stationery in cupboards or drawers rather than on your desk. Get rid of all the clutter and keep your desk clear for essential items relating to the current piece of work you are doing.
6. Set up a comfort zone
Take the time to set up your computer, phone, chair and other vital tools properly. Make sure they are within easy reach and positioned for comfortable use.
7. Inspire yourself
Surround yourself with positive images that remind you of your goals and motivate you to continually strive for them.
These could be pictures of a holiday destination you want to visit, a photo of your family or a quote that inspires you.
8. Shut down
Take 10 minutes to clear your desk at the end of every day — wash your coffee cup, empty your water bottle, put away pens and note pads, file documents and lock away confidential information.
Leave your home office with a clear desk, so you will be ready to start each new day afresh.