A Little Feng Shui With Your Morning Coffee
The details of Feng Shui have been clouded not only by translation, but from a series of irresponsible portrayals in the media. The basics, however, boil down to a Chinese belief that “positive energies” must exist in a room for you to be as happy, effective and creative as you possibly can. This basic goal is especially true for a home office environment that will become the basis for your new enterprise.
You’ve heard the real estate mantra of “location, location, location”, right? It holds true in the case of a workspace as well. The most important consideration for your home office is going to be where it resides in your living space. Focus on where you want your office to be; don’t set it up based on where it should be.
The dominant feature of your new workspace will be your computer and its resting place, your desk. When choosing a desk, the most effective configuration has been shown to be the L-shape. All of the tools you will require are within a swivel of your chair in this scenario. Organize your desk into separate “work centers”. Perhaps you will have an area dedicated to opening, filing, and sending new mail. Another might include the phone and a fax machine. A third could be function as a sketching area for rough designs of new sites.
Don’t neglect proper lighting when setting up your home office. Direct lighting, rather than relying on the room light, provides illumination to individual work areas. Small clip-on lights are inexpensive and effective, allowing you to focus light wherever its needed the most. Properly lit work areas reduce eye strain and allow you to work more effectively for longer periods, maximizing the investment of your time.
Personalizing a room can make it cozy while reducing the stress involved with working. From painting the walls in a color that pleases you to hanging your children’s artwork, making your workspace a center of personal enjoyment will influence you to spend more time there. Other ideas include family photos, a couple of desk toys, or a handful of knickknacks.
A comfortable chair can go a long way towards reducing stress and increasing effectiveness. Things to look for in a good desk chair include cushioning not only on the seat but also on the back, adjustable height at the very least, a ergonomic design, and a model with wheels on the bottom for maneuverability.
As we discussed in the previous article, maintaining a good filing system is extremely important. Make sure your filing cabinet, folders and other tools are easily accessible from your desk. The longer it takes (and the more effort it requires) to file a document or a piece of mail, the less likely you are to actually get it done. Make this a priority, and critical information will remain at your fingertips.
No, Really, I’m Actually Working!
Working from home doesn’t mean you aren’t working. You know that, but your family, neighbors, and friends might not. Resist the temptation to pick up a few groceries for your wife or meet the plumber at your neighbor’s door simply because you’re home during the day. The less distractions taking away from your work time, the more likely you will be to follow through on your goals and objectives.
Set clear “do not disturb” limits for those who share your household. If they wouldn’t call you at work for a certain issue, they shouldn’t knock on the door of the home office, either. Try setting up scheduled working hours. This will not only help to keep out distractions, but will involve your family in your success (“Gee, it’s 6pm. Shouldn’t you be working in the home office right now?”).
If necessary, make and hang a “Working: Do Not Disturb!” sign on your door. Setting clear boundaries and consistent schedules will keep you on task and working towards your goals. Other considerations include removing the television and other distractions from your workspace, or limiting your personal web browsing and email checking to off-hours.
I’m Working! But What Should I Be Working On?
Now that you have a work environment set up, it’s a good time to decide what you should focus your efforts on. In the next article, we will be discussing the pros and cons of several adult webmaster business models, allowing you a choice between the “tried and true” and the “bold and new.”
Stay tuned for more!