Many of us who work from home – especially those who are just starting out – face the challenge of working without an office space.
Though working at your kitchen table does create – *ahem* – “bonding” moments with your family, it’s often less than ideal!
Since I’m currently working from my kitchen table, I can give you a few tips that I’ve learned so far. These help me to actually get some things done, while preserving some of my sanity in the meantime.
Tip #1: Organize your work supplies.
Are you taking a course? Put your paperwork in a binder.
Put your pens in a jar or holder.
Get a calendar and put relevant details on it.
Pare down the amount of “things” you need for your daily work.
Depending on your business’s niche, ideally, you should have a binder, calendar, notebook, pens or pencils, laptop and charger, (and coffee of course!)
Or your work supplies may be a sewing machine, scissors, thread and a box of fabric.
Whatever your supplies are, pare them down, and get them organized.
Tip #2: Create a space to keep your work “stuff.”
Find a shelf, a cabinet, or something similar where you can keep your work supplies. Ideally, this should be near the place that you work.
Do you typically work at the kitchen table? Clear out a kitchen cabinet for your work supplies. Do you set up in the living room? Clear off a bookshelf to use.
Whatever your niche is, the “stuff” needs a place to be.
A word of advice: guard this storage space from clutter! It should not be a shelf of every single office supply you own or could possibly need. It’s simply a shelf of what you need to quickly pull down to work for that day.
Tip #3: Find a regular work time.
This can be difficult if your work space is the dining room table! But all the more reason to have a regular time and routine set up.
You may find that early morning hours work best for you, before the rest of the family is up.
If evening hours are best, you could agree with your spouse which evenings are “work nights,” and schedule your work time accordingly.
Have a family conversation about what work you are doing, why it’s important to you, and when you will be working in the house.
I have found that if the whole family understands the plan and is on board, it makes all the difference in the world!
Tip #4: Have a plan for your work time before you begin.
If you are working right in the middle of the house, chances are that your work time may be at a minimum! Have a plan before you even sit down to work so that you can make the most of those precious minutes.
Know exactly what project you are going to work on; which blog post you will write; which craft you will sew. Be prepared to sit down and get going.
You may even consider making a checklist of what you plan to accomplish beforehand.
Tip #5: Get away now and then!
When you work at your kitchen table, there’s nothing better that a couple of hours working at the coffee shop!
The best news is that you will likely find that you are extremely productive in another environment – because you have trained yourself to be!
Do you work without an office space? What tips would you add to the list?