Regardless of whether you’re running your own business or working from home as an employee, you need a calm workspace to be productive. In the short term, a pair of noise-canceling headphones may get you through. If, however, you’re going to be home-working over the long haul, then you should be prepared to invest in calmness.
Consider an external home office
An external home office is an investment but having one built is a lot less daunting (and expensive) than building your own home. If you have sufficient garden space then it certainly worth getting an estimate from reputable builders. Even if you decide that it’s not for you right now, it might be something you could look at later.
The advantages of an external home office all hinge on the fact that it maximizes the separation between your work life and your home life. This is particularly useful if you have children and/or want to meet business contacts at home.
Purge and organize
If you’re struggling to keep physical items in order, then you need to review both what you’re keeping and where you’re keeping it. For many people these days, however, the issue isn’t so much physical storage, it’s building up digital clutter. It can be very tempting to hold on to files, particularly messages, “just in case”. Then they build up and up until you’re overwhelmed.
If this sounds familiar then consider picking a cut-off date and moving all files created before that date into their own storage. Keep that storage for six months or so. If anything comes up and you need to find an old file, you know, at least roughly, where it should be. After six months or so, you can delete it, but you don’t have to. Keep it if it helps you feel calmer.
Think about light and sound
You need enough light to see clearly (no matter what’s going on outside) but you need to avoid glare, particularly on or from your screen. This is bad for your eyes, can trigger headaches, and generally disrupt your mental calm.
Some people find that a bit of background noise helps them to feel calm. This is easy enough to achieve. In fact, now there are all kinds of ambient noise recordings. Excess noise can, however, be very disruptive. If it’s something temporary (like roadworks), then you can pop on a pair of noise-canceling headphones. These are, however, just a short-term workaround.
If you have continual issues with noise, then you either need to stop it at the source or improve your soundproofing. Often the latter is easier. If the noise is really bad, then you may want to invest in soundproof panels. If it’s just a low-level irritation, any thick fabric should do a decent job of muffling it. For example, hang an attractive but affordable rug on your wall.
Decorate for calm
If you find your head is constantly buzzing and you can’t settle, then check out your office decor. Maybe you’re overdoing the colors and motivational quotes? Try decorating your office space in calming colors. You might want to add some plants (even faux) and bring in some scents, like candles. By all means, keep some motivational quotes in sight, just keep them in moderation.