Jun 24 2012

How to Organize Your Home Office to Increase Efficiency

One of the first rules when it comes to organizing your work space to increase productivity is to make the space as inviting and multipurpose as possible. A person will naturally work better in a pleasant environment and can be more productive if they have everything they need right at their fingertips.

All the elements of your work area should be fully functional, and if possible, they should be able to do double duty. For example, instead of having a printer, scanner and fax machine, consider getting the Hewlett Packard 3050A Wireless All-in-One Color Photo Printer, which does all three jobs as one, and even acts as a digital photo printer. If the printer is wireless, that can give you even more flexibility when it comes to organizing your home office.

If you still sit down with a pen and checkbook to pay a lot of bills, consider banking online and using personal finance software and checks that will go in the printer in order to pay all of your bills. Also think about having stamps, envelopes and return address labels organized in a small mailing station for you or your assistant (such as your spouse or the kids!) to be able to mail out your correspondence regularly.

The secret to an organized home is to put like with like and put the item you are using back in the same place when you are finished with it. You may not be able to get everyone in your house to cooperate, but at least assigning the spot can help it make its way back there in the end.

You should have more than one of any office essentials, one for your home office, and one for the rest of the house. Do not let them leave the room. If need be, label them OFFICE ONLY so that you can help remind people that you need to work and therefore need to have all of your important tools at your disposal.

It can be difficult to balance the needs of working at home with living in the home, especially if you are working as a freelancer, but a little organization can go a long way to encouraging you to procrastinate less and work more. A clutter-free environment with everything at your fingertips can help you become far more productive, and enjoy your work more as a result.

FURTHER READING:

How to Create an Organized and Productive Home Office

How to Start Working as a Successful Freelancer

How to Work Smarter, Not Harder: 101 Strategies to Make the Most of Your Working Hours and Become More Efficient and Productive

Green Business Guidelines: How to Green Your Business  to Make it More Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

Dec 11 2009

Investing In Yourself Always Pays Off

Karyn Martin was
cautious about launching her freelance career online, but she soon
got results:

"I remember the days when I dreamed of being a freelancer," she says.
"The word seemed magical to me somehow. Romantic, almost. Now, after
having actually been a freelancer for a while, the scales have been
lifted from my eyes and I have seen the light. You pay for being able
to manipulate your time. You pay by working more, working harder, and
– hopefully – working smarter. But what you get in return is
priceless. Now I can call the shots about when I work, for whom I
work, and how much I make."

One day, Karyn decided she was no longer willing to commute in
smog-laden traffic to sit in a cubicle for eight hours, come home,
eat, sleep, wake up, and then do it all over again. Going through the
same routine, day after day, week after week , only to wake up one day
old and tired – wondering how life might have been if she’d had the
guts to go it alone.

So she decided to become a freelancer – but how would she find work? She
had spent endless hours surfing the ‘net, signing up with one
freelance site after another. Yet there was an incredible amount of
competition. She never seemed to win any bids, and was adamant about
not lowering her hourly rate. 

"Then I discovered Go Freelance," she says. "I had heard
"don’t pay to work!" repeatedly, and I was too poor to risk getting
scammed, but I took a chance one day when I was flush and sent twenty
bucks to gain access to the Go Freelance Professional
Edition.

"Since then, I’ve edited a sales letter, a follow-up letter, an
11-page Web site, and a brochure. I’m ‘on call’ to do pinch-hit
proofreading for a medical newsletter editor in Florida while he’s on
vacation, sick, etc. And I’ve landed a gig editing a new Canadian
magazine coming out this fall. All this from taking a $20 chance on
Go Freelance."

Of course, it helped to send prospects a few previous work samples
she’d had the presence of mind to scan and save on disk. Also, since
she has been ‘in the business’ for more than five years, she has a
fairly good résumé with some experience to back up the claims, along
with a strong list of references.

"For every one of you out there feeling a little discouraged, and
especially for those of you on the verge of throwing in the towel, I’m
here to tell you this. There may not be a Santa Claus, but there is a
place to find work without paying some ridiculous "transaction fee" or
never knowing whether or not the projects are ‘fresh’ – and even the
name is easy to remember – Go Freelance."

Be the next work-at-home success story. Click here to get instant access to hundreds of freelance jobs.