Creating a useful work space

I have had the privilege of working with many different businesses to improve their organization. The #1 BIGGEST complaint I receive is space. Space to work, space to think and space to create. You don't need a large home to find space for your home business but you do need a plan.

Creating a useful work space will not happen overnight. I mean it could if you shut down production for a day, sent the kids to a babysitter and had the willpower to work for hours on end. It's not likely that you can give up that kind of time. That is why, I am breaking this lesson up in to 5 parts. We will tackle the biggest decisions first and add in the less crucial organizational pieces later.

Our mission here, today, is to learn what makes a great workspace work for you. Each lesson can be tailored to your personal and business needs. Let's get started!

Designate a space

You saw this coming, didn't you? That's right. No more sewing at the kitchen table from noon until midnight because you just can't finish a project without constant interruptions. Combining your work life and home life is the #1 productivity killer! Why?

  • Everyone needs you ALL THE TIME. Especially with small children or significant others!
  • Someone will likely lose or damage a project of yours. Think sticky PB&J fingers finding their way on to the half finished, crisp, white, dress you have been working on all day!
  • Mindset shift. We work better when our minds aren't multitasking. I know when I am home my mind is juggling all of the little tasks that need completed around the house. The temptation to leave my work and make just one more phone call is too much.

Let your brain know it is time to work by creating a great space for that work to happen. This space preferably needs a door. For those living in a home where this isn't an option, pick a corner of a room that is considered off limits to everyone but you. No snooping, touching or distractions when you are in this corner!

Once you have picked your space, clear it out. We want to start with a 100% clean slate. The only things standing will be your furniture of choice. Preferably a desk, book case and large organizer for those with lots of needed supplies.

Now that we have a great space for getting work done, let's fill it with useful organizers!

Business command center

Every business needs a command center to stay on top of everything a business requires. Your command center needs to be a reliable place to find whatever you need to keep your business running behind the scenes. Everything should have a place and be in its place for less frustration and reliability. My suggestions for a command center:

  • A bulletin/ dry erase board for tracking current leads and orders
  • A business planner for keeping appointments, documenting interactions and setting goals. You can also schedule things like renewals for different parts of your business.
  • A computer or laptop for online portions of a business.
  • A scanner for keeping important documents without creating paper clutter.
  • Computer files designated specifically to your business needs. Make them easy to find and back them up on a flash drive or hard drive.
  • An in/out box for taking care of business. A great place to put things that need logged in your business spreadsheets! As soon as your paperwork is completed, scan it, file it away or throw it away!!
  • A filing system. It can be a simple accordion file or a drawer with hanging folders.
  • A safe place for equipment such as photography equipment, card readers, etc. so you know exactly where to find them and they are protected.

Your new work space is really taking shape! Work towards creating a space that you feel comfortable and happy to work in. Whether it is hanging inspirational quotes, making sure your space has a window or creating rituals that improve your mood and productivity.

Next lesson, we will begin to move your work supplies in to the space without creating a mess and more frustration.

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