Working from home: How to avoid ‘kitchen table chaos’
Hands up how many of you are working at your kitchen table and haven’t yet cleared away the breakfast things? As I write this (in my PJs), there’s a couple of nasty looking mugs, a marmalade knife and a rotten apple sitting on a pile of papers which I think might be important. Oh and where is the phone? Shuffle, shuffle…
Some of us might argue that it’s helpful to the creative juices and is a testament to how busy we are. I can see a pile of washing up in the sink, I know the microwave needs a clean but then I’ve got to get out some press releases and write a storyboard for a new training film by the end of the day.
There’s nothing wrong at working at the kitchen table but there needs to be some organisation. It’s your workplace and should represent a degree of professionalism.
Tips to make your day more productive.
- Clean kitchen at night so that you know all the nasty jobs are done.
- Clean down table – no nasty buttery bits on the envelopes. Yuk.
- Decide on the minimum equipment for the day.
- Be selective over paper, pens, resources etc and organise into neat piles.
- Sit with your back away from the sink, cooker, fridge.
- Make a list of jobs to be done by the end of the day.
- Build in time away from the kitchen. Sit in another room or garden to plan or think.
- Go for a mid day walk. Chat to dog walkers even if they look at you warily.
- Have a calm area for relaxing after work. Can you eat somewhere else?
It’s not the best place to be inviting clients or holding meetings. Find a local meeting room, hotel foyer, hot desk, university library booth. Virtual offices are on the increase. You need to shop around for a good deal as they can be expensive but very useful for maintaining an image if you love the luxury of working in the comfort of your own home.
Oh, and another thing. A client said to me not long ago. I can also tell when you’ve not got dressed in the morning. It shows in your voice.
Better get dressed now. It’s almost 11am!
Angelena Boden has 25 years experience as a training consultant and trainer. Find out more at www.thefifteenminutetrainer.com
Photo credit: Andrew Stawarz
What do you think?
How do you avoid distractions when you work from home? Do you work at your kitchen table? Or in a dedicated room? Do you move around the house when you work on certain tasks? Let us know in the comments below.