Working at home may sound luxurious, but when faced with your favorite television show coming on soon, crying children, and having to cook dinner, it can be a downright distraction. The familiarity of home may cause more disturbances then you had predicted and you may soon realize that the productivity you achieved at your office rivals that of your home. Getting you and your home office organized is the key to increasing your productivity, making you not regret the choice to do some work from home.

The first step to enabling yourself to work from home is to realize you mean business. If time equals money, those two hours you spent procrastinating on Ebay is money lost. Designating a specific spot for your home office is an important way of separating business from pleasure. It provides a unique spot away from the rest of the house to change gears into business mode. This prepares you mentally to get to work and to filter out all other distractions. Wherever you decide to work, whether it is your kitchen table, or bedroom nightstand, recognize that spot as your “work space” and don’t share that spot with anything else. This includes the recent People magazine and Oprah’s recent book club addition. Move it out of sight and just let your work occupy the entirety of the space.

Creating a comfortable environment to work is critical to your success being productive from home. Invest in a comfortable desk chair that will invite you to actually want to sit down and work. Chances are if your chair is uncomfortable, you will avoid working at all costs. Buy a pillow, or neck rest for your chair to personalize it for your needs.

It is important for an office to have access to plenty of natural light. This will not only mentally stimulate you while working, but will also create a more pleasant atmosphere. Many home offices tend to be buried away in the garage, or spare bedroom and do not have proper lighting. If your office falls under this category, be sure to invest in some lamps to help cheer up your office space.

The most essential step in keeping your home office organized is maintaining cleanliness. Avoiding a messy desk could be as simple as eating lunch at the kitchen table, or outside on the patio. A desk doesn’t require much attention and may only need to be straightened up at the end of the day. You will find yourself more motivated to work the day after when you sit down in your office to the sight of a clean, organized desk.

When having a home office, get in the habit of throwing things away. This will motivate you to clean as you go instead of waiting until that one day a year when you decide to do some spring-cleaning. If your surroundings are unorganized, your thoughts will be disorganized, too. Invest in a filing cabinet, or folders to maintain organization. It will be easier to find things and put them away in the correct spot when the time comes.

Sometimes all you need to stay productive is a few quick and easy changes to your home office. The more personal and inviting the space, the more likely you will be to want to spend time in there working. Try adding some personal touches like photographs, or plants to really bring your workspace to life.

Jennifer Kardish writes for a Canadian financial blog with an emphasis on careers, real estate, politics, and banking.

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