freelance strategies

Working from home is a great lifestyle, but it can also come with challenges. Your home and work life can start to blend- is the couch for working or for snuggling with your kids? When you bring your computer into your bedroom, your brain finds it harder to sleep.

To keep yourself productive and sane, here are three free home office hacks.

Keep Your Work Space Clean

It’s so easy to let work spaces get messy. Notes, paperwork, books, cups of coffee…all of a sudden there’s a lot of stuff on your desk! Work becomes harder to do literally and figuratively when there’s a lot of stuff in our way.

Keeping your space clean can become a 5 minute ritual in your life. At the end of each work day, take 5 minutes to recycle any to do lists you wrote down, categorize any paperwork on your desk into a folder (or at least a pile with other papers), and remove any plates or cups. Keeping the space cleaner will allow for better work and help you feel less overwhelmed.

Minimize The Stuff

Work comes with a lot of stuff. Swag from conferences, company perks like t shirts…all of a sudden we can find ourselves with a bunch of things we never even wanted.

When you get something non-essential, like a new free pen or t shirt, assess whether you need it on the spot. For example, if you’re at a conference and have gotten your 4th free t-shirt that day alone, you’re probably ok on t-shirts. See if someone else wants it, or if you can give it back to the company. Don’t bring into your home more work stuff than you need. It takes up space in your home that you might need for home items, and it just creates clutter you don’t need in your workspace.

Keep Light Shining

If you can, position your work area or office in a sunny part of your home. Getting natural light has been proven to make us happier. So working in a sunny area is a free way to get a boost from mother nature, and can just help you power through that crowded inbox.

If you can’t totally snag the sunny spot for yourself, schedule in quick breaks to step outside your house each day. Spending 5 minutes walking down your backyard, street or drive way is a good way to clear your head and get some vitamin D on your face.

These three home office hacks are all small, free, and easy ways to keep yourself sane while you make that money from your home.

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Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel, and she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

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