Like just about anything, working from home is about the little things. You can craft copy, code or customer service tickets from your sofa or the table at Starbucks, but the tiniest, most distracting things will make or break your output.

If you do hours upon hours of work and you’re coming up with a less-than-stellar haul, there could be any number of basic things that are slowing you down. Here’s a list of five different annoyances that can stop you from being a work from home superstar.

    1. Dirty monitor

      Doing research on the Mona Lisa only to find she has a mole you never noticed before? Guess what? That’s probably not a birthmark. A dirty monitor can slow productivity to a halt. Buy a few microfiber cleaning cloths or monitor wipes and see how much a clean screen affects your output.

    2.  Messy desk

      What’s on your desk? Do you have more than the bare essentials? If so, it’s time to go militantly minimalist. Remove pretty much anything that doesn’t have to be there at any given moment. The less stuff you have on your desk, the less time your brain will spend processing those unnecessary objects

    3.  Tangled cables

      What’s under (or around) the bottom of your chair? Are you tugging at your laptop every few seconds because its charging cable is too tight? Spend a few minutes untangling wires and arranging them neatly throughout the room. Most people will fight with annoying cables for days before realizing they’re even doing it. You don’t want to be one of those people.

    4.  Smudgy glasses

      Ah, glasses. They can be so helpful yet so…not-helpful. Do your glasses have smudgy fingerprints or scratches? If your glasses are simply dirty, don’t just clean them, move them as far as possible from your eyes by adjusting their position on the bridge of your nose. If your glasses are scratched, head down to the local eyeglass manufacturer and see if you can get the scratches buffed out. Many stores will do this for free, and the only price you’ll pay is time.

    5.  Inappropriate lighting

      What’s the lighting situation in your office? Has your family nicknamed your workspace “the dungeon”? Is it so bright that whenever you leave your office, you’re stricken with spotty vision? The best type of work lighting is natural light, but if you don’t have windows, a good, bright desk lamp will work. Also, consider painting your walls a light color or hanging brightly-colored posters. These two tricks will brighten your workspace and keep your eyes as fresh as possible.

If you had to fix all five of these problems in your work-from-home life, it would take you less than a few hours to make things right. Set aside some time to right these wrongs and you’ll definitely see a jump in your output.


作者 Jennifer Perez

Jennifer Perez, publicist for Benchmark Email, is a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, the co-author of three books, and an award-winning freelance writer with work published in Entrepreneur Magazine, and other high-profile outlets.