Should I Create a Home Office or Embrace Chaos?

I’ve never been someone to work in one location. While writing, I currently take the computer from the couch to the bed to the deck and back again.

(As a young woman in my early 20s, I used to think of my home office as a notebook that could definitely go anywhere.)

However, I’m looking for ways to be more productive. And have better posture. Maybe a home office is the answer?

It Seems Everyone Has a Home Office Now

Whether staying at home for COVID or not, if I wish to improve my work, I probably need my own space to think deeply in our growing household.

Then again, I need to work in small chunks here and there. Maybe deep thought is just out the window for a while?

For example, teaching from home last spring was hard, on the fly, and all over the place. An office didn’t make sense because our oldest child was home with me all the time. I literally moved around with him, computer in hand, from room to room (toggling from muted to unmuted) while my husband was working out of the house.

Is this just the way I work from home… because I have kids and right now help is out of the question?

Is a Home Office Really Necessary to Thrive?

Everyone is different when it comes to how they work best. I recently listened to a podcast where freelance writer Miranda Marquit admitted to frequently working from her bed. (She also wakes up without an alarm. Basically, whenever her body feels like it.) Her take on things made me feel less guilty! She writes for an actual living and disregards advice about needing a certain space to do it in.

Further into my home office research, as I read through articles trying to answer this question for myself, I saw dream home offices in millionaire mansions (or at least 4,000 square foot homes). Some even looked like corner offices in skyscrapers. I was like… I typed home office, right? Is that really the picture they wanted?

The most useful advice I’ve seen so far is to organize both horizontally and vertically for normal or small sized spaces. Whether I end up in the basement or the sunroom, using space wisely will be key. That being said, it's wise not to use the excuse of a home office to spend unnecessary money. Perfect colors, perfect chairs, perfect folders,  perfect organizers - it all sounds like a distraction from getting down to work. 

Home Office Benefits

Creating a home office may just be an announcement to yourself and everyone in your household that you are taking yourself more seriously. 

For example, a second monitor screen would really assist me with research and designing. Another question specific for me is if the room should serve as the location where I record songs or short videos for Instagram. 

I’ve recorded in a living room before, but that was pre-kids. I have no idea what it would look like now. And as much as I love having a finished space in the basement, I just don’t like going down there. I like natural light. 

I guess I know the room I want, but how do I keep toddlers out of there? Maybe that’s the real question in all of this.

  • How do you get kids to play in one room?
  • Keep their toys in one room?
  • Not climb on desks and touch computers?
  • Yep. Those are my real questions. 

Over the years, my husband has tried to suggest spaces for a home office (and even offered to help me with design), only to find me wandering around the house writing. He is slightly perplexed with why I am interested in having one now. 

Well, trying to blog and write songs at the same time has led to a breaking point, not to mention materials for my teaching career being strewn about. My notebooks are all over the place. My notes are all over the place. And my physical space may be representing the chaos of my inner thoughts. In essence, I want to see what a physical space does to my writing process, my thoughts, and my business confidence.

What do you think? Is it time to create a home office? Or should I embrace the chaos and just keep doing what I’m doing?

DISCLAIMER: AS ALWAYS, IF YOU NEED PSYCHOLOGICAL OR FINANCIAL ADVICE PLEASE SEEK A PROFESSIONAL FOR YOUR SPECIFIC SITUATION.

4 Replies to “Should I Create a Home Office or Embrace Chaos?”

  1. Good article as always, Michelle. In my opinion is important to have “dedicated space.” That can be, but does not exclusively need to be, an “office.” For example, when I was working I had a room in the house for working in (office). However, most times I just set my laptop up on the dining room and worked there and never really used the office (light and view was better). However, I had the house to myself.

    Before my studio was built here, I also used the dining table and had all my stuff on it. Nowadays all my music and most of my writing is exclusively done in the studio since I no longer have the house to myself. When I’m out, however, I always have a notebook or phone to write in and capture ideas or even just write so I don’t anchor myself.

    I guess the point I’m attempting to convey is that with a husband & 2 little ones, you definitely need some dedicated space. It doesn’t need to be a full office. It can be an area in the house, the garage, a car, even a small table somewhere – it just needs to be yours and the space respected when you’re working in it. This will definitely enhance your focus and, consequently, your productivity and quality.

    1. Great points Mr. Fate. Thanks for sharing your insight. I can totally see myself setting up a space and then working all about the house anyway, but you touched on the “respected space” that I think my children will need to catch on to eventually. At least there would be intention and “maybe” all of my hard copies, books, and musical things could be in one space. A lot of my online presence is my books (pics on Insta) and it would be great to have them in one spot, feel their energy, and then go about my work.

      So jealous you have a legitimate studio! That’s great. Anytime I was really into recording, our apartment living rooms would be turned into a recording space for a few months. Definitely not an ideal way to live now!

  2. Your point about the second screen makes me think a dedicated home office (even if you don’t always work in there) would make it easier to do some of the things you need to do.

    I’ve found that I’m about twice as productive with two screens. Maybe if I add more I could be 3 or 4 times as productive?? 😂

    Also, thanks for listening to Find Your Freedom podcast!

    1. Thank you for your input Becky! I do love having a second screen. The more screens the better!

      Not only a dedicated space (but also – dedicated TIME) seems to be the key. I do a lot of research and I’m very aware of the inefficiencies in my current slow trudge forward. Keep up the nice work with your podcast!

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