In any profession that requires you to work from home, a functional and inspirational home office is a must-have. While being an actor requires plenty of driving around to auditions, out-and-about networking functions, and classes or workshops, it also requires a lot of legwork from home. While you might not realize it, you probably spend a good amount of your days dealing with email campaigns and submissions. By taking those tasks to the next level and creating a true home office, I can guarantee you’ll find that you can increase your productivity and make these day-to-day tasks much more efficient.
My husband and I are about to move into our first house together, so this has been on my mind as I’ve been doing a ton of planning for our new home office. Here are a few tips to get you started on creating one of your own:
1) Define your primary workspace. You may find that you work best in an alternative setting, but there’s a lot to be said for having a true desk space. Buy a desk with drawers, so that you can organize your papers (and your headshots, staples, resumes, envelopes…) and keep your actual workspace clear.
2) Avoid distractions. We’re in an industry where watching TV is actually truly part of “the job.” However, you don’t need one in your office. The less distraction you have, the more quickly you’ll get your work completed. There are also a number of great applications that actually prevent you from viewing time-wasting websites for an amount of time you set during your work hours (read: all your non-business social media accounts.)
3) An Old Fashioned Dry Erase Board. You might not feel the same way about this as I do… but I find that I’m less likely to get a task completed if it isn’t written down in big letters right by my workspace. The to-do list applications on my iPhone just don’t cut it, I still need that hardcopy version that can’t be turned off with the click of a button. Plus, it feels so good to erase a task from the board once it has been finished!
4) Decorations that make you feel good. I created one project for the new house that I’m actually quite pleased with: a frame filled with photos from some of my favorite acting jobs.
Basically, any job I’ve worked that has a special meaning to me was included in the frame. Looking at the photos all together made me really happy. Sometimes I’ll get down on myself, feeling inadequate about my career, the jobs I’ve worked (or, really, the ones I haven’t worked.) Seeing all the different things I have done, and thinking of the great experiences that went along with those projects, really made me rethink how I look at my experiences as an actor. I think it will be a very inspirational thing to look at when I’m in the office working. Printing photos is incredibly inexpensive now, so the whole project (which includes two frames filled with photos, one pictured here) only ended up costing about $30 including the frames. A very easy way to add to your office space.
Do you have any advice about how to make your home office space more functional? Post them in the comments below