If you work from home, you can create an environment that will help you feel relaxed while accomplishing more. Here are some suggestions for maximum productivity.

Creating a Peaceful Setting

1. Select a soothing color scheme. Blue may be the most obvious choice, but there are plenty of tranquil hues including rose or earth tones. In fact, you can probably find a soft shade in any of your favorite colors. Save more dynamic tones for accent pieces.

2. Maximize your space. If space is at a premium, look for furniture that doubles as storage and seating. Take advantage of wall space by installing shelves and hooks. Strategically placed mirrors can open up any room, and careful furniture placement will make things feel less cramped.

3. Light up your office. If you have a window, make the most of the natural light and outdoor view. Adequate lighting around your workstation will minimize eyestrain. Adjustable lamps add additional comfort. Remember, the darker the room, the more light you’ll need.

4. Introduce some fragrance. If you have windows for natural light, try some easy-care plants like lavender or mint. Aromatic oil diffusers are also simple to use and long lasting. Scents such as chamomile, frankincense, marjoram, and sage are known for their calming and centering qualities. When you need something more invigorating, try lemon or wintergreen.

5. Play music. One of the nicest things about working alone is being able to enjoy music without disturbing anyone else. Instrumental music is best when you’re trying to concentrate. For routine tasks, play anything you want. Internet radio stations give you a huge selection.

6. Add personal touches. Spread around some treasured photos or vacation souvenirs. Post inspirational sayings or keep a book of favorite quotations on hand.

Getting Organized

1. Banish clutter. Plan for sufficient filing and storage space to help you keep clutter under control. Go paper-free whenever possible. Regularly sort through your materials for things you can discard or archive.

2. Clean regularly. Vacuum and dust every two to four days. Do a thorough cleaning at least once a month. This will help protect you from germs and create a more hospitable environment.

3. Separate your personal and business activities. When you work from home, it’s helpful to create boundaries to keep your life in balance. Keep distractions like laundry out of the office, and office items such as files out of the rest of the house. This will help you to focus and will also reduce the risk of losing things.

4. Minimize interruptions. Some people may have trouble understanding that you’re busy when you’re at home. Let your family and friends know the hours when you need to minimize calls or other interruptions. Resist the temptation to check email too frequently and put your phone on voice mail when you need some quiet time.

5. Stay connected. Take steps to avoid feeling isolated. Go out to lunch with colleagues at least once a week. Find local chapters of organizations relevant to your business and attend the meetings. Networking is good for your career and personal happiness.

6. Give yourself a break. When you set your own schedule, you need to plan your own breaks. You’ll be more effective at work if you stay active and refresh your mind. Go to the gym before you settle down to work in the morning. If you find yourself working long hours, pick one afternoon to take off and see a movie.

Working at home can be a great experience if you create a setting that dispels fatigue and tension. Use these principles of design and organization to feel better and work more effectively.