How to Set Up a Productive Workspace At Home In 5 Steps
Your workspace can make or break your productivity. While in a corporate setting, everything is setup for you, you have to do the work to create a good working space at home and sitting on the couch isn’t going to cut it.
Creating a productive workspace takes deliberate action. Some of the steps are even based in psychology, so they might not be second nature. In fact, research has shown that the simple act of making decisions on how to organize your space, makes you more productive. Take a look through these five steps and see what you can implement today to start working more efficiently and more enjoyably tomorrow.
Step 1: Plants and Landscapes
Getting a plant for your workspace not only creates a healthier environment for your body, but it also improves your mind. If you’re often overwhelmed and hustling extra hard, this is a necessary (and tiny) investment. Over and over again research has proven that plants help us recover from demanding activities and who doesn’t want lower stress levels?
If you are lucky enough to have a view of nature, take advantage of it. Maybe this means moving your office, so you can get a look outside with the turn of your head. It’s certainly worth it. Looking outside recharges your mind. A creativity boost after a draining few hours will do wonders for your productivity.
Step 2: Turn Up the Heat
You may remember from your corporate days how ridiculously cold most offices are. Besides adding up on the electricity bill, this hibernation habit doesn’t do anything for your productivity. It turns out, warmer temperatures are better for getting more done. If you’re at home, you likely have control of the thermostat. Take advantage of that and keep it nice and toasty. Studies on office temperature and productivity have shown that at 77 degrees participants were faster and made fewer errors.
Scent is another aspect to consider. Entrepreneur suggested that lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, cinnamon, and peppermint are all scents that can increase productivity. Put your candle warmer to use or invest in a small diffuser. Not only will you be more productive, but you might also be a little happier to sit down and get to work.
Step 3: Create a Coffee Shop Atmosphere or Wherever You Feel Most Productive
Working from home may not feel natural at all. If the idea of sitting down at your desk day after day is painful, think about what you might actually enjoy. Do you love to get to work at the library? Or chill at a coffee shop? Think about where you love to work the most and model your workspace after that place. What you should pay attention to is the emotional response you have to each place. The thoughts you have about each workspace is a trigger for your productivity. If you always hang out at home, you might not feel like getting into the hustle there.
What does your productive place sound like? If absolute silence is your thing, invest in noise-cancelling headphones. If you prefer the subtle sounds of Starbucks, check out a site like Coffitivity and enjoy the ambiance. From smell to look, get inspired by your favorite place to work.
Step 4: Switch Out Devices
A tricky workspace productivity habit proposed by writer Gregory Ciotti is task association. The idea is that for different tasks, you use different devices. This will look different depending on what you do, but for example the laptop could be used for in-depth projects, the tablet for quick tasks, and the smartphone for quick reading.
The tactic of task association can also be used with different desks. Some people will use one desk for digital work and one for putting pen to paper. How could you separate what you do into different environments? Taking the time to cut up your day into activities that you do on different platforms can help you get through all there is on your to-do list. Sitting in one place at your desk can be exhausting, but when you’re moving around onto different devices, your time is broken up and you can get back to work faster.
Step 5: Leave Your Desk Messy
Organizing all the papers and notebooks on your desk can be a stressful experience week after week, but luckily science shows that you may not have to. In 2013, Katherine Vohs and her team at the University of Minnesota designed a study where students worked on a clean or messy desk and brainstormed uses for a ping pong ball. Interestingly enough, the students who came up with ideas at a messy desk, had far more uses than those at clean desks.
Keeping your desk a little disorganized may help you keep up your creativity, think of ideas faster, and get your work done far more productively. Even Einstein believed in the benefits of a cluttered desk, so why not give it a try?
What do you love about your workspace? Have any ideas for your fellow Geekgirls? Comment how you keep your workspace in the comments below.