It’s incredible how a tiny shift in your surroundings can affect your whole day; your mood, your efficiency, your productivity, the list goes on. Here are a few small changes you can make to your work environment that could help to set you up for your best day:
Separate work mode from life mode
Identifying when you are working, specifically in a physical way, can help you reach your maximum potential each day. Perhaps that means having an office space to go to, shutting the door behind you each time you’re in work mode. Or maybe you place a lamp on your desk so that when the light goes on the ideas are flowing, and when the light goes off you are free to enjoy time with family and friends. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re clear about distinguishing your working hours and life hours. This will become a very positive change down the line.
Get out of your head, and the room
Hit a mental block and don’t know what’s causing it? It’s amazing how many people are surprised at the work they get done when they simply remove themselves from their everyday environment. If you’ve been staring at the same four walls for weeks on end but you can’t understand why your ideas have dried up and you aren’t able to access the part of your brain that produces excellent work, then you might need to go for a walk, visit a museum, go work in your local library or coffee shop – basically anywhere that’s not your usual hangout.
Focus by deleting background noise
Although multitasking can make you feel like you have superpowers, it can also cause you to only partially focus on the task at hand, meaning that you do a lesser job of it and are constantly plagued with thoughts of other tasks in the background. Do what you have to do to focus only on one thing at a time; tell your clients in advance when you’ll be unavailable due to other projects you’re working on, delete all other browser tabs so you’re only focusing on one at a time, don’t add fifty things to your to-do list each day when you know you can realistically achieve only six of them. In other words, allow your brain to concentrate on just one thing and you’ll do it faster and better.
Be aware of the room
Take a look at your work space and decide if there’s anything you feel you should change about it. Would you be better off with a standing desk instead? Do you think softer lighting is better than harsh blue light? Should you be opening your window more while you work to let some fresh air in? Could you increase the size of the display on your computer so your eyes aren’t so strained? Take a step back and look at your work space with fresh eyes to see if there’s anything you would do to make it a more comfortable environment for yourself, just like you would do if you worked in HR and were thinking about the comforts of an employee.
Be aware of your body
We know a little something about desk life, and although it’s the best life (woop woop) it can also be hard on your body to stay seated all day staring at a screen. Be aware of how you feel after a few working hours. Does your back hurt? Are you straining your eyes? Do you feel uncomfortable or fidgety or restless? Listen to what your body is telling you. It may want you to go for a walk in the middle of the day, or to keep an extra glass of water on your desk, or to sit up straighter with a cushion behind you. Whatever it is, listen and do what it’s telling you, you’ll most likely feel better for it.
Ready to make a change to your environment? Don’t forget to check out 5 tips for staying productive when working from home.
Photo by John Mark Arnold via Unsplash John Mark Arnold