Currently, many of us work from home. And no matter if it’s permanent or temporary because of the global situation, we need a workspace that helps us feel calm and concentrated. Of course, I know not all of us have the luxury of a separate room or even a dedicated desk. At this time, many will be working out of smaller, shared spaces in their homes. Hence, not all of my tips on creating a calm and productive workspace will apply to your situation. Still, some tweaking here and there can surely help you relax and increase your productivity.
5 Tips on Creating a Calm and Productive Workspace at Home
- Remove clutter.
- Minimize distractions.
- Optimize the lighting.
- Please your senses.
- Separate business from everything personal.
1. Remove Clutter
Clearing out clutter and removing unnecessary stuff is the first step to create a calm and productive workspace. We should ideally only be surrounded by what we need at the moment we do our work.
- Remove unnecessary furniture, decoration, storages boxes, and all other things you no longer need.
- Store away everything that isn’t related to your business, e.g., craft supplies, toys, books, and magazines.
- Declutter and minimize your paperwork. In this post, I share some tips that may help:
How to Declutter and Reduce Paperwork to a Minimum
And if decluttering generally is something you struggle with, this post may give you a bit of a boost:
2. Minimize Distractions
Energy flows where attention goes. Therefore the less distracted, the more productive we are. But not only clutter (see tip 1) takes away from our energy. Also, when there’s too much going on around us.
- Switch off the TV and other devices.
- If you share spaces, try noise-canceling headphones.
- Use ‘digital simplifiers’ mindfully. Reduce notifications to a minimum.
For more information on how to simplify and better manage everything digital, refer to these posts:
- How to Declutter Your Inbox and Reduce Email Stress
- Declutter and Better Organize Digital Files in 5 Steps
- Digital Minimalism: Why and How to Get Started
3. Optimize the Lighting
The lighting in your workspace has a significant impact on your productivity – the more natural light, the better. But there are also other ways to optimize:
- Move your desk as close to a window as possible.
- Get shades to adjust the sunlight if necessary.
- Get a desk light that’s bright enough to keep you awake.
- Install extra lighting for zoom calls, e.g., a ring lamp behind your computer screen.
4. Please Your Senses
By adding a few selected items, we can instantly please our senses and create a welcoming and calming environment. Here are a few ideas. Pick what appeals to you:
- A pretty vase and a bunch of fresh flowers
- A scented candle that induces concentration and calmness
- A lovely coffee or teacup that you only use at your desk
- Upgraded office supplies, such as a pretty pen, notebook, folder
If you enjoy the luxury of a dedicated room, consider painting the walls in a calming color and adding some plants.
5. Separate Business from Everything Personal
It’s generally not a good thing to mingle business and personal affairs. This is unquestionably true for finances. But also in regards to your workspace and schedule. I’d always recommend separating the distinct areas of life. There should be time and space for business, housework, and recreation. Here are some tips to make this work:
- Create dedicated rooms, spaces, or zones for different areas of your life.
- Allocate sufficient time for work, household chores, home-schooling, or whatever you have to do. I know it’s not always possible to stick to your schedule, especially with small kids. But make it the exception and not the rule. Try to get your work done during the hours you’ve allocated for it. And don’t forget to schedule time for yourself to relax and replenish!
- Don’t try to multitask. Concentrate on one thing at a time.
- Dress for the purpose. For instance, dress up for work, even when you stay at home. I promise you’ll be far more productive! Not sure what to wear? Get some inspirations here: What (Not) to Wear at Home – How to Feel Comfy and Confident
Shared Spaces in Small Homes
What if your home office space is just your kitchen table? This can indeed be a challenge. Still, I recommend storing away everything that’s not related to what you do at the moment. So when you work, remove everything that you don’t need for your job. And when serving meals or helping your kids doing their homework, store away your business stuff. If you don’t have enough space in cupboards or drawers, use storage boxes for this purpose.
Being that organized may not always be possible. But give it a try. Keeping personal and business-related matters separated will help you concentrate on what you do right when you do. As a result, you’ll be more focused, get more done, and you’ll reduce your stress level.
Depending on your situation, creating a calm and productive workspace at home can be a challenge. Or an excellent opportunity to set up a work environment that meets your individual needs. One that supports you, so you get accomplished more while staying calm and relaxed.
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What are your best tips on creating a calm and productive workspace? And what are your biggest challenges when working from home? Let us know!