The perfect at-home workspace is a space where you feel comfortable, focused, and inspired. Finding spaces like that can be a little tricky, though. Many people who work at home don’t have enough space in the house or apartment to have their own office. Others have small children or pets that are constantly popping in to try and snag some attention. Trying to focus with distractions, with TV or music blaring somewhere near can be incredibly frustrating and counterproductive.
Luckily, there are a few small things you can do to instantly enhance your workspace. In this article we’ll talk about five tips for the most key things you can do to make your at-home work space a place of zen and comfort that helps you punch through your to do list like the hard-working, goal-hitting boss you are.
Grab Some Headphones and Listen to Music
A study performed at the university of Miami concluded that people who listen to music as they work get more done, have more creativity, and enjoy their work more. According to Inc. Magazine’s article about the study, “those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and had better ideas overall than those who didn’t.” Of course, for some people music with lyrics or music with certain tempos does more to distract than it does to focus, but chances are that somewhere out there are some great tunes waiting for your “work time” playlist that will help you get more out of your job and enjoy it more. Did you know both Apple Music and Spotify release new playlists of music created just for you every Friday? Consider poking around different places in order to discover new songs to add.
Invest in a Chair That Makes Your Back Happy
It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that the human body isn’t meant to sit for eight hours a day. Our prehistoric ancestors had to move quite a bit to survive, and so it follows that our bodies are engineered to experience a great deal of walking and exercising in a day. Everyday many people are asking more from their spines than they should be, and while there are plenty of great methods of relieving back pain out there, you’ll probably agree that preventing back pain is always a better option than recovering from it. If you have a job that requires you to spend a lot of time sitting, try to get up, stand, and walk around as much as possible. And make sure your chair isn’t hurting you. When you sit your knees should be about level with your hips, and your feet should comfortably sit flat on the ground. Chairs that automatically lean back can feel nice at first, but if these cause you to constantly sit at an angle or slouch they might be doing you more harm than good.
Set Expectations With People Around You
Naturally, other people can be the biggest distractions that keep you from achieving optimal efficiency during your workday. Whether these are children, friends, or partners, take time to explain to these loved ones why you need to focus at work and how if they let you give attention to your to-dos first, you’ll have more time to give to them later. Be loving but explicit with these people about what times in the day you’re open for chatting and what times of the day you need to be left alone.
Intentionally Decorate and Design Your Workspace
You might not be someone who cares a lot about how the shade of the carpet works with the kinds of paintings on the wall and what kind of aesthetic the hanging plant contributes to a room. That’s fine. But do be aware of what kind of psychological effect your work space is having on you. Are there stacks of old papers hanging around that need to be sorted? Is your screen and desk consistently dirty or dusty? Is there clutter or annoying decorations that keep you from feeling happy and at peace when you’re working? Though small, all of these small elements can add up to detract from your work experience and cause more stress and anxiety. Consider reworking the space so that it’s a place that actively makes you happy and inspired, rather than just a space where you sit at your computer.
Manage Your Digital Workspace As Well
Don’t forget that the desktop of your computer counts as your workspace, too. If you have tons of icons that cause you to constantly get lost and not be able to find files you’re looking for, this is a burden that you may have forgotten about but needs to be solved. Additionally, consider your email inbox, your slack account, your calendar, and other virtual tools you work on all day as your space. These too should be fastidiously managed and cleaned so that important messages and reminders don’t fall through the cracks and you can dedicate your brain power to the things that matter, rather than worrying about the overgrown jungle that is your email inbox.
Ryan Cook is a marketer and a writer at heart, Ryan loves to use hard data to guide his approach. His latest work has been with Epic Marketing, a marketing agency near Salt Lake City, Utah. He specializes in paid search media, content marketing, and SEO. He also loves working on his novel and going on hikes with his wife.