Regardless if you work in an office, from home, a cubicle or a coffee shop your surroundings can effect your productivity! Feeling comfortable in your space can be the difference in visioning your next big idea or missing it completely. When is the last time you changed things up? Added a new piece of art? Or added a new piece of furniture? All of these things can directly effect our conscious and subconscious thoughts and feelings surrounding our work. I have just recently moved into a new office, so this is fresh in my mind. I am still in the process of moving things in and I realized today that I am missing some essential pieces of me. Examples of my creativity, my accomplishments and my goals. I have not fully integrated myself into the space and I saw how that can effect my work! So I decided to write a quick post that might help others in the same boat. So here we go – 5 Ways to Create a Productive Work Environment.
- Create an accomplishments board. This can be a small journal where you have journaled about your triumphs. It could be a cork board where you can put up images or notes of the great things you have done in your business. This essentially is an altar to yourself! It’s OK to give ourselves a pat on the back from time to time. And I would say absolutely essential when you are a small business owner. Have fun with it, get creative on how to showcase your accomplishments so the times you are having a crisis of faith, you can be reminded of all the amazing things you have done!
- Bring some trinkets. We all have them. Little items we have picked up along the way that we just love. Maybe no one else likes them or even understands them, but for us, they tell a story. They remind us of a time past and brings good feelings and great memories when we see them. Big, small, random or not – bring a few items into your space that bring you good vibes. By surrounding ourselves with these types of items, we bring in more aspects of ourselves and create a more holistic environment to work in. In those surroundings we again are reminded of who we are beyond the 4 office walls. We are reminded of the totality of our being and in that wholeness we can create, dream and vision!
- Design your space. What kind of furniture are you surrounded by? Does it reflect you as a person? This, I realize, can be difficult if you are not in complete control of your space. If you do not have full say over the furniture in your space, what small items could you add? Maybe a throw blanket you got that one time on that big adventure? How about a few pieces of art you can put up? There are lots of ideas on Pinterest that an help! And for those work at home warriors, take some time to create a space away from the TV and the toy boxes and the laundry. Do whatever you can to create a specific and sacred space only for work. Maybe a room divider could help depending on the space you have. I have worked from home and it can be difficult to separate away all the things I “should” do at home: laundry, dishes, the strange smelling funk from the container I have no recollection of in the back of my fridge. Create a space that allows you to focus on work: a functional desk, a comfortable chair, clutter bins etc. Whatever items you need to have a comfortable work environment that is comfortable and dedicated to productivity!
- De-clutter. I am not necessarily the neatest person alive. I definitely am not a queen of all things tidy. I do however try to clean and organize my space once a week. I have found taking the last 30 minutes on Friday have been a great time to do it. The work week is slowing down. I am usually tired and looking for an excuse to not do “real” work. So I have taken to using that time to clean and organize. File papers where they need to go, take out the trash, organize my desk etc. Not only do I feel accomplished at the end of it, on Monday when I come to the office, I can just sit down and get started! I am not stressing about the clutter or disorganization. Do whatever works best for you. If its better to do it first thing Monday morning, do it then. Or if its 5 minutes before you close up shop, do that. But do it either way. Having a tidy work space can be great for productivity!
- Check your senses. What kinds of sensory input are you getting from your space? Take a minute to observe everything around you. What colors are prominent? Is it too loud or too quiet? Too dark? Too bright? What’s that smell? After you have taken a minute to observe, what changes can you make? If it’s too loud, maybe some headphones or earplugs. If its too quiet, turn up the music! One of my favorite things to do is have a diffuser by my desk. I love a Bergamot and Tangerine essential oil mix – those are great for creativity and productivity. By identifying things that we may not have noticed consciously, we can address ways in which our space can be even better for our productivity!
So what ways do you create your work environment? These are just a few things that have worked for me – what has worked for you? Share in the comments below!
Kelly J Parsons is a graphic designer, photographer and small business coach dedicated to helping businesses and individuals achieve their wildest dreams.
www.kellyjparsons.com | [email protected]