As working from home becomes the new normal across the globe, staying productive on a day-to-day basis on the tasks at hand can turn out to be quite a challenge – thanks to the never-ending sources of distraction at our disposal. But don’t worry; we’ve put together a list of design tips for your workspace that could help you maximise your focus and seamlessly take the high road to productivity.
Picking Your Spot
Its easier to concentrate when there are no distractions, like pets, children, family members watching TV, noises from the kitchen, and so on. So pick a spot that is away from all such distractions. Ideally, a separate room that you can convert into your office space can work wonders for your productivity. But if you don’t have that luxury, pick a space where you can sit comfortably and work, and distractions are minimum, so you can keep your focus high throughout your workday.
Organizing Your Desk
A clean, organized workspace will go a long way in putting you in a frame of mind that’s conducive to working productively. You can follow these steps to get started:
Identify the Necessities
To help you do this, try the box dump test. Everything on your desk and your drawers should be dumped into a box and kept next to your table. As the week progresses, pick out items from the box. For everything else in the box, find another part of your home to store that doesn’t take up your workspace real estate. This is an effective way to figure out what your work-related necessities are, and avoid clutter.
Gather Necessary Items
All your necessities, like your notepad, laptop, water bottle, pen, should have their own dedicated places, possibly within arms reach. Keep a garbage basket near your desk and get in the habit of throwing away things that you don’t need, instead of letting them pile up on your desk. At the end of the day, check if there are things on your desk that don’t serve you any purpose related to your work. If there are, move them to a different, more suitable place.
Keep it Simple
Spare chargers and wires all over your desk are bound to make your space look cluttered and ugly. Ideally, using a cord management system, cord covers and a multi-plug extension can help you keep the space look organized. If you don’t have these, you can always get creative with cable ties, squeeze-style paper binding clips or rubber bands.
Find a Place for Everything
Categorise items based on their utility and find designated places for them in your home. For instance, you can perhaps keep a tray for all your ‘in-progress files’, a basket for paper clips and other similar office supplies, and so on. Labelling your containers can help too. This way, when you find anything new on your desk, you can easily move them to their allocated spaces. Disinfect your table – Once you have decluttered your table, grab a disinfecting wipe and start cleaning. This is, of course, more important now than ever before. But even generally, disinfecting everything on your desk regularly, including the desk itself, is a great way to maintain good hygiene and start your work afresh.
Don’t Hold on to Multiples
It’s absolutely fine to keep some pictures of your family and friends on your desk, but avoid crowding it with chunky frames. Pick two or three of your favourites and avoid keeping multiple copies of notes, receipts etc., especially if you have digital copies of the same. Try to organize as many documents as possible on the cloud. Keep only the necessary items on the desk. The rest can go inside the drawer.
Add Some Green
A small house plant on your desk can add freshness and brightness to your desk, especially when your eyes need a break from the screen. You can pick something that’s easy to maintain like a money plant or a succulent. If keeping a plant alive is not something you see yourself doing, try arranging your desk so that it faces your window.
Get Your Space to Smell Good as Well
Aromatherapy is known to be helpful in improving concentration, mood, and energy levels. Get a potted herb, a bowl of potpourri, or a scented candle for your workstation to enhance your ability to focus and productivity.
Good ergonomics can increase work from home productivity according to certain studies. Even if you don’t have ergonomic-friendly chairs at home, there are some ways you can try to improve your work setup and your productivity. For instance, keep your elbows at right angles and the screen at eye level. This will help your body be aligned and not slouched over your laptop, and therefore, keep you from draining your energy and focus.
We would also like to point out that it helps if you keep your whole home organized as well. Many people find that they can’t concentrate if they have the nagging feeling that the rest of the home is a mess, even if their workspace is clean. Take out a few minutes at the end of the day to clean your home before bed so that when you start work in the morning, you are at peace knowing that your home is clean as well. We hope that you find these work from home tips useful to create a productive workspace even in these difficult times.