How do you feel when you sit down at your desk?
Clear and focused?
If you’re like many people, you’ll probably think more about stress, pressure, frustration…
This definitely isn’t the state of mind we want to be in when working. Maybe you’ve felt like it’s too hard to change your work habits, but actually, it can be as easy as changing your environment.
The space around you has a huge effect on your state of mind. If your workspace is messy, depressing, confusing or just plain uninspiring, you’ll probably feel like that in your work too.
But if it’s clear, cheerful and motivating, it will be much easier to get into a flow, to find your peak efficiency and creativity.
In this article, I’ll share a few tips for turning your workspace into the most supportive environment possible. The tips are diverse starting with ergonomic modifications and ending with revolutionary new tab Chrome extension, so stay tune…
Choose a spot and stick to it… but also mix it up
When you lie down in bed, you start to feel sleepy.
When you sit down at your dining room table, you feel hungry.
When you sit down to work, you want to feel energized and inspired to get stuff done.
This is easiest if you have a designated work area. In traditional offices, this was part of the deal. Nowadays, when so many of us are working from home, in coffee shops or in workspaces with a more free and open plan, it might be up to you to find your own space.
While you might enjoy the freedom of choosing your own “office,” it’s often helpful to be consistent in where you work. Whether it’s a corner of your apartment, a seat next to the window in your office or your favorite café, pick a spot and make it yours.
Over time, you’ll associate that place with focus and productivity. It will make it easier for you to get into the groove.
That said, if you’re ever feeling stuck, a change of scene might be an instant cure.
Get a plant
Nothing lifts my spirits like looking at a plant.
Nice green leaves… so quiet and peaceful…
If there’s no lush greenery right outside your window, bring it inside. A small desk plant can really change your whole working environment – and attitude.
Caring for your plant is also a great way to take a small break, relax and cheer up throughout the day.
For those who lack a green thumb, try an easy keeper like an African violet, cactus or air plant.
Invite in some good vibrations
The ancient Chinese art of feng shui is based on arranging your physical surroundings to promote the flow of energy, or chi.
Signs of poor energy flow in a room might be a feeling of tension, agitation, tiredness or lack of focus when you’re there.
Good chi will bring positivity, inspiration and motivation. When you’re in a space with good energy, you’ll feel more lively, upbeat and confident.
So how about improving the feng shui of your desk?
Basic guidelines are to keep your workspace clean and organized. Try to include natural elements like plants and sunlight.
You can use a bagua map to arrange objects on your desk. This is a nine-part grid, each section related to a different topic (like “abundance and prosperity,” or “mind, body and spirit”) and an associated color.
Overlay this grid on your desk and place objects linked to each topic in their own square.
Just make sure that 50% of your desk is clear at all times. Too much stuff in your environment will clutter your mind as well.
Make it ergonomic
Sitting for long hours at a desk can take a toll on your body.
Consider getting a few ergonomic upgrades to the standard office equipment.
Ergonomic desk chairs are becoming common, or try a stability ball. It’s healthier and much more fun!
Adjust the height and angle of your laptop screen with a riser or a thick book.
Your screen shouldn’t be too close or too far from you. To find the sweet spot, simply extend your arm straight out in front of you. The tip of your middle finger should just touch the screen.
If you use a keyboard, position it in a negative tilt: down and away from you, following the natural shape of your arms and hands.
Inspire yourself with new tab Chrome extension for productivity
No matter what you’re doing, there’s one secret to success: enthusiasm.
Imagine two people cooking dinner for themselves. One person is happy and upbeat, singing while they cut vegetables, putting joy and care into every detail. The other person just got off a hard day at work, they’re tired and stressed, just throwing the ingredients together.
Whose meal would you rather share?
We all know that projects we’re excited about come out better. The question is how to keep that energy even when you work on something that doesn’t personally interest you.
Actually, if you feel enthusiastic and inspired in general, you can apply it to anything you have in front of you. The trick is just to light that spark of life in yourself.
You know how to do this better than anyone. There are countless ways to add little uplifting touches to your workspace. Maybe it’s pictures of loved ones or inspirational figures, art that you like, souvenirs from a trip…
One of my favorite tricks to bring these moments into your workflow is a clever app called Limestone.
It’s a free extension to your Chrome browser. Whenever you open a new tab, instead of Google or whatever you have as a default page, you get a beautiful, dynamic wallpaper, plus a motivational quote, icons for your top links, a to-do list, local weather and lots of other helpful tools.
The gorgeous nature images and inspiring quotes always give me an extra boost of energy and enthusiasm, just when I need it.
I know many people who feel stressed out just by being in their workspace, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
With a little thought, you can turn everything around you into a source of motivation.
When the place you work is a place where you feel relaxed, cheerful and upbeat, it will be much easier to stay focused and productive. These are just a few ideas to get you started.