Optimizing Workspace for Productivity, Focus, & Creativity - Deepstash
Master Public Speaking

Learn more about career with this collection

How to adapt to different speaking situations

How to engage with an audience

How to use body language effectively

Master Public Speaking

Discover 54 similar ideas in

It takes just

7 mins to read

Engineering Focus

Engineering Focus

The quality of our life and our productivity is directly correlated with our ability to focus. Prof Huberman discusses ways to engineer if:

  • It will take about 6 minutes to settle into work and focus: unless you are very stressed or excited about something, don’t expect to be immediately focused the moment you sit/stand to work
  • As you optimize the workspace, the latency period (the time it takes to get focused) will decrease
  • In the first part of your day (0-9 hours after waking), bright lights make for maximum alertness – use bright overhead lights and blue light or ring light in front of you


9.88K reads

The Light And The Noise

The Light And The Noise

  • To be alert and maintain an optimal level of alertness, keep the screen or book at nose level or slightly higher up – ideally while standing or seated
  • For every 45 minutes you are focused on something, take a walk or relax your eyes and dilate your gaze for 5 minutes to avoid fatigue
  • Depending on the day, background noise can be a stimulant or hindrance to focus – but generally, the incessant humming of air conditioners or heaters can increase mental fatigue and decrease cognitive performance


7.45K reads

Attention & Posture

Attention & Posture

  • Tip to manage office interruptions: if someone enters your office or workspace, acknowledge their presence but don’t shift your body or reorient yourself
  • We weren’t designed to sit all day, but we shouldn’t stand all day either – a combination of about 50/50 is best
  • Active workstations (e.g., cycle or treadmill) can improve attention and cognition for some tasks.


6.45K reads

The Phases Of The Day: Phase 1

The Phases Of The Day: Phase 1

To build new habits & behaviours, leverage your body’s natural brain and body rhythms.

Phases of the day will invoke a shift in mood and mindset that are more conducive to building and keeping habits

Phase 1: 0-8 hours after waking up

  • This phase comes with a more alert state which can be heightened by sunlight viewing, caffeine delaying, fasting, etc.
  • Norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine are elevated during this phase
  • Healthy cortisol is also elevated in the brain and bloodstream
  • This is when you want to take on new habits and behaviours that are challenging for you.


5.72K reads

The Phases Of The Day: Phase 2

The Phases Of The Day: Phase 2

Phase 29-15 hours after waking up

Levels of dopamine, epinephrine, and cortisol start to come down

Serotonin starts to rise and lends itself to a relaxed state of being – can be enhanced with a warm bath, yoga nidra, ashwagandha

Taper the amount of bright light (unless it’s sunlight) & start dimming house lights a bit

This is when you want to taper stress level and take on habits and things you are already doing that don’t require a lot of override of limbic friction – e.g., journaling, music


4.93K reads

The Phases Of The Day: Phase 3

The Phases Of The Day: Phase 3

Phase 316-24 hours after waking up

  • Keep the environment very dark or dim & room temperature low
  • The body needs to drop in temperature to fall asleep & stay asleep
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night, use as little light as possible
  • Deep sleep is critical to wiring neural circuits required for building habits


4.64K reads

Workspace Light: The Fundamental Variable Of Workspace Optimization

Workspace Light: The Fundamental Variable Of Workspace Optimization

Vision and light are important components to set the brain in a high state of alertness

Being in a brightly lit environment can lend itself to increased productivity throughout the day, not just in the morning

Work in a space with as much overhead light as is safely possible

Lighting tip: During the first 0-9 hours of your day, work in a space with as much overhead light as possible to facilitate the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and optimal amounts of cortisol


3.54K reads

Workspace Light During The Workday

A ring light or light pad placed in front of you will also increase alertness and stimulate photons

  • Placing your desk near a window – and opening a window if possible – will stimulate eyes and send “wake up” signal during the first 7-8 hours of the day
  • Around 9-16 hours after waking, start dimming the environment: reduce blue light exposure, turn off overhead lights and turn on lamps or other lighting options in the workspace

Screen brightness: people have different retinal sensitivity, but you never want it to be painful to look at your screen.


3.1K reads

Lighting Tips For Night Owls

Lighting Tips For Night Owls

Around 17-24 hours after waking (shift workers or students): 

  • limit bright light to just enough that allows you to complete work to keep sleep and metabolism in the best shape possible;
  • if you want/need to be very alert, make the environment as bright as possible
  • It’s most ideal to stay awake during the day and sleep at night

All-nighter tip: drink a lot of water and don’t let yourself go to the bathroom


3.14K reads

Visual Focus

Visual Focus

  • Where you physically place a screen or book in your workspace plays an important role in alertness
  •  When looking down toward the ground, neurons related to calm and sleepiness are activated
  • Ideally, work while standing or seated, not laying in bed or on the couch
  • Standing and sitting up straight while looking at a screen or book that is elevated will generate maximal levels of alertness
  • You will create maximum alertness, focus, and cognition when you bring your eyes to a narrow point in space – keep the visual focus narrow, around the side of the head or right outside the eyes.


2.95K reads

The High And The Low

The High And The Low

Cathedral effect: thinking becomes smaller and more constricted in tighter visual fields, and vice versa

High ceilings versus low ceilings: high ceilings elicit abstract thoughts and creativity whereas low ceilings promote detailed and concrete work

For Phase II (9-16 hours after waking creative work), work in a high ceiling room or outdoors; for detailed analytic work (ideally in Phase I 0-9 hours after waking), work in a lower ceiling environment or put in hoodie or hat to restrict the visual field.


2.97K reads

Your Auditory Environment

Your Auditory Environment

  • Listening to particular sounds and in particular, conditions can improve cognition
  • Sometimes we want more background noise, sometimes we want less: our auditory tolerance can change from one day to the next and even fluctuate within the same day
  • Background noise to avoid: the incessant humming of air conditioners or heaters can increase mental fatigue and decrease cognitive performance
  • Even if we’re not registering background noise, our auditory system is processing


2.6K reads

Binaural Beats

Binaural Beats

  • Binaural beats place the brain into a state that is better for learning
  • Binaural beats: playing one sound in one ear and a different sound in the other ear
  • Low-frequency waves put the brain into a relaxed state versus high-frequency soundwaves which put the brain into more alert states
  • Binaural beats (around 40 Hz) have been shown to increase cognition, relaxation, creativity, pain reduction, anxiety reduction


2.82K reads

Interruptions & Distractions In Workspace

Distractions and things that take away from tasks aren’t just bad in the moment, it takes time to get brain waves back into attention and focus

Tip: if someone enters your office or workspace, acknowledge their presence but don’t shift your body or reorient yourself

Managing phone distractions: turn off the phone, put the phone on airplane mode, put the phone in a drawer or away from eyesight


2.43K reads

Sitting Vs Standing

Sitting Vs Standing

  • We weren’t designed to sit all day – but we also weren’t designed to stand all-day
  • Just sitting for 5-8+ hours a day is terrible for us and can impact sleep, neck pain, cardiovascular system, muscular pressure
  • A combination of sitting and standing throughout the day is best
  • People who decrease sitting time show improvements to shoulder and neck pain, vitality, improvement in cognitive conditioning, and embracing new tasks


2.36K reads

Active Workstations

Active Workstations

  • There don’t seem to be any differences in cognitive tasks between cycling versus walking workstations
  • Active workstations are better for some tasks, worse for others: there appear to be improvements in attention and cognition when using active workstations versus seated – however – verbal memory scores were worse during active workstations


2.94K reads



Operational investment banker


The Science Of The Workspace


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates