Set up your workspace to help you succeed - Deepstash

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Giving attention to your workspace

Giving attention to your workspace

When we want to improve our productivity and output, we frequently overlook the environment where we do our work.

We may be undisciplined about keeping structure in our environments. We may notice when we don't have space to put our papers, so we push them to the side. We can't find a pen. The computer "desktop" looks no better, and even a spotlight search can't locate our documents. But, a well-organised workspace can give us focus, energy, and a clear mind.

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Treat it like a real office

This is your place of work, even if it is a home office or a shared space. As much as possible, treat it so.

People are having real success by tricking their brains into thinking their office is for serious work. Calibrate your workspace to serve you best:

  • Only do work here. If you can, don't play games or browse the internet. No Netflix.
  • Physically leave the room to take a break or do another type of activity.
  • Leave it vacant when you're not working.

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The gift of a blank desktop and workspace

If you have too much clutter, try some Marie Kondo-ing. This should only be done when it's necessary. Afterwards, try to maintain what you've built.

  • Sort through everything in your workspace. Throw out what you can.
  • Then make judgement calls about the leftover according to their true value to you.

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The kind of workspace you need

When your space is cleared, ask yourself what kind of workspace you need.

  • What will make your work easier and more effective?
  • What environments make you feel most productive?
  • Do you prefer colour coding systems and fancy poster cards?

Ensure to give yourself a lamp, a charging station for your phone, and a place to put a drink.

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A healthy work environment: consider your weaknesses

  • Make a list of the things that knock you off your game. What stuff consistently distract you or pull you away from your seat? Kids crying, a TV playing? Consider noise-cancelling headphones.
  • What do you feel would help you in your day today? Or what do you reach for the most often? Put those items within arm's reach.

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Handle incoming traffic

Once in a while, block off a day to try and get back to inbox zero in your digital and physical workspaces.

Sift through the clutter that's built up in your office. Pre-sort your mail. At the very least, try to start every Monday with an empty inbox. This will help to keep you running without getting overburdened.

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Get creative with storage

  • Consider where to store items that you only reach for two to three times a month, such as speciality cables, certain pens or art supplies, etc. It could be stored in a filing cabinet under your desk and out of sight.
  • Run cables at the back of your desk's legs so you can't see them.
  • For those who work with lots of paper, a filing cabinet could be useful.
  • If you are comfortable scanning documents to have electronic copies of them, consider using a matching electronic system on your computer.

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Build in inspiration

Once you have a new and workable workspace, consider what will consistently inspire you. Some enjoy famous smart-sounding quotes or motivational videos.

When you feel bored or disinterested, look for the little sources of energy you've created that will give you constant inspiration to work productively.

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Keep a routine

A steady routine can give your brain the signal that you need to shift to a working mode: for example, every morning when you enter your workspace, flip on the desk lamp or Bluetooth switch, then pull out your chair and sit down with intentional posture.

When you end your workday, focus on a routine so that your brain knows it's time to switch off. Ensure to leave a clean and tidy office before you turn off the lights.

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