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Five Ways to Optimize Your Workspace for Productivity

Reduce the stress of clutter

  • Apply constraints and stick to them: to tabs open in your browser, notebooks, magazines etc.
  • Use small storage spaces: Less room means less room for clutter.
  • Set time aside to clean, sort, and discard every single month.
  • Clean your desktop at the end of every workday so to-do items don’t linger and you’ve got a clean slate to start with the next day.

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Five Ways to Optimize Your Workspace for Productivity

Five Ways to Optimize Your Workspace for Productivity

https://lifehacker.com/five-ways-to-optimize-your-workspace-for-productivity-1784310012

lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

Reduce the stress of clutter

  • Apply constraints and stick to them: to tabs open in your browser, notebooks, magazines etc.
  • Use small storage spaces: Less room means less room for clutter.
  • Set time aside to clean, sort, and discard every single month.
  • Clean your desktop at the end of every workday so to-do items don’t linger and you’ve got a clean slate to start with the next day.

Find places that inspire you

You might not be in a position to choose your workspace, but there are quick fixes: look for a spot with natural light from a window or skylight, take a walk outside when you feel stuck, or simply explore a new location. 

A new environment can quite literally lead to new ideas.

Task association

It's when your brain knows that when you’re in a certain place, you’re taking a certain action.

Take advantage of the way different locations affect you. Our brains love habits, and if we can associate certain qualities with different places, it can help us get into a better working flow. 

Designing for laziness

If you want to create a workspace that’s productive, focus on making it easier to do the things you want to do, and harder to do the tasks you don’t.

Our brains have been taught to conserve energy at all costs and make subconscious decisions for us based entirely on how hard or easy it is. 

Noise and productivity

If you can’t find a spot that’s silent, noise cancelling headphones or music that drowns out speech can help regain that focus, especially if you work in shared spaces or offices.

The sounds around you and the music you listen to can have a huge impact on your productivity. 

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Organize your office
Organize your office
  • Start with a purge to create an office that is free of clutter.
  • Create a catch-it space for incoming junk to sort through.
  • Keep your desktop clear of c...

Organize your workspace
Organize your workspace
  • Adopt a clean-desk policy (CDP).
  • Create a dedicated space for the incoming things.
  • Keep personal items to a minimum.

  • Get yourself a si...

Colors influence productivity
  • Red: Impart a boost of energy.
  • Yellow: The sunny shade stimulates creativity.
  • Purple: Stimulates problem solving abilities.
  • Green: Calms the mind, causes zero strain to the eye and is ideal for those who spend long hours in the office.
  • Orange: Boosts social interaction and collaboration.
Your workspace matters
Your workspace matters
When you spend hours at your desk every day, even the smallest features of your workspace – such as the position of your monitor or the height of your chair– can greatly affect your productivity and e...
Lighting
  • The best kind of light you can have in your office is natural light. It helps our bodies maintain our internal "clocks" or circadian rhythms which affects our sleep and energy. 
  • Poor lighting, whether it's dim lighting or harsh lighting from overhead fluorescent lights, can cause eye strain, stress, and fatigue.
  • Don't sit with your back to a window unless you can shade it.
  • Don't sit facing a window because that will make reading a monitor difficult. 
  • If you use a task lamp at your desk, position it so the bottom of the lampshade is at about the height of your chin when it's on.
Plants
  • Indoor plants prevent fatigue during attention-demanding work. 
  • Even just having a window view of live greenery can be restorative and keep us focused.
  • A peace lily plant requires little sunlight to survive and you only have to water it when the soil is dried out and is also great for cleaning the air.
  • Cacti and aloe plants are other low-maintenance plants to consider.

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Your Desk
The “sit-stand desk” is the optimal choice, because you can sit for a portion of the day and stand for the other portion.

Put your monitor high enough to keep your neck straight, s...

Organization

A cluttered desk sometimes triggers a cluttered mind. That's why everything should have its place, even if that place is just “the right-most stack.” A desk system that matches your personal organization style saves both time and headache.

Colors
  • Red accelerates the heart rate, giving you a jolt of energy. Your eye is instantly drawn to red, and it promotes physical activity and emotion.
  • Orange is a social color, encouraging interaction. It works well in meeting rooms or other social spaces.
  • Yellow stimulates creativity and optimism. 
  • Green is calming, and also causes zero eye strain over long periods of time.
  • Blue is calming and stable, it helps most people focus on intensive tasks.
  • Purple stimulates problem solving, despite not being a very popular color in workspace decor.

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On Mental Clutter

Setting clear boundaries between personal and work lives is key to maintaining flow and good mental health. The alternative creates mental clutter, a difficulty to think straight and focus due t...

Set Boundaries

Set clear boundaries regarding conversation topics at home and work—and stick to them. Talking about work at home, or about home at work should be avoided.

Of course, we can share stories of work with family and home life with colleagues, but don’t let these be the only conversations; open up, branch out and let other conversations be born in those spaces.

Cleanse Through Writing

Keep a journal for both work and home where you vent frustrations in order to maintain clear boundaries. By externalizing those feelings, your mental health improves and you are less likely to be overwhelmed.

We enrich our lives when we cleanse our mental spaces. We also open space for more activity, sharper thoughts and creativity.

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Work environment and productivity

When you leverage the fact that you have emotional and mental responses to specific places, you can dramatically increase your productivity. 

Each person’s optimal env...

The Right Reminders
Trigger your mind to change activities with small physical cues:
  • standing up instead of perching on your chair at your elevated desk; 
  • moving your mouse from one side of the keyboard to the other; 
  • sliding your chair over to a different portion of your work surface.
You can choose how you associate places with activities, but to achieve the full benefit, aim for a consistent link between place and behavior.
The Right Tools

Have all of the tools you need laid out organized and within arm’s reach. This makes you more efficient and reduces your resistance to doing a certain task because it requires getting up to fetch something. 

If you can’t leave everything out or you have a mobile working situation, carry a bag stocked with all of your essential tools, materials, electronics, and papers. 

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Focus on Systems Instead of Goals
Focus on Systems Instead of Goals

Most goals are out of our control. We have limited control to reach them. In a system, your focus is on all the parts that you do control. And system is a fancy word for “repeatable process”...

Leverage the Compound Effect

When you focus on developing systems and work every day, your work compounds over time, developing exponential growth. 

The more advantages you create, the more your next advantages pay off. A 1% gain every day compounds to almost 38x increase over a year.

Measure Output, Not Input

Systems are the best way to progress since they reward effort and we control all the variables. However, we need to have a sense of direction in those efforts, to know what we are trying to accomplish

Writing daily with no objective is just practice. If you want to achieve something, you need to commit to a certain output, like publishing a post on your blog weekly. At the end of the day, a system is a way to control how to achieve an output.

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The organized workspace

The general condition of your living environment affects your personal productivity.

A well organized work space makes you feel in control, and clearly focus and define areas that may ...

Tips to organize your office space

  • De-clutter your space, empty, shred and get rid of literally any frivolous thing that adds no value to your productivity.
  • Organize with colors and labels, to put items in the right places.
  • Use storage boxes & containers to help you stay organized.
  • Segment your work zones to help trigger a better output.
  • Organize your desk accessories: everything from your stationeries, laptop, files, and trays.
  • De-clutter and organize your Laptop/Desktop by deleting those folders, pictures or softwares that you don’t need. 

Organize Your Home Office
  • Invest in comfort for the sake of productivity.
  • Update your network and devices.
  • Eliminate clutter and too much intrusion from y...
Think About It

Acting without first reflecting can make things worse. Regularly reviewing how you spend your time will give you insight into how you got to your present state, how to move forward strategically...

Manage Your Inbox

Knowing your inbox isn’t overflowing can save you a lot of mental stress, which helps you focus on more important tasks. You can reduce your message by:

  • Unsubscribe from promotional and notification emails.
  • Use filters to sort nonessential email into specified sections of your inbox, so they don’t show up every time you log in.
  • Use programs to schedule emails and send reminders, so you can deal with emails on your own time. 
Have a “Mental Junk Drawer”

Dump your ideas, notes, lists, and saved articles that don’t have another home into a digital document. This clears some mental space—without adding papers and notebooks to your actual junk drawer.

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