As someone who recently works from home quite a lot, I’ve noticed just how easily it can become very hard to focus and build up some consistency. Even if you’re working on a start-up business which gradually grows into a more solid source of income, the fact that you’re working in the exact same building you sleep sort of leaves a lingering propensity to give in to the looming laziness. Procrastination seems to be emanating from the very walls, while productivity gets really hard to come by.
I’ve found some physical tweaks and adjustments made to the working environment go a long way in ensuring one’s workplace is more productive however. Even a formal workspace can be tweaked to induce a more productive environment and it’s just a matter of how you arrange your workspace.
Detaching the Workstation
This is perhaps the most effective hack to boost productivity in your workspace, whether it’s in an office at work or if it’s in your home office. What you do is detach and in a sense isolate your workstation from everything else. This is achieved by moving your work desk to a position which is out of reach of the door handle, the phone (if you have an office phone), the air-conditioner, and everything else really, which can also include something like a bookshelf. This creates the feeling that once you sit down at your workstation to get some work done, then that’s all you’ll be focussing on until you get up again. All distractions are effectively out of reach and should only be entertained between your power-work sessions, when you perhaps get up to take a lunch or bathroom break.
Organise the Workspace
Simple organisation of your workspace can add oodles of productivity to even the most uninspiring of those spaces. There’s a certain amount of magic in simply having stainless steel shelves installed for better organisation. The key is to use such organisational structures to their fullest potential though, such as arranging and packing everything away when you’re not using it. Opened lever-arch files and the likes lying around from some of the previous day’s business create the illusion of more unfinished business and more work to do. You’ll constantly have an uneasy feeling of being overwhelmed by just too many things to do at once when what you really want to be doing is just focussing on the work in front of you. Organise everything in a structured way and put things away before you sit down at your detached and isolated workstation so that your mind doesn’t suffer from the illusion of clutter and having some unfinished business to attend to.
Don’t be too quick to knock and dismiss office arrangement and decoration ideas such as those consistent with Feng Shui, especially if you’ve not given any of them a try. You’ll likely be quite surprised at just how much of a difference to your productivity a little workspace rearrangement can make, but at the end of the day it’s about creating a working environment which works for you and induces a nice mix between urgency and comfort to help you get more done.