Your office is more than your desk, chair, and file cabinets. It’s the environment you create for productive work or a chaotic source of anxiety. Here are a few tips to make it one that positively inspires mood, concentration, and productivity.
The organization of your desk has a big impact on productivity.
Do use your desk top for:
- Computer, phone, etc.
- A few personal items (photos, knick-knacks…)
- A vertical desk-top file organizer for files related to current projects (vertical is easier to see than a pile of folders)
- Office supplies used daily (pens, notepad, stapler…)
Don’t use your desk top for:
- Too many photos or personal knick-knacks that distract you from keeping your focus.
- Stacks of papers or files
- Storing excess office supplies
- Your desk should be uncluttered enough that there is space to sign documents.
- A desk or wall calendar to help you see the big picture to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines and see the best time to plan a vacation.
- Prioritize your work. It can be as simple as an ABC list (A–important and urgent, B-important but not urgent C-neither urgent or important)
- Take it easy on sticky notes – they add to visual clutter. Most of your reminders can go on the ABC list.
- Declutter and clean your desk top weekly.
Good lighting helps focus and inspiration. Bad lighting can cause headaches, eyestrain, fatigue, and loss of productivity. Although you may not have any control over the lighting in your office, you may consider bringing in your own. Floor and desk lamps fitted with white light, incandescent bulbs or natural-light bulbs are good substitutes for natural light. You may also consider a light therapy device.
Air quality can drastically affect our ability to focus and think clearly. Consider a personal air filter to have on your desk or nearby. Also, get a plant; they are great at filtering the air and providing clean, purified oxygen.
Distracting noises make it difficult to stay focused and productive. Noises can also raise your stress level. Noise cancellation machines and headphones are both effective ways of dealing with distracting noise.
We are affected by the colors around us – both physically and emotionally. Reportedly, light blues and greens lead to higher levels of productivity. You may not have control over what color your office walls are painted but you can have items in your office in the blue/green color pallet. Anything from pictures on the wall, desk accessories and knick-knacks can be used to bring in these productivity-inducing colors.
Many people’s careers revolve around the use of technology. Distraction and decreased productivity come with the use of non-business technology: texting, personal phone calls, private emails, Facebook, Twitter, and the list goes on. Consider designating specific times of the day to check email and personal technology.
Have you ever had a great idea come to you when you are in the middle of a task? It’s easy to switch your attention to that great idea and spend time and energy that takes you away from being productive with the task you originally were working on. Quickly write down that great idea so you don’t forget. Don’t be distracted by it, keep your focus and productivity for the task at hand.
Think about what inspires you and incorporate it in your office. Love classical music? Play it softly in the background. Have a favorite inspirational quote? Consider a wall poster or framed version in your workspace. Is your family or vacation time inspiring to you? Display a couple of favorite pictures or turn them into a photo calendar to put on the wall.
Your productivity can be affected by your physical comfort at your desk. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Feet should be on a foot rest or resting flat on the floor.
- Slightly recline the chair posture to minimize pressure/pain on your lower back.
- Use a pillow to support your lower back if needed.
- The top of your computer monitor should be at or below eye-level.
- Consider using a standing desk.
Your sense of smell can affect your mood and productivity just like the color of your workspace.
People around you may not appreciate the extra scents wafting through the office. You can put a couple of drops on a cotton ball or handkerchief to smell which should bring your mind back to focus. Here are some scents to try:
- Pine – Increases alertness
- Cinnamon – Improves focus
- Lavender – Helps to relax you during a stressful work day
- Peppermint – Lifts your mood
- Citrus (any) – Wakes you up and lifts your spirits
Summit Executive Suites offers fully-equipped offices in a beautiful space. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve maximum productivity for your business!