I’m picky about where I work. I’ve moved my desk tens of times. I’ve tried out several places in all the apartments I’ve ever rented. My working space has to be perfect. One, not too close to the window (I’m getting cold easily). Two, it has to face away from the sunlight (screen reflections can give me some serious headaches). Lastly, I need to be far away from distractions. All this lead me to one conclusion — your working place matters more than we think! It can seriously boost or hinder our productivity.
Today, I want you to share with you what can be done about a perfect working space — be it at home or office — so it turns into your perfect focus corner.
For me, the real focus killer is the mess. And while I’m not a person who maintains perfect order all around me, I just can’t focus when my desk is cluttered. Little things such as dust on my keyboard or scattered papers really draw my attention away from the important things.
If you keep your desk tidy, you’ll see the difference too. The fewer things on it, the better! It’s good to regularly declutter your working space, throw out old papers and all tiny items of questionable origins that fill your drawers.
Not only it’s more pleasant to work in a clean environment, but it will also save you time digging through the clutter when you’re actually looking for something.
Keep all your necessities close. Pens, clippers, sheets of papers, calculator, planner — whatever if it is, if you use it often, make sure it’s always near you.
My digital to-do lists and project management platforms are my must-haves. I always have them opened so I can quickly go back to scanning the tasks at hand.
I once stumbled upon a blog post where a freelance copywriter admitted that putting out fragrant candles around her desk improved her focus. That’s exactly what I mean! It’s your desk and it is your basic right (and duty) to make it as comfortable as possible. That’s how you deliver better.
Plants, pretty pictures, candles, ornaments — whatever makes your working space feel personal and cosy. Being comfortable while working is directly related to how quickly you can get the job done.
If your chair gives you backaches, do something about it. Don’t force your eyes, spine and legs into discomfort. It will make you less productive (won’t even elaborate on all the health issues).
The longer you sit, the more exposed you are to different kinds of injuries that appear over time — from back to joint pains. It’s really important you don’t harm yourself by sitting in a poorly assembled chair that strains your neck, back and eyes. Even poorly located keyboard or mouse can lead to pain in your arms and wrists.
As a remote worker, I can’t overvalue the possibility of taking breaks whenever I want. Yoga, walks and coffee breaks on the balcony make sitting before PC for hours so much easier. Also, standing desks are getting more and more popular in some countries as an alternative to a sedentary lifestyle. It’s said that working standing makes you more productive, too, so why not give it a try?
If you’re a person of a fragile focus — like me — you understand how easily the smallest thing can bring you out of working mode. That’s why it’s so important to minimise the distractions — especially if you work from home which, naturally, is full of things begging for your attention.
My small home office must be away from things such as TV, loudly spinning washing machine or even those places which need frequent tidying up. Mess within my eyesight is equally distracting as news playing in the background.
When you can’t limit distractions, you can try working around the busiest hours and leave the hardest work for the peaceful time.
Now I need to confess something.
While I am so darn picky about what my working space must be like, sometimes I just ditch it. I’m going on a couch and work from a coffee table. Just because.
Remote workers have the comfort of working wherever they want. So while keeping a neat and professional working space is great, doing your job from a couch, snuggled in a blanket isn’t so bad either. Changing our surrounding has a great refreshing effect on our brains.
I like to keep moving. Most often, I work from my desk which I consider my main working space. But I also love getting comfy on a couch. Sometimes I get lazy around the bed.
There are people who say that you shouldn’t get too comfy when working. And while I’m all for keeping yourself in a working mode (I hardly ever work in pyjamas, as is stereotyped for freelancers), I believe that you should do what currently makes you work most efficiently. Even if it’s getting the job done half-lying on a couch.
There are many gadgets and tech pieces that can add that sweet something to our working space. Double screens and mechanical keyboards are on the high-end of the pricing scale, but there are many other small improvements that will make your job easier and your place more comfortable. It can be anything from cable management systems to better headphones.
I’ve also invested in my working space by purchasing a mechanical keyboard which I’ve been happily using for nearly three years now. This is the stuff you use for work every single day, so you shouldn’t feel guilty about purchasing high-quality items.
So here’s how I organise my working space to get things done better and faster. When it feels like your own spot, when you enjoy it — all that is directly related to how to effective and productive you are.
Maybe you got any of your own ideas on how to improve your own working spot? Share them in the comments and let’s talk!