We have all experienced the midweek productivity slump, when our workload is stuck behind on Tuesday and our mind is occupied with Friday plans. With the average Briton working 252 days out of the year, it’s safe to say we spend the majority of our adult lives in our work space. So why is it that we don’t invest as much time organising and decorating our working spaces as we do our own homes? Whether it’s with desk decor or storage essentials, creating an inspiring work space can have positive lasting effects on day-to-day productivity.
We have compiled 10 tips to create a work space that works for you, from finding the right lighting, to staying inspired by the objects around you.
Choose your colours with care when decorating your working space. Colours such as blue and green help improve focus and efficiency whereas yellow inspires optimism. Try to avoid too much red or orange as these can be too intense and distracting. For a simple way to add some colour, update your desk accessories with bold coloured lamps or storage boxes to bring some sunshine to your working space.
Harsh and dim lighting can affect your ability to correctly focus and can cause headaches so it is important to keep your space light and airy. If you’re not lucky enough to have natural light, wall mounted lights are a space saving way to have focused light without taking up precious desk space. Choose your bulb carefully to get the brightness that works for your work and your space.
Make it yours
The more your work space represents you, the more comfortable you will be, and therefore, the more productive. Add a few key pieces that express your personal style whether it’s plants, wall art or stationery. Use pin boards to create collages or cork boards to make mood boards to help keep you inspired throughout the day.
Declutter your space
Live by the mantra tidy desk, tidy mind and keep your desk clear, clean and organised. Set aside a solid 5 minutes everyday and dedicate yourself to sticking with it. There are many 5 minute tidying tips out there to work through or pick randomly each day, such as emptying a drawer or a shelf and working through it. Not only will this give you a chance to refocus, but it will also be a change of perspective from your daily tasks.
Pick the right playlist
Especially beneficial for the more mundane tasks, sourcing the right soundtrack will help to boost your productivity and mood. Create a playlist that works for your style and daily routine, whether it’s getting energised during the morning commute or the post lunch productivity plummet.
Above and beyond the look of your work space, writing to do lists will help you to manage your time and effectively plan your workload. Research shows that the actual act of writing up and methodically ticking off a list makes us feel like we have accomplished something and in turn promotes productivity.
Choose your fragrance
Fragrances can really influence our mood which is helpful especially when working from home as different fragrances will help to differentiate spaces and zones. Rosemary for example, is credited with improving memory and promoting clear thinking, while peppermint is great for enlivening and motivating. Use fragrance sticks or room diffusers for a subtle scent or burn a candle for more impact.
In recent years the popularity of small cacti and succulents has positively blossomed, however there are more benefits to the botanical than simply being attractive desk decor. Scientists have found that the introduction of indoor plants to a working environment not only improves the air quality, but also has a positive effect on memory while decreasing stress levels. If you’re not particularly green fingered, choose a plant that needs minimal TLC such as a cactus or a peace lily.
If you have a small desk area, utilise the wall space by installing shelves to stow away your clutter and help keep your mind on the task in hand. Floating shelves are ideal for small working spaces as they make the area feel open and airy whilst providing essential storage. If you want a less linear design, try hanging baskets or square box shelves as a solution.
It’s not just your plants that need looking after, during the working day it’s really important to stay well nourished to encourage peak productivity. Keeping healthy, low sugar snacks at your desk and staying hydrated throughout the day will sustain your energy levels and help avoid a 4pm caffeine crash.