Hey there small business hustlers! Let’s have a quick chat about our work space.
Sometimes the only thing we can do is plop down on the couch with our laptops, surround by kid toys with the TV on in the background. Trust me, I get it. Sometimes all we can do is work whenever and wherever we can. As I write this I’m sitting at the kitchen table scurrying to get this blog done before the baby wakes up.
But let me challenge you today: designate a work space for yourself and then splurge a little bit to dress it up.
“After all, if you’re going to be spending any amount of time in this designated work space, it’s worth it to make sure you are in a productive and intentional work environment.”
So let’s talk. Whether you’re working from a home office, a cubical, your kitchen table, or a coffee shop…. what makes a good and productive work space?
Check it out :
A Body-Friendly Chair and Desk
Whether you’re going to be working for 30 minutes or 8 hours, sitting can take a toll on your body. Do your back and neck a favor and make sure you are sitting tall and comfortable while you work. Here’s a few pointers that my chiropractor gave me:
- Make sure that you are in a chair with proper back support.
- Try raising your laptop closer to eye level so you aren’t straining your neck by looking down as much
- Keep your mouse or mouse pad even with where your elbows naturally rest at your side so that you aren’t constantly reach or holding your shoulder in an unnatural position
Bottom line: Be aware of your posture and how your body feels when you’re sitting.
Only The Essentials
Make sure you have everything you may need… computer charger, phone charge, sticky notes, notebook, pen, back up pen, water bottle, etc. Don’t give yourself an excuse to get up and get distracted because you forgot something you needed at your work space.
At the same time, make sure only the essentials are in your line of sight. Don’t overwhelm your senses by throwing everything on your desk. Get rid of three hole punch and stapler that you are never going to use because you don’t even work with physical paper.
A clear desk is a clear mind.
Bottom line: Be prepared, but don’t clutter your space with too many items
A Pop of Color
A quick google search will tell you that blue is dubbed the most productive color. However, it depends on what kind of project you are working on. Here is a quick cheat sheet about how color affects your productivity. To read more about this awesome science check out this article.
Blue– Stable and calming. Helps focus on the task at hand
Green– Easy on the eyes when working for long hours
Yellow– Stimulates creativity
Red– Evokes emotion and passion
Bottom line: Spice it up! It’s psychologically good for you.
Some Personal Touches
Place a few pictures of your loved ones, your kiddos, your puppies, that one place you really want to travel to one day, a few motivating quotes, your purpose statements, a watercolor painting of flowers, or a bouquet of real flowers…
Whatever it is that inspires, motivates, or relaxes you… Something that says “YOU,” put it up where you can see! Take some ownership of your work space.
Bottom line: Own your space and remember what motivates you.
I’ve found that I’m most productive when the overhead lights are off and I’m working with a lamp on or just the blinds open with some natural light.
Set a mood for productivity by cutting off those harsh LED lights and opt for natural light or natural bulbs in your lamps. It creates a relaxing environment that isn’t as harsh and distracting as an over lit room.
Bottom line: Replace that harsh overhead light with some natural or low lighting.
Candles or Oils
Pick out a smell that you use specifically for when you are working.
If you use essential oils, try diffusing a blend of Orange and Peppermint to feel rejuvenated and alert.
I love the smell of Rosemary, so anytime I can find an herb based candle, I snatch it up!
Or try lighting a coffee candle (or a tea light surrounded by coffee beans.) My husband swears that just the smell of coffee motivates him.
Bottom line: Designate a smell that tells your mind it’s time to work.
Water and Music
Lastly, my two must-haves when working is water and music.
I try to keep a water bottle with a straw next to me because if I don’t, I would probably get too wrapped up in my work to remember to hydrate. Also, it’s so easy to mindlessly drink water when it’s just sitting in front of you with a convenient straw.
Also, I just can’t live without music. In every other aspect of my life, I tend to prefer quiet, but when I’m working, I need a little back ground noise. I opt for music because when I have Netflix on in the “background” i’m obviously a *little* bit more wrapped up in what’s going on on screen.
Bottom line: Stay hydrated. Stay focused.
There you have it. giving your work space a little TLC doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune, but it’s worth it to create an environment that you want to get work done in.
Happy hustling, yall!
-Written by Carla Yerkes-