How to Improve Your Productivity: The Working Environment

This is the first part of our life and work skills series, where we will be covering many topics that will show you how to improve your productivity and how to improve work efficiency significantly. In this first article we discuss tips on how to create the ideal workspace and how to mitigate distractions.

The overall vibe of your workspace, from the layout to the colours to the degree of lighting, all have a significant impact on your level of productivity. Not to mention, distractions. Everyone is prone to distractions, it’s human nature to lose focus, so eliminating distractions before they even distract you is the key to improving your productivity.

Improving your workspace

Here are some great tips to ensure that your workspace is in tip top shape to improve your productivity.

1. Clean up and organise your space

It is safe to say that having an organised workspace promotes good vibes and doesn’t wreck havoc in your mind. Who can even concentrate in a messy, disorganised space anyways?

Tip: Make sure everything has a place. Once you use it, always put it back in its place. That way, you don’t have to worry about having a disorganised workspace.

Now let’s talk about the phenomenon of the 3 piles of attack.

The 3 piles of attack

Organise your paperwork into 3 piles:

Pile 1: Take action

Pile 2: File away

Pile 3: Trash

Go through the tasks you need to complete at this very moment, then file away the rest. Throw away trash as soon as possible before it becomes visible clutter. By using these 3 piles of attack, you’re well on your way to not having a cluttered desk and a peace of mind. You will be amazed at how much paper you actually have.

2. Make sure you have good quality lighting

The best type of lighting to have in your workspace is natural lighting. Pull open those blinds and let the sunlight fill your room. Avoid working in dim lighting as it decreases your productivity levels because it encourages sleep and tiredness.

Tip: Invest in a good desk lamp.

3. Be selective of the colours you wish to include in your space

Did you know that different colours stimulates different emotions? Here are the ideal colours to include in your workspace.

Blue

  • Universally known to maximise productivity
  • Stable and calming to enhance focus

Green

  • Good for people who are working long hours
  • Does not cause eye fatigue
  • Helps you remain calm and efficient

Yellow

  • Great for designers and creative people
  • Promotes optimism
  • Stimulates creativity

Red

  • Useful for tasks that need attention
  • Increases heart rate and blood flow
  • Invokes passion and emotion

4. Embrace the plant life

Integrating plants to your workspace provides profound benefits including making your space seem more natural, reducing stress and negativity, and promoting happiness and efficiency. Minimalist offices devoid of plants more often than not lead to miserable people. Why? The lack of Mother Nature’s touch.

Tip: Add some greenery to your workspace. If you want a low maintenance plant, opt for a cactus (yes, even those spikey buggers promote positivity and enthusiasm)

Eliminating distractions

1. Get off your phone, especially social media

The rise of social media has led to it becoming a major distraction. We all want to keep up with our friends’ latest updates, newsworthy posts, or stay online chatting, but this has to stop if you want to improve your productivity.

Put your phone on silent and place it face down on the desk. Fight the urge to check your phone while you are working. During your 5 minute breaks, allow yourself to check your phone as a reward but be sure to put it down when the time is up!

2. Let others know that you are in the working zone

Other people are often the ones that we are prone to getting distracted by. Before you start working, let people around you know that you are in the zone and refrain from distracting you, unless it is an urgent matter.

3. Get rid of visual clutter

Having a messy workspace leads to a messy mind. Before visual clutter becomes a distraction, get rid of them. Put everything in its correct place, trash things that you don’t need, and get organised.

4. Take care of your physical necessities

Before you start working, be sure to have a drink and some snacks by your side to avoid getting some in the middle of your train of thought. This way, you will stay “in the zone” whilst having some snacks to refuel on.

Schedule regular bathroom breaks as well as 5 minute breaks to stretch and walk around. This will decrease your stress levels and help you declutter your mind.

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Next week we will discuss how can you organise your workload and effectively manage your time! Stay tuned.

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What are some other ways you use to create the right working environment and eliminate distractions? Share in the comment section below.

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