Productivity and GTD
How to Organize Your Workplace to Boost Creative Thinking and Productivity
Have you ever thought about how your workplace influences your efficiency and productivity? Well, you definitely should, as your surroundings drastically affect your mood and your creative thinking.
Every job requires being focused and motivated to increase productivity as you gain more experience. If you have a workplace that makes you sleepy or unbalanced instead of stimulating your brain work, then you need to change your setting for the better, and this article will explain how to do that.
1. Inspirational Setting
Everyone is different and has a personal source of inspiration. Some people are inspired by the people around them and their knowledge or professionalism. Others prefer surrounding themselves with beautiful objects, posters, plants or furniture.
Observe your workplace critically. What does it lack? Maybe, you feel uncomfortable because the light is too bright or vice versa, the room is too dark. Or maybe you need a change in your interior because you get used to it and need a little shake to break a routine.
As inspiration is a very subjective matter, it’s hard to speak about its general rules, but we will try to give you some hints:
- Make an “aspiration board” with pictures and quotes that you find inspiring. You can also attach images of things that you want to achieve in your life — the house you want to live in, or a car that you may want to buy. You can also attach an example of work that you consider a good representation of professionalism that you want to accomplish.
- Add some colors. Black and white minimalist offices are a real trend right now. But you might lack some burst of color to have more creative thoughts. Use colorful stationery, stickers, mugs or plants to make your desk less boring.
- Turn on your favorite music. Music is an exceptional tool. It has a wonderful power to make us nostalgic, energetic or calm. Listen to music that helps to boost your creativity — classical music, dance music or even sounds of nature. Find a genre that makes you want to work and create nonstop.
Inspiration is an important part of any working process. Your motivation, your productivity, and even your mood are affected by your inspiration for a particular work that you need to perform.
2. A Clean Space
Statistics say that your workplace mess reduces your brain activity and can negatively affect your work. Though we know that geniuses can rule the chaos, and most artistic individuals are not the tidiest people in the world, you shouldn’t justify the mess around your desk.
Having every detail organized is the first step to a productive day. Starting your working process among the remnants of yesterday’s lunch, or amidst a pile of various papers and documents, isn’t a great start.
Put a little effort into making your workplace a little tidier and you will notice that your productivity improves day by day.
3. A Perfect Lighting
Natural light is the best for our health and activity. But since humanity hasn’t invented a complete replacement for it, we have to use lamplight, which is often the factor that negatively affects our productivity.
Many offices have bright fluorescent lights on, while others use modern LED lamps. But the color of the lighting matters even more than its type. Light color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K) and it has a range of variations from high to mid and low:
- High color temperature is bright white with a blue undertone (5,000 K and more).
- Mid color temperature gives us a cool light close to the daylight (around 4,000-5,000 K).
- Low color temperature is warm yellow or orange (3,000 K or less).
The lower the color temperature is, the more relaxing and intimate the atmosphere is. So, usually, warm lights are suggested for use at home, while white-blue for offices and working places.
The brightness of lighting is an individual preference. Some people feel sleepy when the light is not high enough — this fact should be considered when planning workplace lighting sources.
Choose the light sources that provide diffused light, and the bulbs of mid color temperatures to imitate bright natural light, while keeping in mind how offices exposed to the natural light provide health benefits.
If you work from home or have an opportunity to add additional sources of light to your office, experiment with the lighting that you find the most effective for you.
4. Small Details
There are a lot of factors that affect our productivity at work. Some of them can be changed and others cannot. Finding a balance is always necessary, so try some of these quick fixes to boost your workplace productivity:
- Use noise-canceling headphones if background noise distracts you.
- If you don’t like the monochrome setting of your office, place a few plants at your desk — they will lighten your mood, make your surroundings more colorful while clearing the air.
- Pick a comfortable chair, or make the one that you have now more comfortable by using chair cushions.
- Surround your workplace with objects that make you feel at home. Do you know why we see so many movies showing us scenes of family photos at people’s desks? Because this helps people feel more relaxed and happy, while at work.
Pay attention to factors that distract or annoy you the most, and eliminate them one by one.
Of course, working from home allows you to set your workspace the way you want it without having to focus on other people. But you can change your workplace for the better, even if you work in an open space. Organizing your space is the first step towards organizing your life, so never underestimate the importance of your surroundings. Make it a creative and effective place.