I have been working from home for 18 months prior to writing this. My job allowed me to be flexible with my schedule, meaning I have to create and follow my own day after day. To be honest, I never found it hard to do that.
In fact, I now have a baby and a work-from-home job, and I diligently wake up at 6:00am and start at 6:30am every day. I believe one huge reason for managing that is that I always create a very productive workspace at home. There are several important things when you are trying to achieve that.
One huge thing when creating the perfect productive workspace is to only keep two things in it: things you need, and things that bring positivity. So anything you don’t need and that only serves to divert your attention, or, alternatively, serves no purpose – let go of it. Currently, I only have these things in my workstation:
- An extra monitor
- Mouse + mousepad
- Blue-light blocking glasses
- One unkillable plant + one vase
- An adorable Doctor Who cookie jar
- Scented candle
- An anti-stress cupcake.
And that’s it! Mind you, the table I work at is fairly large, so these things don’t even cover half of it. For a boost of positivity, you can add anything – crystals, photographs, or you can put an inspiring quote somewhere in there. But whatever you decide to add when creating the perfect workspace at home, just ask yourself: what purpose, if any, will this serve in my work? And if the answer is “none”, you’ll know it shouldn’t be there.
Make it Bright!
When pondering how to create a productive workspace for yourself, always take light into consideration. I know from experience that there’s nothing worse than sitting in a dark room, trying to somehow find focus and motivation to do your best. Not just that, but it’s also hard to wake up and start working in the first place!
If possible, put your workstation next to a window (more about using spaces effectively here), whether it ends up in front of you (if you think it won’t mess with your focus – since mine stares directly into my front yard, it doesn’t), or if you think it will, sit so it’s on your side. If that’s not possible, add a table lamp or two, but make sure you choose the lightbulbs which imitate natural light.
Make it Comfortable.
To design a productive workspace, it’s not enough to make it decluttered, aesthetic, and bright. You need to love being there, and one huge thing affecting that is whether you’re comfortable or not. So spend some extra money on a good, ergonomic chair, desk, and even mouse and keypad. Otherwise, you’ll end up in pain, uncomfortable, and, if you’re anything like me, switching to a sofa that ends up being not the most productive workstation, to say the least.
Another thing that’s helped me is buying an exercise ball. I have yet to use it for exercise, but it’s amazing when sitting in a chair starts making me feel uncomfortable – not only is it comfortable to sit on, but it’s easy to move around at the same time, which keeps you active. One more (albeit more expensive) option when it comes to staying active while working from home is a desk treadmill.
Create the Right Atmosphere.
Finally, decide what works for you in terms of atmosphere. Knowing how to make a workspace more productive is also about understanding whether you work better in silence, with music, sounds of a fireplace, or imitating a coffeeshop atmosphere. Luckily, YouTube has something for everyone, so make sure to also get a good pair of speakers or headphones, if you need them.
And there you have it! There isn’t much more to know about how to create a productive workspace at home. It’s all about being honest with what works for you, and being able to say “no” to distractions.