It’s been a year since life as we knew it came to a halt, companies closed their offices, and employees started working from home. If we proved anything during COVID-19 it’s that when push comes to shove, we can improvise. Fast forward to today, and you may have a corner of your apartment converted to a studio, a dining table turned makeshift writing desk, or a spare bedroom transformed to an office.
No matter how you adapted to working from home, you may want to consider refreshing your workspace to reboot your creative juices—especially if you’re feeling at all unmotivated or uninspired when you sit down to get work done.
Afterall, your workstation is where you spend the most time creating, generating new ideas, and producing some of your best work, so why not turn it into a place of joy and inspiration? Read on to learn simple yet effective ways to rejuvenate your space that will help you reach optimal productivity every day!
Declutter and organize
Let’s be honest, we all have that junk drawer (or drawers) that we shove endless amounts of mail, paperwork, and/or notes into throughout the year. Though it’s common, it can create unnecessary stress. So, the first step to refreshing your place of work according to Lisa Kanarek, author of five books about working from home including Organize Your Home Office For Success, is to “take a close look at what you’ve accumulated throughout the year and either toss, donate, or recycle what you don’t need.”
In addition, studies have shown that decluttering can make you feel healthier and happier. After tossing needless junk, an easy way to organize your important paperwork is by either digitizing it or investing in baskets, shelves, or filing cabinets. It’ll make it far less scary to look at and much more manageable.
Decluttering can also help us feel more productive. “By keeping the items you use often in your home office, you’re less likely to get distracted,” says Kanarek. “Keeping clutter to a minimum also saves time. You won’t spend most of your day looking for what you need when you need it.”
So set up your workspace to keep the supplies that you use daily within reach and toss the rest. Each time you have to leave your home office to find something, you waste valuable time.
Switch up your surroundings
Changing up your work environment can be a game changer when it comes to productivity and can welcome a new wave of energy. Investing in new decor, painting your walls, or getting a new rug are all things you can do to refresh your workspace.
If you opt to paint your walls, Kanarek suggests that when choosing a color, rather than adding samples directly to the wall, paint the samples on cardboard or foam board and hold them up in different parts of your office. “The lighting will change the look of the color and the existing color can affect the way the new colors look,” she says. And if you’re in a rental, consider adding temporary wallpaper.
Surround yourself with things you love
Whether it’s framing pictures of family and friends, putting out a memento from a favorite vacation, lighting some candles, or all of the above, being surrounded by things you love and that bring you inner peace can be a natural mood booster and motivator. Your work area should also be an abode where you let your focus and creativity flow thrive, so find what inspires you and have fun with it!
It’s also worth it to talk about house plants. Studies have proven that our little green friends help manage stress, boost concentration levels, and make us more productive in a working environment. If you don’t have room for a plant on your desk, consider a floating shelf to place a little cactus on. Even a small plant can make a big difference.
If natural light is an issue, you might want to consider moving towards a window or change to a more well-lit room. If not for your plants, then for yourself. Natural lighting is just as important to your work performance and your well-being.
If there’s one thing you shouldn’t sacrifice when it comes to your workstation, it’s comfort. If your chair is giving you back pain or your desk isn’t big enough to fit your planner and computer at the same time, then upgrading is worth it.
“Sit down and decide whether your chair is meeting your needs,” says Kanarek. “An adjustable chair with back support is ideal. You don’t need to spend a fortune to own a chair that will keep you from suffering from back pain.” If you’re tired of sitting all day, check out standing desks or add an adjustable laptop stand to give you the option of sitting or standing while working.
Setting yourself up for success starts with the environment you’re working in. Whether it’s a whole room or a makeshift area of your apartment, choose a weekend and invest time to make it somewhere you enjoy to be every day. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself on Monday and in the weeks ahead.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.