You know that I’m all about organization and planning. I’m a big believer in having an efficient bullet journal. But an aspect of planning that is often overlooked is a productive workspace. It is hard to think about organizing your brain when you are working in a dark, cluttered space. So I propose you do a little sprucing up! Don’t worry, none of these will break the bank. You only need a little bit of time and a little creativity to make your workspace beautiful and productive!
My (mostly) productive workspace
I do not have an office, so the desk is out in the living room. This presents some problems in our 600 square foot apartment, so being organized is a necessity. I like to keep my Leuchtturm on my desk at all times when I’m working, along with my Staedtler pens for any color coding. My Pilot Metropolitan is within reach at all times because I like taking my important notes with an important pen. I also like to keep the book I am reading on my desk and visible, which is currently The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. If you’re curious what exactly is so motivating about this book, check out my post about the Morning Pages to get a glimpse of the book’s purpose. I bet it will make you more productive just like it did for me!
1. Just add light
A huge part of a productive workspace is the lighting. While all this light makes photography difficult, it makes working easier. There is something about that natural sunshine that makes people feel more happy and productive. I love using my bullet journal in a patch of sunshine – that’s why I moved my desk into a window nook! If you don’t have access to a window, invest in a good lamp that will give your eyes a break from that computer screen. An LED lamp will especially be helpful in the depths of winter when light is scarce or when you find yourself working late into the night.
2. Declutter your desk
I know you’ve heard this advice before, but you need to do it! If you need a quick fix, just get rid of the trash and square away the rest. Having a small trash bin next to your desk can go a long way toward habitual decluttering. Taking things from chaos to neat little stacks makes a big difference when you’re just stressed and you need to do something. Of course, you still need to go through all the stacks later and actually organize them. I would suggest a file organizer for keeping stuff from accumulating directly on your workspace. I use a hanging file organizer to keep our mail from ever touching the desk, and I love it. Don’t forget about pen holders if you’re a pen addict like me!
3. Add some green
Human beings really respond to plants. Why not use that to your advantage? Adding plants into the workspace can increase productivity by 15%! So get yourself an orchid, a succulent, an air plant, or whatever suits your style. Put it in a cute pot to add some cheer and personality or get hanging pots to keep them off your desk. Or you can just by a regular pot and decorate it yourself with paint pens or metallic Sharpies. Just don’t forget to water it! A sad, unhappy plant is not going to be very cheery, now is it?
4. Try a standing desk
This is one of the more radical tips to try out because it is so far out of the norm. However, studies have shown that it’s not only healthier than sitting all day, it also leads to more productivity. Isn’t that crazy? Of course, if you don’t want to buy a brand new desk, there are desktop extenders to cater to you!
Sometimes all you need is to spice up your workspace by rearranging it. At your home, try moving furniture around for a different flow. Move your hanging pictures and paintings for a new aesthetic. The new look might spark some creative ideas.
6. Get a dry erase board
Having a dry erase board is a great way to keep paper from cluttering up your desk. You can keep a fairly permanent display for your information or clear it at the end of every day. It’s hard to deny that it is a ridiculously versatile tool. Don’t forget your bright dry erase markers!
7. Listen to the Right Music
Music can be the key to finding the perfect groove for work. Focus at Will is a website with a scientifically proven method to help people increase their productivity. There is a large selection of music genres to help you find exactly what you want PLUS the ability to choose the tempo of the music. Want something upbeat? You got it. Try this amazing music for two weeks to see if you like it and I’ll bet those two weeks will see a huge jump in productivity.
8. Hang some inspiration
I like keeping a few motivational quotes and pretty things in a little space next to my desk. Use some pretty yarn or rustic twine along with adorable little clothespins to display your favorite sayings or small pieces of art. I used my Tombows to create a pretty brush lettered quote to remind me to keep hustling. Maybe this is a good opportunity to apply some craft of your own to give it a personal touch. A little bit of inspiration can go a long way.
9. Use sticky notes
As a rule, I don’t like to use sticky notes for impermanent information. I use my dry erase board for that. But I do like to use them for permanent information that needs to stay visible. For example, I write the size properties of typical images on my blog so I can glance up and see them right in front of me. As a plus, you can use colorful sticky notes to create pretty designs on the wall.
You can do one or all of these to create a brighter, happier, and more productive workspace. You can try any of these with little to no money, and surely you can find something that will work for you. What do you do to foster a productive workspace?
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