Get More Done In Your Work Environment
Life is busy, to say the least. We’re living in a fast-paced era where more work is expected from us than there are hours in the day. We’re often expected to “optimize our productivity” and “maximize our efficiency” – no pressure, right!
Well, we’re here to help make the impossible possible without adding strain to your already chaotic life. It all starts with your work environment. The happier you are at work, the more likely you are to focus and get the job done. With the right setting, an agenda that suits your working style and a few breathers in between, you can reach your deadlines without burning out or running for the hills. Here’s how:
1. Personalize Your Space
Start by making your workspace your very own. Just a few subtle tweaks can make an office feel more like a home – a comfortable place where you are surrounded by things that make you happy. Whether it be a pot plant, a framed photo of your loved ones, or a coffee mug displaying your favorite cartoon character, a personal touch can make you feel more connected to your work environment. Decorating your desk or workspace is also a great reminder that you are a unique individual, not just another pair of hands on the conveyer belt. It reflects that you have something original to offer and that your driven personality will shine through in every result.
While it’s good to add your personal touch, you want to avoid clutter. Piles of papers on your desk surrounded by year-old coffee rings are enough to demotivate anyone. So, clean up and clear up. Everything you don’t use HAS to go. Organize your stationery, file your papers, and keep your “personal tweaks” to just 2-3 items. And while you’re at it, we urge you to sterilize! Nothing builds a backlog of work more than being sick all the time. Keep your area germ-free and sanitized. Finish off with a touch of your favorite scented air-freshener. Aah, much better!
3. Noise Or No Noise
Some people work well with a good amount of hustle and bustle around them while others prefer dead silence as they focus and draw inspiration from the peace and quiet. If the noise levels in your current environment are not to your liking, then we encourage you to create more appealing surroundings. Wireless headphones are perfect for many reasons. They can help to block out noise or they can give you the background sounds you’re after. There are also some great music compilations that have been specifically compiled to promote brain activity and keep one’s attention on the target.
4. Get Your Lighting Right
Harsh lighting conditions can put a lot of strain on your eyes, making you feel tired faster. If possible, natural light is the way to go. Natural lighting has been proven to increase productivity, it makes you feel less confined, and it can have a positive effect on your behavior and mood in general. If you’re stuck in a room with fluorescent lights, however, then it’s not the be all and end all. Simply place a warm lamp on your desk and this will help to balance out bright lights and reduce the strain on your eyes. A desk lamp also creates a warm and pleasant atmosphere. While you’re at it, if you work on a screen, you might want to adjust the brightness setting so that this light is also easier on your eyes.
5. Schedule Breaks
Sometimes we’re so set on finishing our work that we forget to take breaks. This often leads to burnout and then we miss our deadlines anyway. The trick is to take small intermittent “timeouts”. Set a timer on your watch or create an alarm that reminds you to take a break every hour or so. Then, spend 5-10 minutes walking around (get some fresh air outside if possible), fill your glass with water, focus on the horizon to stretch your eyes, and simply compose yourself. Little breaks can amount to tons of work being done in between.
6. Use A Calendar
While it might seem like extra admin, we recommend you make use of your daily planners. Planning your days, weeks, and even months ahead of time gives you a good idea of where you are coming from and more importantly, where you’re going. Being grounded will make going to work more pleasant, mostly because having a firm grip on your schedule builds an air of confidence – which is a crucial component of getting the job done efficiently and on time. Place a calendar on your wall, or even better, purchase a desk calendar so your schedule is always at your disposable while seated. If you’re an on-the-go type, use the planner on your Smartphone.
7. Celebrate Small Victories
Even if you have been doing the same job for years on end, the small victories still count! We are often so focused on the goal ahead that we tend to be blinded by all we achieve along the way. This is why we are great fans of setting milestones. Use a notebook to draw a timeline of small objectives that lead up to the main “prize”. Celebrate as you reach each objective. You can reward yourself with your favorite sweet treat or you can go out for drinks with your workmates. This will encourage you to stay motivated as you move closer and closer to your goal – with your sanity still in check!
8. Take Time to Stretch
While our minds might be in the right place our bodies could be taking a toll. Sitting for hours on end is not healthy for our muscles and if we do not stretch often, then we’re going to end up with an assortment of aches and pains. These body strains will keep us from the task at hand and leave us feeling drained and demotivated. Use your breaks to do a few quick stretches that work all or most of your muscles, paying a lot of attention to your back. Not only will this alleviate tension, but it will also help to reduce stress and it will get your blood pumping again, energizing you for the next round of work.
9. Stay Hydrated And Snack
If your boss hasn’t installed a watercooler, you might want to encourage him to do so! Not only is this an awesome spot to socialize and lighten the mood, keeping hydrated with clean drinking water is crucial if you want to stay on top of your game. The same goes for snacks! Snacking on healthy foods while you work not only makes drab tasks more bearable, it also gives you the energy boost you need to keep moving like a well-oiled engine! Use the office fridge to stock up on carrot sticks, nuts and fresh fruit – some brain food to help get the job done!
Work with no play not only makes Jack a dull boy, but it also makes him a frazzled one who forgets to have fun. While you might love to work, forgetting to connect with others, especially your co-workers, could eventually harm your career. We need people to help keep us stay motivated, inspired, and most of all, we need them to help keep our sanity in check. Without socializing, you could possibly allow work to consume you and this will eventually suck all of the fun out of the career path you have chosen, making what was once a passion a mere chore that you just keep putting off. Make sure you attend the next office party!