Your home office is an island of sanity in a turbulent sea of responsibilities. Keeping the outside world from entering your office space is no simple feat – which can have a big effect on your productivity. What if there were a few tricks to make an atmosphere that keeps your mind clear and your ideas flowing? If you’re having a hard time focusing or beating stress, try these office hacks to boost relaxation and productivity in your work space.
1. Wall Organizers to Add Options
Clutter doesn’t help alleviate stress; it usually causes it! Reining in a messy office starts from the bottom with a clean floor. Open up the floor area by using vertical space. Wall-mounted file systems, stylish shelving units and cubbies put your walls to work.
Place your wall organizers at eye-height in an accessible location. If you are using them for incoming and outgoing mail, then place them near the door for ultimate convenience. Mount a white board and wall calendar next to your desk to keep your reminders close at hand. To ensure your walls look organized, color code your reminder notes based on priority; red suggests “urgent” – while green indicates “action needed.” Be sure to take a little extra time to post them in neat rows; a little bit goes a long way.
2. Plants to Bring in Life
An office typically is stacked with files, organizers and basic necessities. What about bringing some color and life into your space? Plants add natural beauty to your office to make for a more comfortable work environment. Plants can boost positivity, so don’t be afraid to make your work space into an indoor arboretum. Choose a combination of hanging plants, potted floor plants and smaller desk plants for balance. If you don’t have a sunny window, choose shade-tolerant varieties like lemon balm or asparagus fern.
3. Accessories for a Clutter-Free Desk
An unorganized desktop overwhelms your mind with unfinished business. Clean it up by using a desk organizer for your office supplies; the organizer should have openings and drawers for pens, paper clips, scissors and anything else you use regularly.
A go-to method for keeping your files organized is the ABC system. Use "action" for daily items that you need access to quickly and "basic" to classify general reports, statements and bills that you frequent weekly. Save “classic” for long-term storage, such as legal documents that come around once a year. By sticking with a defined action method, you are guaranteed to keep your most important items organized. Everything else should fall into a desk drawer or another nearby storage space to keep the desktop as clear as possible.
4. Lighting for Optimal Focus
Your computer is a focal point of your office – but it shouldn’t be the only source of light in your space. Lighting is needed to prevent you from squinting and straining your eyes in your work day. Boost your energy by opening up your window or find a desk lamp to shine while you type. If the room is not well-lit, then consider moving your home office to a brighter room or investing in multiple light sources to reduce eye strain. A floor lamp in a corner gives you indirect light for the entire room, which also helps keep glare off of your computer screen. A few track lighting fixtures below shelves gives your space softer lighting that avoids an artificial feel of fluorescent bulbs. Combine those with a desk lamp next to your chair for task lighting, and opt for halogen bulbs that enhance color clarity that other bulbs lack.
5. Color for Creativity
Four white walls do have a clean look – but the solid, monotone look does nothing to bring creativity or cheerfulness to your home office. Colors are important in helping you get in an optimal frame of mind. Choosing the right color depends on the atmosphere you want to create. Paint your walls blue to stimulate your mind, or go wild with yellow to boost your creativity. After deciding on a base color, look for a certain shade that makes you feel inspired and energized, such as a lighter blue or stark, mustard yellow. Test it with natural light during the day as well as under lamp light in the evening to ensure there are no surprises. Add some balance with complementary colors, such as orange storage boxes for a blue room or purple shelves for a yellow space.
Organization and smart decor can transform a so-so office into a productivity refuge, creating a personal space where you can work in peace. After implementing these tips, kick back and take a long break before starting your next shift – you deserve it.
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