If you work in an office, the chances are you will spend at least five hours a day on average sat at your desk. Working hard no doubt, but still sitting down in the same area. If up to a quarter of your day is spent in one place, it’s crucial to make this your haven, where you can optimise your creativity and productivity levels to their maximum. It’s even been said that having a well-designed office can increase productivity by up to 20%!
That’s where this article comes in: I’ve done some research to find the best tips for creating the right kind of desk space to perform best at work. Results from one article in The Telegraph suggested that the human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 (around the time when the mobile revolution began), to just 8 seconds today in 2016. To put this into perspective, an average goldfish is supposed to have a 9 second attention span. Yeah. If our minds now wander this quickly, having a productive desk space is essential to help improve focus and ultimately make your job more enjoyable. Here are the 10 Tips for a Productive Desk Space…
1. Surround yourself with things that make you smile
Studies have shown that having photos of your loved ones around you during the day can relieve stress and also will remind you why you’re working so hard. There are some gorgeous photo frames in Zara Home and Paperchase, or even some really cheap ones in Ikea if you’re on a budget.
2. Make the most of the natural light available
If you have any control over it, try to get a desk near the window or at least near some natural light. This can improve sleep, enhance your mood and help your body clock.
3. Have some headphones to hand
Perhaps not during your more arduous work tasks, but when you’re doing some more relaxed and perhaps more tedious jobs, listening to some uplifting music can be the perfect aid to get you back on track and even feel more energised. Try Monster Dr Dre iBeats Stereo In Ear Headphones in Black or White: £23.99
4. Plants Plants Plants
Surrounding yourself with nature is a healthy thing to do for your mind, as plants help to psychologically engage your brain and keep your focus up. On another positive, they look nice and add a bit of colour.
5. Your screen should be at eye level
To avoid putting unnecessary strain on your neck and shoulders, your screen should be at eye level. This doesn’t mean resting your chin on the desk and gazing forwards however. You can get some great screen racks to add some height underneath your laptop or desktop screen, like this Fellowes Smart Suites monitor riser from Staples.
6. Get the colours right
Different colours can stimulate different moods in the brain. For example we all know that red can connote feelings of passion and anger, purple can help creativity, green can improve positivity and a calm feeling along with blue tones. If you don’t have control over the actual colours of the walls, simply choose a colour and buy your stationery and desk accessories in this shade.
7. Make the most of shelf space or drawers
Drawer dividers can be a lifesaver if you have lots of bits to organise. Being organised can help productivity simply by saving you time looking for things. http://www.aplaceforeverything.co.uk/ is a great website to have a look on.
8. Have a cork board or display in front of you
If you’re a visual person like me, it helps to have something to look at to make a plan of action. Being able to see post-it notes with tasks on or images that can remind you of ongoing jobs can push you in the right direction and catch your eye if you begin to lose focus. Try something like this cork board.
9. Keep a positive book nearby
I’m not even ashamed to admit, I am a sucker for a self help book. This doesn’t mean you have to stack “How to Remove my Life from the Drain it’s Found Itself In” or similar book title on your desk for all the world to see. There are some great little books with short positive memos in that you could keep in a drawer beside your desk to flick down to when you need a boost. I really like “The Book of You: Daily Micro-Actions for a Happier, Healthier You” by Nelli Lahteenmaki, Nora Rosendahl, Aleksi Hoffman, Jamie Oliver and “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be” by Paul Arden.
10. Check the scent
This one sounded a bit bonkers to me at first, but then I realised how important this must be. Smell is said to be the most emotive human sense. If smell can have this much effect on people’s emotions, it must be able to aid with creativity and productivity. It’s been claimed that:
Pine = increases alertness
Vanilla = can elevate your mood
Cinnamon = improves focus and sharpens the mind
Lavender = helps relaxation
Peppermint = refreshes & lifts mood
Citrus = wakes you up!
Do you have any of your own tips for creating a productive desk space that you swear by? We’d love to hear them, so please leave a comment below.
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