Productivity has become a hot button topic. People are making crazy amounts of money by writing guides for productivity for people of all ages (some starting as young as middle school). While finishing the tasks you want to is an admirable goal, we have found that often it is the smaller, quieter things that most influence productivity.
A new area of research called environmental psychology has emerged and has been finding very interesting results. Consistently, studies are showing that people’s environment affects their mood, creativity, focus, and, you guessed it, productivity. You might not need to force yourself to sit and do things that you despise. You might just need to tweak up your space a little bit so that it is more encouraging for productive work. The following will explore some of the things you can do to your workspace to make sure that you can get your work done when you need to.
Clean Up Your Room Or Workspace
Not to nag you, but maybe you should clean up your workspace. Studies have found that people are far more productive in clean spaces than in messy ones. Beyond productivity, a messy room has been shown to correlate with depression. Clean rooms reduce allergies, boost your self-esteem, and build a sense of productivity within you that makes you feel excited to feel more productive. This seems like a very small point, but it can make a huge difference regarding how much work you get done and how easy it feels to get it done.
Take some time to pick up anything that isn’t where it should be. Change the garbage. Wipe down your surfaces. Vacuum or mop and, if you are able, let in some fresh air through the windows. While you’re cleaning, consider how much clutter needs to be out on display and which items you can put away for a sleeker feeling.
Make Sure All Your Tools Are Within Reach
If you keep all the things you need to finish your work nearby, let’s say at your desk, you minimize the number of times you need to get up and go looking for something that you need to finish your work. If it’s schoolwork we’re talking about, you’ll need your class notes, your textbooks, and some pens or pencils. If you’re working remotely you’ll need your computer or laptop, your mouse, and keyboard.
If just thinking about all these items makes you want to run in the other direction, consider adding a bit of fun to them. Maybe you find a book cover with your favorite anime character on it to ease the dread of opening that textbook. Maybe you could find a custom playmat for your keyboard and mouse. For some people, all it takes to lighten the work mood is their favorite type of pen with colorful ink. Figure out what little joys you can hide in your daily work.
Think About Colors
The color of the walls around you or the color of large items like rugs, curtains, bedding, and furniture, can have a big impact on your mental state. Take a few moments to read about color psychology and you’ll begin to understand how influential colors are on the human mind. Studies have even found that the color of a placebo pill (a sugar pill designed to do nothing to the body) alters how effective people feel the pill is. During sports matches, the team wearing a black uniform is more likely to be given penalties. People driving red cars are given tickets more often than people driving cars of other colors. It may seem a little strange to start looking at the impact of color, but it can be incredibly helpful not only when you’re designing a space ideal for productivity, but when you’re choosing outfits for dates or job interviews or icing for your friend’s birthday cake.
Add A Houseplant
House plants are pretty, and often require minimal work for maintenance. Beyond this, they have been shown to increase the levels of oxygen in the room (this can help with focus and concentration) and they reduce stress and anxiety (which are two of the big inhibitors to productive work). Studies have found that indoor plants boost productivity by up to 15%. That’s a big improvement for such a little alteration!
The above tips should help you set up a workspace that helps you finish the work you need done. Of course, it is important to make sure that you are not pushing yourself too hard. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep and eating high-energy foods. All the productivity advice in the world isn’t going to help you battle exhaustion. Your life is about far more than what you can get done in a day.