Create a Space You Can Be Productive In

Being productive isn’t always easy. There are a lot of things that can derail productivity, from distractions to simply discomfort. It’s important to set yourself up for success so today, we thought we’d go through some tips on how to set your workstation up so that you can improve your productivity. 

Don’t Focus on Variables You Can’t Control

You only have so much space when setting up your workspace. In the office, this is often already done for you. Some organizations have cubicles or they’ve committed to an open floor plan, which is typically structured as a strategic setup to help you be able to collaborate better with people. What you can help is how your desk is set up. 

The first thing you should consider is how messy your desk is. The more clutter you have on your physical workspace, the less productive you will likely be. You will want a system in place to lose all the paper that just lays about on your desk.

Next, check the temperature. In a study conducted by Cornell University they found that a warm office can improve typing speed as much as 150 percent and also found that typing errors were decreased by 44 percent. The study showed that an average of about 71º Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature for productivity. 

Another factor is the type of light you have. Dimmer light has shown to improve creative work, while brighter light has shown to increase analytical work. If possible, utilize natural light (like an open window) as it has shown to significantly improve productivity and employee satisfaction. If you don’t have access to natural light, it is suggested that you take enough breaks outside to get away from a) your screen, and b) the fluorescent or incandescent light found in most work environments. 

Get Comfortable

You have to consider that you spend about a quarter to a third of your life at work, and if you work at a desk, it can really take a toll on your body. You would be surprised how much of your productivity is linked to how you feel. Keeping your body and mind right is a big part of sustaining productivity. Let’s look at three exercises that you can do in your workspace and three things you can do to keep your mind sharp.

Desk exercises

There are quite a few exercises you can do at your desk to help you get the blood pumping and your muscles stretched out. The best thing you can do is periodically stretch your legs by going  for a short walk around the block, the parking lot, or simply up and down some stairs, but if you can’t get away from your desk, here are three easy-to-do exercises that can make you more comfortable at work:

  • Neck rolls – Relax and lean your head forward and slowly rotate in a circle for 10 seconds. Repeat it by doing it in the opposite direction.
  • Chair squats – Stand up at your desk and just lower your body down until you almost reach your chair. Do this 10-15 times. 
  • Wrist and finger stretch – Place both hands on your desk with your palms down and your fingers pointed toward your body, lean slightly forward and hold for five seconds. 

Exercising your brain is just as important as stretching your body as you can get fatigued with all the little tasks that you do each day. Here are three ways to get your mind right at work:

  • Meditate – There are several ways people choose to meditate, but the easiest is to sit back in your chair and close your eyes for three-to-five minutes and focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four, hold it for four seconds, breathe out for a count of four and hold for four seconds with no air in your lungs. It doesn’t take long to become more relaxed.
  • Change it up – One way to cut through the minutiae at work is to do things a little differently each day. Try sitting in new places as you work, shift your priorities around, or spend 15-or-20 minutes working on your networking skills. You may have a routine, but you might just find it’s best to break it to feel better while at work.
  • Fundamental skill development – They say practice makes perfect, but unless you have developed the fundamental skills behind good business practices, you may find it creates more stress. Work on your skill development with a memory app, a typing quiz, or work on learning new software. The more you practice, the better you will be.

Work can be filled with timelines, deadlines, and they create stress on your body and your mind. Do you have any additional exercises you can suggest to help readers get more relaxed and more productive at work? Leave your comments below and return to our blog for more great workplace tips regularly. 

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