There was a point in time when sitting down to work at my desk meant that more than 60% of my to-do list wouldn’t get done. Having a work station in my room is super convenient (especially as the weather gets colder), and I wasn’t making the most of it at all.
During the summer, I’d use my lack of focus in my workspace to explore different coffee shops and outside locations with wifi and a charging station that promoted getting things done. But now that autumn weather has slowed the frequency of my productivity adventures, I’ve made a few changes to my work habits and work stations to make it the perfect place to #GetThingsDone.
Design wise, I made sure that my workspace as a whole is conducive to actual work. I like to keep the walls around my desk clutter free, to avoid feeling too shut in or overcrowded. My desk decor is kept minimal: a mug to hold pens and utensils, two small containers for odds and ends, a lamp for late night work (natural light during the day), and always a generous supply of post-it notes at the ready.
Still, when I sit down ready to get into my work zone, these six tips help me focus hard and end the session with a conquered to-do list.
01. Stock up & bring all you need.
There is nothing worse than digging into work only to find I need to go out and re-stock on some desk essentials. It may only take my 15 minutes to run to the store and back, but that’s 15 minutes of work lost and a good amount of distraction gained. When I know I’m in for a work day, I always gather any and everything I need to make sure it’s in reach. Need coffee to keep you going? Brew enough to fill your entire work day (put the extra in the fridge for iced coffee later).
02. Separate yourself & make it known.
I usually keep my bedroom door open, but when I’m working at my desk, I shut the door so my roomies and any visitors know serious business is happening. You may not only have to separate yourself from physical people, the online world should also take a break. Share a post that you’re doing work and won’t be responding to emails, tweets or social media in general. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, and close all tabs unrelated to your work.
03. Come ready for work
Working from home means you can totally spend hours working in your pajamas. But PJ’s make me think of bed, and sleep, which usually leads be away from my desk and under the covers. There’s no need to break out your favorite outfits, but coming to your desk ready to work makes a world of difference in your productivity. A simple outfit (that you’d run grab coffee in) can be the up your focus levels tremendously.
04. Eliminate distractions.
This seems obvious, I hope. The less distracted you are, the more likely you are to get things done. Clear your desk of any objects that you don’t need to get work done. Aside from the physical distractions, take a moment before you sit down to clear out the mental clutter, too.
05. Schedule a break.
If you know there’s lots to be finished, be sure to give yourself some time to stop and stretch. There’s nothing worse than halting your work just because you’re trying to work through antsy-ness. Take 5 minutes to walk around your home/workspace, stretch, take some deep breaths or have some water.
06. Make a done list!
Because nothing makes you feel more accomplished than celebrating all that you’ve gotten done!
Are you more or less productive in your workspace?