I’m not sure if you feel the same way as I do: I’m more productive out of my comfort zone. When I’m at home my bed, blanket, tv and pillows seem more interesting and important than the million articles to read or several projects/assignments due. Right? Ok maybe not. However, working at home is quite oaky for some people and I admire you immensely. The truth is, whether you like it or not, there may be times you have to study or work on assignments at home, so it’s probably a good idea to figure out how to make your space as conducive to productivity as possible.
I wanted to share some tips that may be helpful for you to design a productive space at home. Some of these work for me, others not so much. That’s okay. Take what you need from the list and leave the rest for someone else 🙂
Tip 1: Location. You want to find a space in your home to dedicate to your work. Unless you like moving around a lot, having a specific location makes it easier to get in the “zone” of writing or reading once you get into that space. Having a special location also helps you to set boundaries with others you live with. If you share space, you can probably agree on hanging a sign outside the door when it’s your study/writing time. Personally, I have one area that I do work in. I avoid reading anything school related in bed and do not check emails on my laptop or phone from my bed.
Tip 2: Colors. If bright colors spark creative energy – go for it! Whatever you select, be sure it’s a color (or colors) that will not distract you, give you an eye ache or headache. select colors that are inspiring, make you feel focused, centered, and even relaxed. Not too relaxed because you shouldn’t fall asleep while working 🙂
Tip 3: Organization. If your space is messy, you probably will feel flustered and be very disorganized. It’s hard to focus when you can’t find what you want. I get annoyed when I can’t find the pen I was just using, or where I put the post-it notes. I try to keep my desk organized so I know where everything is. It really helps me feel more productive.
Tip 4: Schedule. Going right along with being organized, keeping a schedule or time-table of when you plan to write or do assignments will help with time management and general productivity. A suggestion is to take one day of the week (for me, it’s Sundays) and sit with your planner or a plain sheet of paper and write your goals for the week. At the beginning of the semester I set monthly, weekly and daily goals.
Tip 5: Timing. You know yourself and when you are most likely to be productive. Maximize on those times and make it part of your scheduling. Remember, what works for your other friends may not work for you, and that’s quite okay! I like to think I am not an early morning person, but I am learning to accept that when I get up very early and sit at my desk, I get a lot done. So now, I am planning to take 2 hours on mornings, before I leave for the office, to dedicate to writing. This means I have to prepare from the night before or when I do my weekly schedule what I will be writing about.
Tip 6: Comfy chair. Okay, let’s be honest: this is very important. No one wants a back cramp or numb butt when working, especially if you have to sit for a long time. Check out your local Target, Sam’s Club or other stationary stores/office supply stores for a comfy office chair. Although some may be a little pricey, I believe the investment is worth the comfort.
I hope these were helpful or at least a good reminder for you. They are by no means the only tips, so feel free to share what are some suggestions you have as well.
Here is a little snapshot of my workspace. I keep essential oils near me whenever I am writing or doing assignments. They add some “fun” to my space and they help me to focus!
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Henry Thomas Buckle