Stress makes us less focused and less productive. This is something we’ve known for a while. If you spend all your time in work mode, you’ll ultimately end up burning out.
You need to take time to relax and recharge.
That principle doesn’t solely apply to your working habits, either. If your workspace is in some way uncomfortable, stressful, or distracting, it’s going to wear you down. This is especially true when you’re working from home.
With a home office, you have a unique opportunity. You can tweak your surroundings to your exact needs, making them as relaxing as possible to help you focus. Here are a few starting points in that regard.
Organize a Bit
Clutter is bad for you. As noted by the online medical database WebMD, it not only generates a relatively high amount of stress but can also lead to unhealthier eating habits, problems with allergies, and even memory problems. As such, organizing your home office is the first thing you should do.
Go through your surroundings, and figure out what you absolutely need to keep. Put that to the side, then get rid of everything else – either toss it away, donate it to a thrift shop, or put it in storage. We all have at least some tendency towards packrat behavior, and it’s important to recognize and quash that wherever possible.
You may also want to consider investing in a filing cabinet or two and some drawer organizers, depending on how much physical documentation your job requires you to maintain.
Does your home office feel like a space that’s uniquely yours, or does it feel more like you’ve transplanted a boring, gray office cubicle into your living space?
If it’s the latter, then I imagine you’re likely having a bit of trouble focusing on your work. Try giving your home office a bit of a personal touch. Add in some greenery, like a bonsai tree or other potted plant, and consider also incorporating some personal decorations such as posters or photos.
You’d be surprised how a little bit of personal decor can really set the mood.
Cool Things Off (Or Heat Them Up)
According to research carried out by Energy Star, an arm of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the ideal room temperature is at least 78 degrees.
That said, it’s worth mentioning that everybody has their own ideal temperature when it comes to comfort. Although in my experience, cooler environments tend to be better for your brain, other people might like things a little hotter. Consider purchasing some fans, a portable heater, or a portable AC unit if you don’t already have central air, and tweak your settings until you find the temperature that’s right for you.
Relax. Focus. Thrive.
Your home office should be a place you look forward to being. It should be relaxing and comfortable. Now that you know the basics, the rest is up to you. For more tips on efficiency, there are also three things your business can do to become more productive.
Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.