4 Ways to Design a Distraction-Free Working Environment
Today, creating a productive workspace is of the utmost importance. Distractions are so easy to come by, often in the form of the Internet or easy access to our smartphones. If you work from home you might consider it somewhat of a double-edged sword: Yes you can work in the comfort of your pyjamas, but you also have easy access to everything that makes your home so enjoyable.
There are plenty of ways to improve your environment so that you can work more efficiently, whether you work from home or in an office with others.
Create new, productive habits
Start with creating a to-do list every morning, and displaying it in a prominent place in your office. Plan out a weekly routine, too – it’ll be easier to stay on track if you know what you should be doing each hour. Make sure you allow yourself to take breaks – you won’t get much done in the last few hours of the day if you’ve spent the last ten working non-stop.
Design your office with work in mind
Just as experts say your bedroom should only be used to sleep, your office should only be used to work. If you work from home and you let yourself play games or watch television in your office, you’ll come to regard it as a space where you can easily do these things. If you do nothing but work in your office space, you’ll view it solely as a workspace; when you walk in, your brain will be ready to work. To this end, make sure you don’t have anything distracting in your office, whether you work from home or not.
If you can avoid having your phone on you, do so; if not, keep it out of arm’s reach, so you can hear it if it rings but not be able to pick it up mindlessly whenever your mind drifts. When considering how to design your workspace, remember to keep all decorations simple, and only keep in your office or workspace items that you need for work – having an uncluttered space in which to work will also help your brain to focus. If you work near a window, a set of roller blinds will allow you to control how much light comes into the room. Although natural light increases productivity, sun glare can be an issue at certain times of the day – you shouldn’t be able to use this as an excuse to not work!
Add a website blocker to your browser or computer
If you need the internet for work, it can be difficult to refrain from checking your social media every few minutes, and even more difficult to break the habit. You might – like many others – need to be forced to stay on task, so don’t be ashamed of having to install a browser add-on designed to block distracting websites. There are plenty out there; once you install one, you can select which sites you need to have blocked and for what amount of time they should remain inaccessible. You might find that after a while you no longer need to rely on the blocker, but it’s a great tool to start with.
Work in the best position
If you work from home, you might only be able to spare one room to use as your office. Try to choose a place to work that is quiet, and ideally far from the kitchen and other distractions. If you work in an office and always find yourself distracted by noise and chatter, see if you are able to choose where to position your desk. You may find it easier to work in an area that is separate from walkways or areas with high ‘traffic,’ such as near printers. You will likely get much more work done when you aren’t surrounded with the temptation to chat.
A well-designed workspace should be clean, tidy and have as few distractions as possible. Take the time to identify and eliminate the things that distract you and put effort into creating the most productive workspace for you – it will be worth it!
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