Do you ever find yourself sitting on your phone at home, scrolling through social media, playing games, and doing anything and everything to avoid doing the work that is crucial to your success? Procrastination and distractions are high on the list of productivity sabotage. So how can you create a home environment that will help improve your ability to focus on what’s truly important? Let’s take a look at how you can organize your home to improve productivity.
How to organize your home to improve productivity
The best way to boost productivity is to reduce distractions. To do this, it requires intentional awareness of your habits. Do you start to bake a pie when a deadline is looming? Or do you start to clean the dishes, put away laundry, and resist the thing that you know you really need to be doing? Oftentimes, chores and pies will always be there, so you can’t really eliminate them. But if you’re more creative in the mornings, do the dishes right before bed so that you can wake up with one less thing to tug you away.
You can also shift your mindset. The deadline and to-do list isn’t something that you need to do. Instead, make it something that you want to do. I want to finish this email. I want to finish my taxes. I want to bake this pie only because it’s part of a recipe development project I’m doing rather than an avoiding-my-goals project. Why we avoid our goals and why we procrastinate is a whole other topic of conversation, so let’s look at how you can organize your physical space to help boost productivity.
Create a dedicated workspace that is a little messy and a little neat.
This idea can feel counterintuitive. Many studies have shown that a cluttered environment can make it harder to focus. But universities such as University of Minnesota have conducted studies that have shown that having a messy workspace can actually encourage creativity and productivity, at least towards the beginning of a project. A messier workspace might allow more room to try new things and process differently versus a tidy workspace that encourages conventional methods, and less thinking outside the box.
Having a messy workspace doesn’t mean it needs to be complete unorganized chaos either. As you begin a project, the mess allows room to be creative because what have you got to lose? For example, if your kitchen counters are covered in dishes and meal prep items, you probably won’t mind so much if you spill some flour on the counter while rolling out that pie crust. But if your counters are spotless after an intense cleaning, you are likely going to be much less careful in how you approach your pie making, if you approach it all, because of the risk of the mess. As the project continues though, it’s worth slowly tidying the space. Just as the project starts coming together, so does your space, allowing you to finish with “clean lines.”
Bring nature into your space.
Add some greenery to your home environment to boost productivity. Even the University of Exeter found that adding a plant can increase concentration, productivity, and overall happiness through one of their studies. If you can’t take breaks and get outside for a walk when you’re working at home, adding plants to your space is a way to bring in the energy of outside so that you can feel refreshed and excited to finish those deadlines.
Plants are also a great way to incorporate gratitude and moments of quiet. If you bring in a plant that makes you happy when you look at it, you have the power to pause in your day and maybe gaze at your plant. As you gaze at the plant, take some slow, mindful breaths, imagining you are out in nature and feel at peace. Intentional breaks where you slow down the information entering your brain are crucial to productivity, even if stopping what you are doing feels counter-intuitive.
Get organized in your workspace
But I thought you said a messy desk made me more creative? When you work from home, it’s very easy for your personal and professional lives to start to blend right there at your desk. If you have kids, you might start finding Legos and stuffed animals landing on your desk. You may have USB drives that don’t really have a home, so they end up in the corner of your desk with things like camera lens caps, books, and those old business cards that you don’t use anymore. That’s not a creative kind of a mess. That’s just a mess.
Get organized in your workspace by making sure everything has a home. It’s fine to lay a bunch of papers out, paint samples, the Ponderlily planner that helps keep you inspired and on track, and other materials that have to do with the project or day at hand, but all the extra true clutter needs to find a new home. If it doesn’t have a home, determine whether you actually need it. If you do, invest in some type of storage that brings you joy and is user-friendly. If it’s difficult to get things into the storage pieces, then the items will most likely stay on your desk collecting dust.
Possibly the most important way to organize your workspace
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received about creating a workspace that boosts my productivity is creating a space that makes me feel comfortable and happy. If you aren’t comfortable, physically or otherwise, it’s going to be hard to focus. Utilize ergonomic chairs, keyboards, everything. Bring in items that inspire you like a vision board, plants, photographs, and art pieces that you’ve created or someone you know has created.
Make it a space that inspires you!
Do your best to create a space, even if it’s just the corner of one room, that is dedicated solely to your work.
Organizing your home to improve productivity doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. You can hire an online feng shui designer if that’s your heart and budget’s desire, you can shop more sustainably by purchasing used, but you can also take these small steps at no cost that also have the power to make a pretty big impact on the quality of your work, as well as your overall well-being.