How To Create Your Ideal Workspace

Anuhya Katta

2 mins

What’s on your mind is very closely linked to the environment you are in.

You won’t be able to concentrate when your phone flashes with a text notification or you hear your colleagues talk about last night’s football game, will you? You won’t be “in your zone”. And that’s just it.

Your zone.

Your zone or your ‘workspace’ in the most literal sense, is the key to productivity in terms of amount of work done and efficiency.  

It is conducive to driving all your attention and focus into one channel, ensuring that you complete your task successfully. Now wouldn’t it be nice if you are in your zone every time you’re working so that you could sign off early? It would and that can be made done, easier than you think!

In essence, your workspace has 2 main attributes:

Inner engineering

Maintaining inner peace and practicing mindfulness inherently lends itself to productivity because it reduces the negative beta waves in your brain. Mental health becomes significant given the challenging situations we face at work each day and becomes imperative to address when you are chasing productivity.

A study by John Hopkins University substantiates the phrase ‘Mind over matter’ by confirming that "meditation programs can result in small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress". If you are able to free yourself of anxiety and distractions through the power of your mind, you can achieve a promising, productive day.

External environment

Productivity levels are largely influenced by surroundings, which many people undoubtedly agree on. Liberating spaces, earthy furniture, pleasant acoustics, and sunshine/the right room temperature de-clutters your thoughts and activates your senses, encouraging creativity and speed.

Companies encourage a stimulating environment and have not stopped at just inspiring paintings. Your office may not have a secret library with revolving bookshelves or a jungle to escape to as in Google’s offices, but you can most definitely have a tantamount quote from your favorite role model and a refreshing desk plant named Jade.

Here’s a 3-step guide that will help you get adjusted into your workspace quickly:

Make a plan, the Eisenhower way!

People always suggest that you should prioritize your tasks in order to be productive and so, we make To-do lists. While to-do lists garner all the things you need to do, it does not help you sleep at night because more often than not, there are still some important, unchecked tasks pending for the next day.

Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States and known to be one of the most productive humans, defeated ineffective to-do lists and tackled productivity with a simple 2x2 matrix.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

You must simply categorize your tasks into 4 groups:

  • Urgent and important (tasks you will DO immediately).
  • Important, but not urgent (tasks you will DECIDE to do later).
  • Urgent, but not important (tasks you will DELEGATE to someone else).
  • Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will DELETE).

Adapting this strategy ensures clarity about what you are supposed to do and when. You naturally realize that the tasks that fall in the first group are of utmost importance and urgency, and that they need to be addressed first. Execution of this plan will also help you overcome procrastination as you would be drawn towards pressing business that won’t let you any waste time or energy!

Keep your thoughts happy!

The origin of the word ‘work’ itself translates to torture – no wonder it can be so stressful!

If you’re feeling nervous about your client pitch or claustrophobic with the pile of paperwork mounting on your desk, I’d say you need a breather.

The 4-7-8 technique, derived from the age-old yoga breathing exercise called Pranayama, has become popular over the years for regulating the heartbeat (WITHOUT CAFFEINE) and calming the nerves.

Here’s the best way to perform this breathing exercise:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale silently through your nose to a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for seven seconds.
  • Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.

This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

This natural tranquilizer works all under 1 minute. Pretty great, right?

Tip: If you’re the type of person who needs to take a walk for a break, try the Pomodoro effect to manage your time better!

Construct and customize your workspace!

In the past few years, work-life culture has changed remarkably. The layout of an office is designed with scrupulous detail to creating an ergonomic workspace. A crucial part of designing an ideal workspace that works best for you is that every object should have a specific functionality and instill joy. Google and Amazon, famously known for their extravagant offices, have invested in the same to benefit from the fact that productivity increases by 15% when you are in a collaborative and creative space.

At the outset, most offices provide their workforce with a basic, structured environment and that gives you the opportunity to customize it as per your likings, starting from the cushion on your chair to your favorite, quirky coffee mug. These little things, apart from its functionality, make quotidian tasks more pleasurable and dupes you to put more effort into your work. For a better working from home experience, try utilizing your balcony space!

Personally, I love to use a wide variety of appealing stationery to spark my thought-process and approach work with a cheerful attitude. As Mary Poppins said, “A spoon full of sugar will help the medicine go down”!

Your workspace, among many others, plays a huge role in your productivity levels. Each and everyone is capable of doing marvelous things and without a doubt, this guide will help tweak your methods to get better results.

So, what are you waiting for?

Try these techniques and let us know which one best increases productivity for you!

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