5 Ways to Hack Your Workspace
Work your space before your space works you.
Click here to learn how to capture all your ideas from articles, podcasts, videos, and books and transform them into long-lasting knowledge.
If we’re going to spend so much of our lives working, why not try to make the place we work the best it possibly can be?
Whether you’re at home, in a shared space, or hanging out in a coffee shop there are quick and easy fixes to help make your workspace work for you.
#1 Kill the clutter before it kills you
Similar to what multitasking does to your brain, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively.
Apply constraints: Whether that’s Twitter followers, tabs open in your browser, notebooks, or magazines, setting hard limitations and sticking to them is the best way to stop accumulating more
Use small storage spaces: Parkinson’s Law says we fill the time we have available to us, and the same could be said about clutter. Less room means less room for clutter.+
Conduct a monthly review of your space: Set time aside to clean, sort, and discard every single month.+
Set up a daily cleansing routine: clean your desktop at the end of every workday so to-do items don’t linger and you’ve got a clean slate to start with the next day
#2 Find places that inspire you
You might not be in a position to choose your workspace, but there are quick fixes:
Look for a spot with natural light from a window or skylight
Take a walk outside when you feel stuck
Or simply explore a new location
#3 Use different places for different places of mind
Our brains love habits, and if we can associate certain qualities with different places, it can help us get into a better working flow.
This is called ‘task association’, where your brain knows that when you’re in a certain place, you’re taking a certain action.
If you can set up multiple workspaces for different tasks you’ll also be able to force your mind into a certain flow, just by physically being somewhere.
Design productivity spaces.
#4 Set yourself up for success
To create a workspace that’s productive, focus on making it easier to do the things you want to do, and harder to do the tasks you don’t.
Stanford professor and psychologist BJ Fogg calls this “designing for laziness”.
Sometimes it’s as easy as turning your phone off and putting it in a drawer so every time you’re tempted to check it you have to go through a lengthy process, while other times it might mean unplugging your TV and putting it in the closet.
One technique I’ve used lately is to close all of my tabs in my browser at the end of the day (a hellish chore for any writer), leaving only my most important task open.
The next day, the easiest choice is just to keep working on whatever was left from the day before.
#5 Curate your senses
The sounds around you and the music you listen to can have a huge impact on your productivity.
If you can’t find a spot that’s silent, noise-canceling headphones or music that drowns out speech can help regain that focus.