Here’s a glimpse at my life about 9 months ago…
I need to get some work done, so I go sit down at my desk, which is in the loft area of our home. I start to get going and realize that I’ve left my notebook downstairs, where I was working during nap time, as not to wake the baby.
So, I run downstairs to get it. By the time get back upstairs my husband and son are playing in the loft area and it is now filled with toys. They kindly move their play downstairs, but now I’m left with a toy disaster surrounding me.
I CANNOT focus because a) the mess and b) the happy noises of the boys playing downstairs is distracting. So, I clean up the mess and move my stuff into the bedroom and work on my bed so that I can shut the door and focus.
But now I don’t have a hard space to work so I have to keep moving my computer and notebook back and forth on my lap to get things done.
Eventually, what was supposed to be a solid 90 min of work time has turned into about 45 mins of semi-productive work time.
Am I alone in this? Something tells me that I am not.
Don’t fear…there is hope…
A Designated Workspace Will Help You Focus
Once I realized what I needed out of my workspace, the essential elements of a workspace that would increase my productivity, I was able to eliminate 99.9% of distractions and increase my productivity dramatically.
So, today I want to share with you the four steps I discovered to create a workspace that will increase your productivity.
How to Create a Space to Increase Your Productivity
1. Create a Space that Gives You Enough Room To Work
The nature of what you do, determines the amount of room you will need to get work done.
For example, if you run an online graphic design business you will likely need a table space, some basic office essentials, and perhaps a printer. This would not require a large workspace.
However, if you run an online shop and have to stock inventory, you’ll need a lot more space. You’ll need an area to store your inventory, you’ll need an area to take photos of your products, and you’ll also need the desk and office materials required to run on online business. So, you’ll need a lot more space.
Another thing to consider when thinking about the size of your space is your personality. Some people enjoy working in a small space. It helps them feel safe and connected. Other people feel confined in a smaller space and feel they need more room to breathe.
2. Create a Workspace with Limited Distractions.
Once you know the size of space you’ll thrive in, consider where you can make this space with the fewest amount of distractions.
Some common distractions to consider as you define your workspace:
Noise from family/kids
If you are easily distracted by what is happening around you a door to your space would be ideal. BUT, if that is not a possibility, consider getting something to play some background music to drown out the distraction of what is going on around you. I have an Echo Dot in my office. Not only does it help me drown out the distraction of the boys playing downstairs, it also let’s me play music that will get me in the mood to kick ass.
If you’re anything like me seeing a pile of laundry, or toys scattered everywhere makes it really hard to focus. Or maybe the presence of a TV makes you really want to turn it on for some background noise. Think about the things that make you lose focus if you see them and then eliminate those things from your workspace.
OK. So, I LOVE my work…it energizes me and it’s great. BUT sometimes I am just not in the mood to work. If I see the book that I started sitting around I get sidetracked thinking about what might happen next.
I have found that eliminating the hobbies from my workspace it allows me to focus on the task at hand. Then, when I’m ready to chill I can get one of them out.
These might not be the only distractions you exprience. Think about things that fight for your attention and then remove those from your workspace. That way, when you’re in the space you can focus on what needs to get done.
3. Create an Organized Space
My husband likes to use the French cooking phrase (don’t ask me where he got this since his idea of gourmet cooking involves a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese) “mise en place” which means everything in it’s place.
Don’t get me wrong, I know zilch about cooking. BUT I do love this phrase because in order to be productive in your workspace everything needs to have a defined space and needs to be there. Think about it this way. If you can’t find something you need to get your work done, what value is it to you? You might as well not have it at all.
So, think about all the things that you need to have easy access to in order to work. Now, make sure that those things have a designated space.
Some of you might not need a lot of physical space organization. So, I also want to point out here that your computer desktop IS your workspace. It also needs to be organized as well. If you need to have access to a document regularly, store it somewhere on your desktop where you can find it easily. OR, if you use certain websites frequently, create bookmarks for them on your browser, and then make sure those bookmarks are organized. Virtual organization is just as important as physical organization.
One final thing to consider about organizing is your list of passwords….there is no bigger time suck than when you need a password and can’t find it. You can easily lose 30 min of time because of this. Find a password organization system that works for you. For me, I have one sheet of paper I write my passwords on and I keep it in my desk drawer. Very simple. Very effective.
4. Create a Workspace that is Comfortable
You have to be comfortable where you’re working or you will not be productive. Here are somethings to think about when considering comfort in your workspace:
Lighting-Is there enough light in your space, or do you find yourself squinting and getting headaches? Get an extra light in the room. Can you put your desk next to a window? Natural lighting energizes us. The lighting in your workspace is very important.
Chair-Is your chair comfortable? Does it help you sit in proper alignment? If not, make the investment in a good chair as soon as possible. Adjustable chairs are great so you can work from the right height as well.
Desk-Do you have enough room on your desk or are you constantly contorting yourself in order to get to things and squish things together? Make sure you have enough physical desktop space to comfortably get out all necessary materials for work.
Another thing to consider on the desk and chair front is an adjustable/standing desk. Sitting all day is HARD on your body (which was meant to move). Standing desks are all the rage right now, and I have to say that when I am able to work standing up it also brings more energy to the task at hand.
A Designated Workspace is Essential for Growing Your Business
If you’re going to grow your business to the level of financial freedom you’re looking for, you MUST have a space to do so. A space that will allow you to focus on growing your business without distractions.
Try this out. Let me know…where is your new workspace?
Want more tips on getting the right things done to grow your business? Grab your FREE guide: 5 Ways to Skyrocket Your Productivity and pop on over to my Moms Making an Impact group for tips and support from other mom bosses just like you!