Are less than encouraging co-workers, pressing deadlines and endless stress getting the best of your ability to do your job?
Old fluorescent lights and bright computer screens assault your eyes, and dated, malfunctioning technology only creates more stress as you do your best to complete your tasks. That’s not mentioning your desk, littered with paperwork.
These are little annoying things, but they add up over the course of a long day or long week. At the end of a long day, it’s likely you bring the stress of your workplace home with you.
Use these tips to create a tranquil work environment and overcome stressors:
Taking at least one minute at the end of the day to declutter will keep your desk clear, symbolizing leaving the stressful mess at work, instead of taking it home with you. Also take time to prepare yourself for your workday, whether that’s a small ritual of preparing quick access to files, snacks or your morning coffee.
On a larger scale, decluttering your office or desk will stop you from slowing yourself down while you’re working. It’s easier to find what you need, answer questions and move on to the next task:
- Open shelving may force you to keep the area neat and make it easier for your eyes to find a missing item.
- Ask if items serve a purpose or bring you joy. If not, toss or donate it.
- Create visual flow with clean lines or geometric decorations.
- Ditch the bulky cherry desk for a more functional and comfortable desk.
- Tame cables and cords with zip ties or hooks.
When decluttering, keep your workflow in mind. Envision a space where how you function matches with your environment.
Do you prefer a bulletin board for ideas over endless paperwork? Get one, and create digital files for the old paperwork.
2. Aim for Efficiency in Your Environment
What about your current workspace, is it holding you back or causing you stress? People associate efficiency with function too often, leaving out personal comfort.
You need to be physically, mentally and emotionally present in your workspace to do your job well. With most people spending an average of 45 hours in their office, it is important to cultivate a comfortable space. Try these suggestions for comfortably increasing the efficiency of your office without adding more stress:
- Adjust lighting: The glare of overhead lights and computer screens affect your eyes, your ability to focus and your quality of sleep. Use natural light sources, opening up the blinds or curtains to let light in.Focus on ambient lighting with desk lamps and standing lamps, to lower the light if working late. Decrease the brightness on your screen to lower risks of eyestrain.
- Adjust noise levels: Reducing noise levels will help you stay focused. Replace noisy equipment with updated equipment: If you use an old, noisy fax machine, use an e-fax service instead. Hang a tapestry or use a partition to create a sound barrier.
Use a white noise machine or fan to generate ambient noise. Use earbuds to drown out loud noise levels. Save your difficult tasks for quieter parts of the day.
- Pick the Right Furniture and Decor: Pick a chair with back and neck support, allowing your limbs to bend at right angles and letting you rock back occasionally. Choose a desk that your arms reach out comfortably toward.
Include a small bookshelf with a personal collection and comfortable bean bag chair, if you’re an avid reader. Bring in plants to stay connected to nature, and bring blankets for comfort and warmth.
3. Include Personal Touches and Rituals
Decor and furniture are essential to make an office a pleasant environment for a professional to function optimally at their job, but the personal aspect is also an important factor for focus and sustaining a positive and stress-free mood.
Include personal touches of photos of loved ones and throws and pillows with your favorite colors or sports teams. Fill those bookshelves with your favorite poets and biographies of those who earnestly inspire you.
Bring your personal rituals to destress to work, and use them to increase your focus and energy for the day. Make them appropriate for the office. In the morning, do few asanas on a yoga mat or take time to color in an adult coloring book. If you’re a coffee addict, bring a collection of flavored creamers or a portable French press.
Cultivate a more tranquil work environment to increase your productivity and efficiency while making your workflow easier and balancing work with life. Take breaks as you need them.
When you arrive at the office, don’t jump right into work. Use rituals that are personal to ease into those work tasks, and at the end of the day take a minute to declutter, so you don’t take the mess of stress home with you. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to seize the day at work, each and every day.