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4 workspace fixes enhance productivity

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Many people don’t really take the time to step back and analyze the way their space affects their work. Vow today to:

Clean things up. Too much clutter can decrease your performance and increase your stress. Set rules for yourself on the number of things you can have on your desk—documents, notebooks, magazines, etc.—or the number of browser tabs you can have active. Setting and following strict limits will make you clean off your desk more often and keep it organized.

Find inspiring locations. Architecture and the outdoors can have a tremendous effect on your productivity. If you can’t choose your workspace, that’s OK. A quick productivity fix would be to walk outside or sit by a window. The change of scenery can kickstart your productivity.

Make it harder to do easy tasks. People subconsciously choose to work on easier tasks first because the brain is trying to conserve energy. Tasks like checking your phone or email are often done before your actual work because the brain doesn’t have to work as hard. To combat this, make it harder to do the simple tasks. If you have a problem with constantly checking your phone, put it in a desk drawer to make it a little harder to grab.

Find the right sounds. When people are talking around you, it makes work harder because your brain is trying to work and listen to the conversation. If you don’t have a quiet space, try noise-canceling headphones to drown out all sounds.

— Adapted from “5 Ways to Hack Your Workspace for Productivity,” Jory MacKay, Crew.

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