BY LAUREN SEPHTON
With an incredible 42% of Americans working from home full-time and expectancy to grow in 2021, the already fine line between a work-life balance becomes thinner every day. With the ease of technology and working at home in today’s world, it’s time to revamp that extra space or room into a dynamic study area to minimize distractions and keep focused.
Let’s start with a few basics in choosing the location of your new study/work space.
First, choose a small nook area or spare room to begin the stunningly easy and impressive transformation process. If you are stumped with no additional rooms, take a quick look around the house, asking yourself, “How often do I properly utilize this space?” Often, you’ll find some awkward spaces that are perfect for the creation of a study/work space. Even a bookshelf or rarely-used table can be doubled into a workspace with a little DIY inspiration from Pinterest. For instance, you can reconfigure the backside of a bookshelf into a table with L-brackets or make a DIY school wall with a little chalkboard paint from a hardware store.
Second, invest in a work desk and a supportive chair that’ll support your back. Try not to get the chair too low, or the desk too high, since resting your arms up higher may lead to neck aches or headaches. Try to avoid working in your bed, no matter how warm and cozy you find that duvet cover. Even if you try your absolute hardest to resist, it typically leads to the ultimate temptation of a much-needed nap.
Third, try clearing space near your window to maximize the amount of natural light while working during the day, which should help keep you focused. If you have a special situation where you can’t set-up near a window, you can simply mimic natural light with ‘cool white’ or with ‘bluish light’ lamp bulbs. The yellow light bulbs often cast shadows, which make it difficult to focus. Also, try having layers of light to keep your eyes from straining. For instance, enjoy an ambiance with both overhead lights and lamps.
Fourth, utilize the wall space to hang schedules and calendars, urgent reminders, study notes, and so on. Similarly, hang photos or decorative short quotes that’ll keep you inspired throughout those longer work periods. Think about what makes you happy and hang it!
Fifth, maximize storage to keep organized and tidy. By keeping the bare essentials only on your desk, you will inevitably need additional storage nearby for any textbooks, paperwork, etc. Whether you prefer shelving or bookcases, ensure it is easily accessible and sorted properly to prevent extensive time wasted searching for what’s needed.
Tips on Staying Productive at Home
- Keep tidy. Studies have shown that a clean work environment helps improve mental focus and productivity. Ready for this? Cleaning could help relieve a little stress, promoting a little relaxation before starting your day. Also, keeping only the essentials on your desk can keep you from becoming overwhelmed throughout the day.
- Set aside entertainment distractions. Avoid any temptations by turning off social media notifications during the day, placing your phone five feet away, keeping the TV background noise off, etc. Instead, consider playing soft classical or instrumental music in the background if you need a little noise to stay focused.
- Get dressed. Although your coworkers may not be able to see you working all day in your comfy pajamas, studies show that individuals tend to be more awake and productive when they are dressed. Think about the times you may have worn something that may have perked up your step a bit – you usually feel better when you know you look better.
Whether you are working or studying at home these days, success is on the (virtual) horizon with these tips in mind!