Depending on your job or work (being a student counts, its just as hard!) you will have a different “workspace” where you get most of your work done. For a cubicle warrior, this is probably your office space, for a Web Worker it is probably Starbucks, and for an entrepreneur or someone who works at home, it is probably their home office.
Doesn’t matter what your main workspace is, or how many you have in total, but what does matter is that you have a workspace that you enjoy to be at.
I used to have my computer and work area positioned at the bottom of the basement stairs. This was bad for multiple reasons. Not only was it too cold in the winter, but there was no natural light, and I couldn’t concentrate in the center of the house with all this commotion going on around me. After moving my workspace upstairs, I enjoy much more natural light, and I find it easier to concentrate. I am not going to lie, it is still cold in the winter.
This post is not about why you should choose a good workspace, because that is not always possible. If you are assigned to a cubicle, and your home office has been there for years, you can’t really choose how you want things to be.
1. Windows are great because of the natural light, and possibly fresh air. If you can, choose the window cubicle, or at home, pick a well-lit room.
2. Get rid of the junk. Even if you are a follower of GTD, you can still sometimes get overrun with papers. When that happens, I find it best to throw all my paper into my inbox, and write down all tasks or stressful reminders in my head down onto a list. Then I process through them, just like a newcomer to GTD.
3. Try getting a plant. No, not one of those artificial ones that don’t need to be watered, don’t be lazy. A real plant adds color and extra oxygen to a room. When you are stressed out and forget to tend to it, the plant will reflect your stressfulness. When you are relaxed and calm, it will reflect that also.
4. Use stuff you like. You have more flexibility here with a home office, but you can still change things in a cubicle. Make sure that you like your desk, your lamp, your in box, and even your drawers. A couple months ago I went to Ikea and picked up a desk, in box, lamp, an under-desk drawer system, and a pencil and stationary organizer for the top of my desk.
I’m looking out my window as I write this at 7am, sitting on my exercise ball chair at my favorite desk, with a clean and productive laptop, listening to the birds chirp. To me, that is my perfect workspace.
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