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I just rearranged my home office again.

It’s something I tend to do every few months or so, probably a carry-over from my days growing up as a military brat…living a transient lifestyle growing up has meant that, as an adult, I crave a change of scenery more often than most.

But there’s another side to the regular rearrangement of my working space, and I think it is directly linked to my productivity. You see, I think that one of the main reasons people claim a lack of inspiration and productivity is because their working environment is not comfortable for them. I mean, who wants to spend 6 or 8 or 12 hours a day in a space that makes them uncomfortable? It harkens back to an era when workshifters like you and I were stuck in stale offices, with boring beige walls, recycled air and the wafting odor of your neighbour’s strange lunch.

So, how can you take your working environment to the next level? What are some things you can do to make your space a place you WANT to be in, instead of somewhere you HAVE to be?

Positioning is Everything

Sometimes, you don’t have control over which room in the house becomes the office. But one thing you do have control over, is how things are positioned in your space. Peoples’ natural tendency when positioning office furniture is to want to push everything against the walls. Desks face the wall. Bookshelves are jammed in corners. It’s probably entirely psychological, but I’ve found I have a much harder time creating when I’m facing a wall. It’s like I need to project outwards to get the best results.

So, try putting your desk in the middle of the room instead of up against a wall (unless you are facing a window with a great view, in which case, go nuts!) Face outwards into the room rather than inwards. You’ll find that, not only does it make the room look bigger, but you’ll probably experience that same sense of flow that I do when I’m facing into the room.

Surround Yourself with Stimulating Things

If your office is boring, work will be boring, it’s that simple. As I look around my desk, I see several things. There’s a photo of me and my husband that I really like. There’s the Evil Eye Pendant my parents brought back from Greece. There’s a lava lamp. Colourful photos and prints on the wall. And my computer desktop is a series of ever-changing images that I like. There are candles. And relaxing music in the background.

These are the things that personally stimulate my creativity and productivity. The goal here is to find that balance between inspiration and distraction. Your combination of things will be different than mine. But spice up your work space with things you like, and you’ll be more relaxed. And a relaxed workshifter is a productive workshifter!

The Clothes Make the Workshifter

One of the absolute best things about working from home is that I can wear whatever I want. And most days, that’s yoga pants, a t-shirt and a hoodie. Warm socks (my office is in the basement so my toes get cold). In the winter, on particularly chilly days, it’s flannel pajamas. The most important thing is to wear clothing that is comfortable for you. If you’re on a lot of video calls, you may have to consider a bit more what you’re wearing from the waist up, but of course you can always go back to the t-shirt and hoodie after the call is done!

If you are comfortable in your surroundings, as well as in your physical self, then you will undoubtedly be able to work more productively, be more inspired, and accomplish more!

How do you make your work environment more comfortable and productive?

Photo Credit: Citrix Online

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  • http://davidhorneis.com/ david horne

    Susan, so true. Creating the environment for you to be productive is key. I like the idea of changing the your “office” around at least once a year or as needed. There are so many variables to consider that once you minimize those it is easier to get into the zone for work. Thanks.

  • Pam Dillon

    Very interesting. Thanks for the ideas. 

  • http://www.workfromhomewisdom.com Judy

    Hi Susan
    I just find regular changes make me enjoy my home office more, want to be in it and hence be more creative and productive.  Any routine can become boring and for me that includes my surroundings.  A good cleanup is also very motivating, I find.
    I always enjoy your posts – thanks!

  • http://alidavies.com/ Ali Davies

    I think the impact our home office environment has on our productivity, creativity etc can be hugely underestimated. I like to experiment with moving stuff round every few months and I always find it gives a mental and physical boost. 

  • http://davelinabury.com/ Dave Linabury

    Loved this article and agree. Change is good for the body and brain. 

    I once read that Rush’s drummer Neil Peart has his drum kit rearranged by his drum instructor every year so that he doesn’t become complacent with the layout of his kit. Changing it forces him to try new things, get out of his comfort zone a bit. Pianists do this as well. They will try new fingerings to keep from becoming complacent in their playing and technique.

  • ImranJaan