Maximize your workspace
At a Glance: Perfect the amount of surrounding clutter and find a window to work near before diving into your next assignment.
Removing the following “don’t-dos” from your workspace won’t magically create more hours in your day, but it will make you more efficient in ways that might surprise you.
Don’t Do #1: Too Much (or Too Little) Clutter
Clutter is good. Clutter is bad. So which is it? Turns out, you should aim for that sweet spot where your workspace isn’t overloaded with piles of paper, but it also isn’t so clear and clean that it belongs on a showroom floor. Experts say that this ideal clutter level boosts creativity—and perhaps even productivity. In fact, a little clutter or chaos in your workspace (think a pile of textbooks or smalls stack of bills) can actually ignite a creative spark simply because we tend to associate messy spaces with breaking rules or expectations.
The Fix: Before you sit down to study, work or go through household paperwork, optimize your efficiency by spending just a few minutes achieving that “just right” clutter level.
Don’t Do #2: Darkness
Leave the dim lights for the movie theater. Cranking out assignments for your economics class should be done in a well-lit room, preferably with natural light. Researchers have actually found that people who placed their workspaces within 20 feet of a window reported being more productive. (Bonus: They also reported sleeping better!)
The Fix: No need to invest time or money in creating a new home office. Simply put a card table near a natural light source when you plan on getting schoolwork done. No natural light to be found? No worries. Use a light bulb that mimics natural light, such as one that is blue-enriched or full-spectrum.
These quick and easy adjustments to your workspace can have big impacts on your productivity (and your mood). Give them a try today.