A Healthy Environment is a Productive Environment

There is plenty of talk about what YOU need to do to boost your productivity, but there is also a lot to be said about the condition of your environment and its effect on your mental state and therefore your productivity. It’s important to take a look at the conditions around your workspace, know what works for you, and make adjustments as needed.

Physical environment

Your physical environment is easy to tweak for the most part—move a potted plant here, make sure you have enough elbow room, etc. Ask yourself, what do you need to be comfortable and successful in your workspace? Is your desk right for you? Do you keep it clean and organized so you aren’t in a cluttered state at all times? Figure out what is essential for you to function in your workspace and maintain that environment. You may need to write down your thoughts so you can be confident that when your environment is dragging you down, you know what to do to fix it. Evaluate categories including the ones below.

  • Desk/workspace: Is it big enough? Too big? Is your chair comfortable? Do you have space for technology, files, paperwork, an inbox, etc.? Is the workspace laid out to produce optimal results? (E.g. don’t place your most accessed items farther away than relatively untouched items.)
  • Accessories: Do you have access to the tools you need, such as post-its, paper, tape, outlets, etc.? Do you have accessories to cheer you up, such as artwork, plants, etc.?
  • Lighting: Do you have natural light in your workspace? Is it too dark? Too bright? Are you staring at a screen all day?

Emotional Environment

Your physical environment is important yet easy to change, but your emotional environment may prove to be more difficult to change and be even more important in affecting your productivity levels. Think about this: are you more productive when you are discouraged or upset, or when you are upbeat and confident? Check areas that affect your emotional state, including the categories below.

  • Distractions: Do you let yourself check your email or social networking sites too frequently? Do you allow coworkers to interrupt you at all times during the day?
  • Mood: How do you feel when you first get ready to start working? What do you do to improve your mood when you’re down? Do you have a few healthy distractions to help lift you up?
  • Relationships: Do you work with people who hold you back, frustrate you, etc.? How do you work on relationships to improve them? What do you do to minimize unhealthy interactions? What do you do to foster healthy relationships at work?

Take notes on what you need to feel content in your workspace. For me, I need natural light, good air flow, few distractions in my periphery, and music to maximize my focus. Now, when I’m feeling unfocused, I can start to solve the problem by making sure my environment is conducive to positive workflow.

Image by akeeris via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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