How to design your desk to increase productivity

We’ve all heard the saying: A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.  

Your work environment matters. The things around you can make or break your productivity.

For example, when you work from your bed with the sheets and blankets all over the place, you’ll find that you are often distracted by the clutter. However, when it’s crunch time and you have to complete a project, you need to get to your desk or find a quiet cafe to crank through all of the work before deadline.  

If you find yourself unfocused or trying to rearrange your desk space, here are some tips to improve your productivity.

Invest in a standing desk or monitor stand

Sitting is the new smoking. A standing or treadmill desk will allow you to be more productive while also being healthier.

Standing alleviates the pressure from tense points in your back and neck, which will increase your ability to pump out work.

This doesn’t have to be a significant expense either. You can create a makeshift standing desk by putting your computer and monitors on some old boxes or phone books (Remember those?) that you have lying around.

Embrace minimalism

Minimalism is trendy right now. There are even entire shows about “tidying up” and decluttering on Netflix.

Minimalism is all about straight lines and less clutter. This directly increases productivity because everything is neat and in a place that is easily accessible. There is never too much clutter on your desk, which allows you to focus on the topic or work at hand.

Leverage bright and inviting colors

Have you ever heard that writing something in blue ink will help you remember the content? Colors have meaning, and they can help maximize your productivity. Let’s take a look at how some colors stimulate productivity:

  • Blue: intellectualism, efficiency, and serenity
  • Yellow: optimism, creativity, and emotional strength
  • Green: environmental awareness, peace, and balance

Organizing your desk to include colors like the ones listed above can be an excellent way for you to increase productivity.

Add some plants

Having a plant on your desk can increase concentration and reduce stress.

There are many houseplants that you can use to increase productivity. Here’s a list of some plants that don’t require much extra upkeep:  

  • Peace lilies
  • African violets
  • Philodendron

Besides the productivity boost, plants also allow you to care for something other than yourself at work. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we have to do that we forget to care about our surroundings. This can help you be more empathetic.  

Invest in physical and digital storage systems

We all know that keeping our desk organized is a great way to stay productive. One way to organize tons of paperwork as well as digital files is by investing in a storage system with clearly labeled files. This will free up some mental space and eliminate unwanted distractions.

Create a vision board

We create vision boards and self-reflect for a reason. When you’re feeling down or even tired, it can take a toll on your productivity. Taking a quick glance at your vision board can give you a much needed morale boost.

If vision boards sound a little too woo-woo for your liking, keeping a folder on your computer with nice things people have said about your work can have a similar effect.

Natural lighting is everything  

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, natural lighting increases energy, hope, creativity, and productivity.

The best case is to work in an office that has big windows and plenty of natural light.

However, even if you work in a space that resembles an underground bunker, there are plenty of creative options to improve the lighting. For example, you can buy natural sunlight desk lamps to illuminate the space.

These smart and creative ways to decorate your desk will help you stay focused and be more productive. By leveraging colors, organizational methods, plants, and inspiration tactics, you’ll be able to create a space that allows you to do your best work day in and day out.  

Annabel is a Marketing Communications Manager at JotForm. She’s passionate about writing and has worked in communications roles domestically and internationally. When she’s not blogging about SaaS or online forms, she enjoys international travel, loud concerts, and artisan coffee. You can reach Annabel through her contact form.

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