10 Ways to Ignite Your Workspace Mojo
10 Ways to Ignite Your Workspace Mojo
Whether you’re a business owner, an office worker or have a computer set up in the corner of the kitchen, you probably want to find ways to be more productive as you work.
Paula Springer, owner of Key Elements, led our Brown Bag Learning Lunch in February and makes these 10 recommendations for anyone wanting to work more efficiently and effectively:
- Take care of yourself. Really, if your body gives out, you’re not worth much to anyone. You are the most valuable part of your business. Get an ergonomic assessment for your computer, desk and chair; take deep breaths during the day; drink lots of water (2 liters a day) and take periodic breaks, especially if you’re on the computer for long stretches.
- Honor your morning routine. How do you start the day? Rather than getting on email straight from bed. Paula recommends carving out a few minutes of reflection time in the morning—whether that’s meditation, reading something inspirational or heading to the gym. “Morning exercise is one way to skyrocket your productivity,” she says.
- Release that which no longer serves you. Do an office detox. Look around. Do you see piles of half-finished projects, spreadsheets, old client files, and paperwork that brings you down. It keeps you tied to the past (along with increasing your general stress level). Clear that office out. Air it out. Keep only current projects around you. Bring in plants that clear the air.
- Mirror nature in your workspace. Sit so you can see nature out your window. If you have an unpleasant view, put up a blind that opens from the top, so it lets in the light but blocks that parking lot or dumpster. Paula recommends sitting with your side to the window to prevent glare on your computer screen.
- Be grateful. Cultivate a spirit of being thankful—for your clients, your workload, your vendors… even your bills. Write thank you notes. Remember why you’re doing what you do in the world.
- Tap your mission to stay on target. Do you have a mission statement that you periodically check in with? It can be a huge help and a guide as you make decisions and figure out where to go. It can inspire you when you’re burned out and clear your mind when you feel overwhelmed.
- Look at your office layout. Make sure what you’re looking at while you work is either beautiful or it’s a focal point for your brand (e.g., a logo, an object or a color). Notice what it feels like when you first walk into your office or business. Those first three minutes a customer walks into your business are key—and it’s easy to let it get stale because you’re so used to it. If you work at home, set up boundaries so that work time and family time have some separation. Paula even recommends stepping out the door in the morning and re-entering the house as you “arrive” at work—and doing that again at night as you “leave” work.
- Know how color affects mood. There’s a very big mood and performance connection, but people have low and high screens for color. Some aren’t as affected by certain color as others. “Stress can be imparted in wall colors,” says Paula. She says red is not the best choice for entrepreneurs because it can cause anxiety and aggressiveness, at least in the low-screen folks. Purple, she says, is one of the best colors for an office. It’s a mix of red and blue—active and passive merging—and is the color of kings, so imparts a feeling of wealth and royalty. Blues and greens are also good—as well as some bright tones of mango and fuschia.
- Keep an eye on your lighting. What’s overhead as you work? If it’s fluorescent lighting, Paula recommends supplementing it with task lighting. Consider adding a floor or desk lamp with a full-spectrum bulb, which imitates outdoor light. She suggested the Ott light , is a tube light that helps reduce eyestrain.
- Let your office remind you of what you love. Bring in things that remind you of a treasured spot—pine cones, stones, pictures of the beach, a certain scent or fabric. If you love the ocean, listen to ocean sounds.
What all these things do, says Paula, is help preserve the #1 asset we have as business–owners (or as workers in general)—ourselves. The intention we set each day for how we want to show up in our business is critical. Ultimately, she says, take good care of yourself and ask yourself throughout the day, “What is it I’m here for.”