Does your space feel good?

Home office with lightWhen you’re in your workspace, what do you see when you look around you? Take a look and make a note. What does your desk look like? What’s on the wall, on the floor, what can you hear? What can you see out the window, can you even see out of the window?

Now that you have absorbed it all how does it make you feel? Is your space a comfortable place where you feel relaxed and productive or does it feel busy and hectic, or drab and depressing? Do you like it, honestly?

A good workspace makes for good work

Today I wanted to talk about environment. Because the environment we work in can have a huge impact on our productivity and arguably even our quality of work.

I think it can make a huge difference to how you feel and your ability to focus, in fact studies have been done that back this up.

If you are working in an environment that uplifts you, it stands to reason you will feel happy and positive and will so will be creative and produce good work.

Equally if you are in an environment that makes you feel low, unhappy, and irritable or trapped, what kind of work will you produce as a result?


What a poor environment looks like

Consider these two examples:

An ex-partner of mine had a home office, for the out of hours work done at home. The desk was covered in piles of paper, inches deep, the floor the same. And when he wanted something he mostly didn’t bother hunting through for it he just asked the person who had given it to him to send it again, which was incredibly annoying to the people he worked with.

Someone else I know works full time in a spare room, with barely any daylight. It’s literally like a cave. Plus it doesn’t have direct heating or cooling so needs heaters in winter and fans in summer. Its not surprisingly that she doesn’t spend much consistent time in there, instead using any excuse to come out – making coffee, answering the phone, watering the plants etc

In both cases the environment is not great, and not conducive to a productive and happy working time. Whilst both of these people are motivated and generally productive, they are getting irritable and grumpy, and distracted without realising why. And from what I know not producing as well as they would like to.


How to improve your work environment

So what can you do to make your environment healthy and happy? A place that you feel good and produce good work.

Whilst I understand that you may or may not have a separate office to work in, there are still things you can do to maximise your working space. Even if you work at the kitchen table!

Think about where you sit and what you can see. Perhaps you can move so that you have a nice view or more daylight? Even just face a different way. You do need enough light, and ideally daylight.

Keep your workspace tidy. Whilst this one sounds obvious, it can be hard when you are busy and working on more than one thing. Have storage area close by, and only have what you need in the moment on the desk. This avoids mental clutter that is distracting and affects your focus.


Sort it out

It’s worth sorting out all your stuff, throw away things you don’t need and only keep what is necessary. Clear your desk, your cupboards and your drawers.

And make sure you have enough room to work, another downside of too much on the desk is not having space to work comfortably.

Your desk/workspace and chair should also be comfortable for you. You spend a long time sitting there so don’t use furniture that makes your body ache! And make sure you like the colours. If at all possible have the walls and furnishings in colours that appeal to you.

After all looking at walls in a colour you hate is not going to make you feel good is it?


Add in things that make you smile

Then have some things around you that uplift you. Whether this be trinkets, candles or motivational posters. If you like plants, have a plant or two. They are good for the environment as well.

If you like music on play music while you ae working, either something uplifting or classical is best.


Take out distractions

Finally aim to minimise the distractions. If you have moved your to do pile that is a huge help, now think about other things that might take your attention away. If you work at home, can you remove reminders of the laundry and housework from your line of sight? Can you find a way for the kids not to disturb you for a couple of hours?


Now it’s your turn

Do you get the idea? Think about what you really need and like and make your working space perfect for you, as far as you can. It can only make things better 🙂


First published by Authentic Edge, July 2015 © Julia Mcdaid

Julia supports women entrepreneurs in creating the business and the life they love, through coaching/mentoring and training. Read more and grab some useful resources at




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