When work is hectic, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the projects, deadlines and lists that are waiting for our input.
A simple but effective strategy, before we prioritise those lists and get started, is to pay attention to our workspace. There’s all the usual practical advice – clear the clutter, create a system, and get rid of distractions – that are important to do.
We’re suggesting a broader approach, though. Think “calm, happy to be here, working effectively” workspace – what would make you want to be there?
Clearly, some of the externals are likely to be outside of your control – who you sit next to, for example, and noise levels. But what can you control? Here are some ideas that you may find useful:
- What cues or triggers help you to get started in the morning? Do you have a ritual of writing to-do lists? Invest in a great pad and interesting pens. Or perhaps listening to the same piece of music (earplugs on, in case your colleagues hate it) acts as the kick-start for you. Whatever it is, use it. If you don’t have a “start” trigger, experiment with some and see which one(s) work best for you. It’s worth chatting to colleagues to get some good ideas.
- What objects in your workspace remind you to stay calm? Could be a photograph of someone or something that calms you, a pot plant or a particular screen saver. Again, if you don’t have a “stay calm” object, remember to try some different ones out.
- Similarly, what helps you keep the big picture of your life in perspective? We know that staying connected to our strongest sense of meaning/purpose helps us hold on to a sense of perspective when things are stressful or difficult. This might be a photo of your family, or your favourite hobby, or a symbol of something that is important to you.
What helps you to create a great workspace?