Creating A Productive and Distraction-Free Work Space

In the past few weeks I have accepted new freelance positions, traveled, and started working on something very new (and slightly scary huge). All of which have left my mind with little space to think about anything but work spaces. Everything going on right now seems to point back to them, and since my makeshift work space is a mess right now, it's always fun dreaming of the perfect little studio.

So today, I thought it would be fun to share a few tips to making your work space a place for productivity instead of distraction.

Keep your desk top clutter free! - If there is anything I have learned about working from home, it is that 1. "working" from the couch/floor/bed is not going to end well, and 2. having an incredibly cluttered and messy desk top is going to distract you. Keeping everything organized and in its place is such a refreshing feeling... I really need to take my own advice with this one and declutter. (I sense an IKEA trip in the near future!)

Sit in a comfortable chair - This may seem a bit silly, but working from home, at a desk, with an uncomfortable chair is as disastrous as working from the couch or the floor. When your back hurts, or you're not completely comfortable, it will secretly be all you're thinking about. Trust me, this one comes from personal experience with a chair that was WAY too high for my desk. Not good!

C O F F E E - Do I really need to say more? Being groggy, tired, and unfocused doesn't work AT ALL. Whether you're a coffee or tea drinker, get it on that desk and sip away!

Are you a physical or digital worker? - This one is less about work space and more about productivity, but still just as important. Knowing whether you work best having physical documents or digital copies is hugely important. I am personally stuck in the past and can't get anything done unless I have it right in front of me. No Google calendars for me, I'll take my planner and spiral notebook any day! Of course, like anyone in 2015, I have a ton of documents on my computer that I reference everyday, but if there is something that you are working on and you have a list of guidelines, it's OKAY to print those guidelines out, highlight on them, make notes, etc. if that's the way you work best. Otherwise you will be sitting there staring off into space and not getting anything done. The same goes for digital people - don't clutter your work space with a ton of papers that you will never use!

Turn your phone upside down! - When I am at my desk, I turn my phone so the screen is facing down (and put it on silent). If my screen isn't constantly lighting up, I forget it's there and surprise... I actually get work done! Of course, this only applies to times when you know you won't be receiving important calls, etc. - One of the reasons I schedule all of my calls so I know when I need to have my phone available, and when it can be placed aside so as not to be a distraction.

Listen to music/have background noise - If you're the type of person that needs complete silence, skip this tip. If you're like me, a little soft background noise helps me focus! I usually try picking music that I don't know the words to if I'm writing emails or blog posts, but If I'm editing photos or doing something that doesn't require the formation of logical sentences, I'm all about rocking out to my favorite songs! Coffee shop noises are also good, or random tv channels (I prefer Food Network)!

Take breaks - Don't try to work 8 hours without taking a break. If you're feeling unfocused, take a break, have a snack, go for a walk, work an hour or two at a coffee shop for change of scenery - something! I like to take a small 5-10 minute break every hour and a half, an hour lunch break, and an hour break when Cody gets home from work. Taking breaks doesn't make you lazy or distracted (within reason), it actually helps productivity!

Make it fun and pretty!!! - We all have our own version of "pretty" or "perfect" and making your work space pretty and perfect to you (not everyone else) is the most important thing! Use pens just because they're your favorite color, buy yourself flowers to have in the corner, make a gallery wall behind your desk with your favorite sources of inspiration - the possibilities are endless! Just make sure you enjoy being in the space you create for yourself, because after all, you're the one that has to sit there for hours each day!

What are your best tips for creating a productive work space? Let's chat about them in the comments below!

Photo by Sara Logan Photography, courtesy of Whitney Vass.

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