How to reduce workplace stress and improve your focus.

Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and working from home is still the norm for many people. If you’ve been working remotely this past year, you might have developed some habits around your home workspace, but if you’re still looking to reduce workplace stress and improve your focus, here are some helpful tips to help create a calming workspace at home.

 

Declutter your workspace

It seems like a simple thing, but the first step to getting your workspace organized is to keep it tidy. This is especially important when working from home as household items can spill over into your workspace, physically blurring the work/life separation. This also goes for your digital workspace: if you’re using a computer, organizing the files and programs on your desktop goes a long way towards increasing productivity. Having a workspace that’s visually appealing reduces the stress of a disorganized mind, and will help you stay motivated and focused.

 Set boundaries and separate your space

If you’re able to, have a separate space in your home that’s just for working. Working in your bedroom, for example, makes you associate the space with work and not sleep which could keep you from getting a good night’s rest. If your home doesn’t have the space to accommodate a separate area reserved for working, try going for morning and afternoon walks to replace a commute to work. This can help differentiate between working hours and personal time. This can also include scheduling yourself breaks – and sticking to them – as well as letting anyone you share the space with when you’re using the space for work.

Make sure you’re well lit

Lighting is an important part of setting up your space and setting the mood. For a calming workspace, you want to find a balance between the glimmer of office fluorescent lights, and soft cozy lighting that’ll make you want to curl up and nap. Natural light works best for keeping a space well lit without feeling too sterile or stuffy. Supplement this with a nice desk lamp and you’re on your way to a bright and visually appealing workspace.

Keep it simple

Just the same as decluttering your workspace and keeping it well lit, you want to make sure your space is neat and simple, but still visually appealing. You should want to spend time there, or at the very least, not detest how your space looks. Adding a couple simple elements of decor, like a small plant, some calming artwork, or maybe a nice mug or jar to hold your pens. Your space should look pretty without being distracting.

 

Ground yourself with your senses

In addition to making your space look nice, your workspace should be appealing to the rest of your five senses as well. Make sure that it feels nice – you won’t be able to focus very long if your chair or desk are uncomfortable. A calming scented candle, or perhaps some essential oils in a diffuser to improve the aroma. Put on some chill music, or embrace the silence if you prefer.

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