Let’s face it - productivity is hard. When sitting down to start a new project, assignment or any kind of word, there is a lot that goes into making sure your environment is ideal. This includes keeping the light, sound and temperature of the room exactly how you like it. If that’s not enough then there are things you can surround yourself with in order to maximize your efficiency, creativity and overall workflow.
When you are working, there is always something tangible you can be working toward. Maybe you are saving up for a big vacation to a new place or for a brand new car. Maybe you are aspiring to have your art appear in a famous museum one day. In your workplace you can pin up photographs of your vacation destination or the new car to keep you going. Make them your computer or phone wallpaper. Have a poster of the museum where you work and surround yourself with works that appear in that gallery. Every time you lose motivation or focus, you have a constant reminder to keep pushing toward your goals.
Usually, most people have other pieces of work related to what they do that inspires them to achieve great things. If you’re an artist, hang your favourite artists work near where you create. If you’re a writer, keep your favourite author's books close by to read whenever you get stuck. Maybe there was one piece that inspired you to do the work you do. Make sure it’s somewhere you can always see it. We find inspiration, hope and joy in looking at work we admire. Use this to your advantage by surrounding yourself with inspirational material.
Once you’re motivated and inspired, it’s important to minimize distraction and make sure you have absolutely everything you need close at hand. If you have to get up and go to another room to find materials, resources, tools, or anything else you need, you may lose your train of thought or disrupt your workflow. Make sure everything is organized and within reach.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to sit and work for long intervals, it’s a good idea to include nourishment within your immediate work space. Surround yourself with water, tea and healthy snacks to keep you going strong. Again, having to take a break when you get hungry or thirsty can really mess up your workflow.
We have become so accustomed to having our phones on all the time, it’s difficult to ignore them. But while you work, distractions like social media can really impede your workflow. Restrain yourself from distraction by creating barriers between you and those pesky notifications. Turn your phone off or leave it in another room. You’ll find you are much more present and able to focus on your work.