Must haves to zen out your workspace

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In today’s overloaded world, it can be difficult to get work done and feel calm in the process. Ringing phones, pinging emails, piles of papers, bursting diaries and endless memos and sticky notes can leave us feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and drained of time and energy.

We might not have control over how much we work, but fortunately, there are things we can do to improve how productive we are – and how good we feel – when we’re at our desks.

If you want both calm and productivity, you’ll want to totally Zen out your workspace. Here are our top 6 tips for transforming your office into somewhere you look forward to working in:

1. Minimize distractions
If you have a home office, it’s best to separate it from your ‘home life’. One reason is that you don’t want to get distracted by your home life when you’re in ‘work mode’. The other - and equally valid - reason is that you don’t want your work life to infringe on your free time, either. To prevent them getting in a muddle, declutter your surroundings, returning any work items to your office, and personal items to other areas of your home.

2. Comfort and ergonomics
Sitting at your computer for hours and hours at a time isn’t ideal but isn’t always avoidable. Taking frequent breaks from the screen is recommended – at least 5 minutes per hour. You’ll also want to make sure you have a comfortable office chair with good support for your back. Monitoring your undefinedscreen position is a must – OSHA recommends a 20 to 40-inch distance between you and the screen, and you should not be tipping your head forward or back, but looking straight ahead. You might want to consider a stand to raise the height of your screen, or even get a standing desk if you want to get up on your feet.

3. Lighting
Lighting is often overlooked when it comes to office zen, but it’s a crucial factor in keeping your body comfortable. Make sure to avoid glare hitting your screen, and choose bulbs that are similar in temperature to one another. You’ll want to bring up those blinds, too – natural light boosts healthy sleep and wellbeing, and lowers stress levels.

To save your eyes from strain and fatigue, try following the 20-20-20 rule: ‘Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.’

4. Plants

Bring some of the healing nature of plants into your office to get instant zen credentials, and your productivity boosted by 12%. Along with increased oxygen in the room, you’ll also get benefits such as:

  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Increased attentiveness and reaction times
  • Improved well-being and job satisfaction

5. Headphones
If you’re in a space with lots of background noise, it might be a good idea to slap on the headphones undefinedand crank up the music. Researchers have found that in a noisy workplace, the brain tries to process all of the individual sounds and quickly becomes overwhelmed. This increases cortisol levels and makes productivity plummet. Music blocks out these different streams and allows you to concentrate. It’s best to listen to music you already know, as new music sparks a distracting dopamine rush.

6. Desk position
When you’re looking to zen out your office space, what better to study than feng shui? Though feng shui is an in-depth subject, you can try this quick tip. Align your desk in what is known as the Command Position. This position is located diagonally opposite the entry door of the room. From where you sit, you should be able to see all doors and windows. You should especially avoid having a door or window behind your desk, as this can cause subconscious anxiety.

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