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How To Optimize Your Work Environment
How To Optimize Your Work Environment

What’s essential and what belongs in the bin?

Keep the greenery

If you can keep it alive, of course. Research suggests that keeping a plant at your desk can boost well-being at work, while being around the colour green can improve creativity. If you’re looking for something low-maintenance that will grow with minimal light, think peace lily or philodendron – they’ll also offer you more of a screen from snack-hoovering colleagues.

Lose your ‘stuff’ pile

Unless there’s a pressing need for you to have it to hand, file it – it’ll only distract you, and research published by the American Psychological Association suggests that “task switching”, or rapidly shuffling from one job to another, can make you up to 40% less efficient. If you’ve got several projects on, break up your time into 30- to 60-minute chunks so you work on one thing, then another.

Keep Post-it notes

Feeling stressed? A to-do list will work: willpower researcher Roy Baumeister reports that simply writing down goals can reduce the cognitive stress of unfinished tasks. Keep it short, but focused: “emails” or “pitches” isn’t effective, but to-do lists that focus on concrete, achievable tasks to tick off will allow you to ride the momentum of a few easily-achieved tasks and stay productive throughout the day.

Lose the laptop

Yes, it’s OK to be the only one in the morning meeting who doesn’t haul in a shiny MacBook Pro. In a 2016 study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that test subjects retained material better when they took notes by hand – probably because they were more likely to summarize and paraphrase than try to get everything down verbatim. By “encoding”, you’re more likely to remember what was said.

Written by Coach for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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