Published on September 16, 2015

10 essential components of an ideal workspace

Whether studying for a big test or working on an important project for an internship abroad, nobody wants to work for longer than they have to. That's why it's important to be as productive and efficient as possible in the time set aside for work or studies. Your work productivity can be affected by a lot of things; state of mind, diet, hours slept and especially, your environment. If you're going to maximize your work output, you've got to have the ideal work space established, which is why we compiled this handy list of the ten things you need to make the most productive workspace possible.

 

ideal work space

 

1) The sound of silence

Sorry guys, but your favorite music is probably not the best thing to accompany your studies or work. According to one study, music playing in the background slowed students writing an essay down by an average of 60 words per hour. Even solely instrumental music had this effect, debunking the myth that music without lyrics is less distracting.

 

2) Solitude

As much fun as it is to have your best friend next to you while you are prepping for an exam or assembling a presentation, they will probably be more of a distraction than a help. Now if they are working on a similar project and they have good study habits, an exception can be made. Still, overall, if you want to be more productive, you've got to do it solo.

 

3) Limited access to social media accounts

Social media is a major distraction - not only in a work or study space. Know this and decide to sign out of your social media accounts when you study. If you must check social media, give yourself a 5-minute break every hour as a reward for being so focused on your work. If you have very little willpower, Google Chrome extension "StayFocusd" is designed specifically to restrict how much time you spend on your favourite sites. Whether it's Facebook, Buzzfeed or YouTube, you tell the site how much time you would like to be allowed on each site per day! Goodbye procrastination!

 

ideal work space

 

4) No phone, or a silenced phone

We've got some bad news. As fun as it is to Snapchat your best friend while buried in your studies, you are wasting time that you could be using to get work done. In fact, a study by CareerBuilder found that more than half of those surveyed mentioned smartphones as the biggest distraction at work. If you can learn early on to turn off or silence your phone while you're working, it will make you a more focused, more productive and therefore a more valuable employee.

 

5) Essential liquids

Staying hydrated is important for your health, so make sure to bring a bottle of water along for while you study. Some studies even have said that drinking water increases academic ability. Coffee is another important liquid that is proven to increase energy levels, so don't forget your thermos full of your favorite cup a joe.

 

ideal work space

 

6) Brain food

Wholegrains, blueberries, tomatoes, blackcurrant, pumpkin seeds and nuts are all proven to benefit the brain. Keep them handy, instead of candy or chips, next time you want a little food for thought.

 

7) A clean space, free from clutter

A cluttered work space can actually increase stress levels and make it harder to concentrate. Whether you are working at home, at the office or in a library, keep your desk clean as much as you can.

 

8) A comfortable temperature

You want to be comfortable when you're putting your brain to work so try to set up your work station in a nice temperature that you find fit. Also, it's a good idea to dress in layers so you can always put on or take off clothing to adjust to the temperature.

 

9) Good lighting

Poor lighting can strain your eyes and even cause headaches while you're doing work. Moreover, dark lighting can cause you to be drowsy and less focused on getting your work done. A work space where there is lots of natural light is ideal.

 

10) A comfortable chair

Having a good, ergonomic chair will give you the support your spine needs and will be conducive to a good work ethic. Slouching on the couch is bad for your back and the design doesn't support work efficiency.

 

 

Sources: http://www.dailymail.co.uk, http://onlinecareertips.com, http://www.bbcgoodfood.com, http://www.businessnewsdaily.com, http://authoritynutrition.com

 

Photo 1. based on Studying, by mer chau, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Instagram and other Social Media Apps, by Jason Howie, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Flat White Coffee, by Russell James Smith, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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