Published: 08:00, 15 December 2017
Hannah Young, Houzz contributor
What’s the key to being more productive? Sometimes it’s a matter of reducing the distractions around us, re-energising and finding a way to focus on channelling our energy effectively.
Check out these ideas to find out how a few simple changes around the home can help you feel refreshed, focused and ready for action.
Recognise what re-energises you
By understanding your personality type you can make small adjustments within your home that will help to rejuvenate you. If it’s time alone that you need to recharge, you may be able to create a spot to read or write a journal. Alternatively, organise your hallway so that you can easily put on outerwear for a quick walk. If it’s time with others that energises you, make sure you’ve got enough comfy seating, as well as cups, glasses and cookware to make it easy to invite friends over. Save these energy generating treats for the time in the day when your energy dips. By having everything prepared in advance, you’ll find it easier to fit them into your schedule.
Understand what drains your batteries
Consider what activities drain your energy, or which kind of environment makes you less productive. Perhaps you feel tired if your daily environment is too cluttered, noisy and busy. Or maybe you thrive in a place that’s lively and feel drained in a small, quiet office away from people. Being more aware of your surroundings can help you identify what saps your energy. If external noise is causing a problem, think about ways you can reduce it. It might be time to invest in upgrading your windows.
Alternatively, you could think about rearranging rooms in your home to make sure the spaces where you need to concentrate are located somewhere quiet.
Create a command centre
Install a hub in your home where you can keep all your day-to-day essentials such as your post, keys, stationery and calendar. By creating a central repository, you’ll know exactly where to look to find out schedules, information and all those small items that get lost frequently. It’ll free up time to focus on more productive activities instead. If you’re finding yourself spending time looking for lost phones, chargers and tablets as well, create a central ‘tech hub’ to keep all your screens and wires in one place.
Schedule your to-do list
Add a blackboard or whiteboard to a prominent spot in the home and use this for your household’s to-do list. However, don’t just write a list and leave it there. If you don’t want things to sit on that list indefinitely, you need to assign priority numbers to each item. Be realistic about when you can set aside time to accomplish each item on the list, and add the tasks to your diary, calendar or scheduler – whatever works best for you. The important thing is to set deadlines for each task, so that you can focus on it and get it done.
Prioritise only one thing
We often have a few things that we think of as 'priorities', but how about keeping this to just one thing? After all, in his best-selling book Essentialism, Greg McKeown explains that the word ‘priority’ was singular for 500 years. It wasn’t until the 1900s that we started using it to describe numerous ‘priorities’. Think of just one priority that you’d like to achieve over everything else, and remind yourself of it regularly by painting it on a wall or framing it as an inspirational quote.
Keep things where you use them
Storing frequently used items near the place you use them creates a streamlined workflow and makes it easier to accomplish tasks. You’ll spend less time gathering tools and materials from around the home. For example, keep recipe books handy, and all your cooking items within arm’s reach in the kitchen.It may be that your current arrangement doesn’t make this easy, so when you’re thinking of updating a room, first consider how you use the space. Think about what you would like to store and about how you move around the area, then design the room to work with these considerations.
Indulge your senses
Lifting your mood can help improve motivation and concentration. It’s often possible to invigorate your spirits by pampering your senses, so think about each sense and think of something positive you could do for each one. Listening to music while working can help you focus, locating your desk by a window with a lovely view can help you think while you work. Enjoy the beauty and scent of cut flowers or a potted plant in your study, or add some bright yellow accessories and cushions to invigorate your mood.
Don’t just think of sleep as an inconvenient necessity that reduces your available hours of productivity. Getting the right amount of sleep is essential, as it aids concentration, preventing you from making mistakes, and improves your memory and ability to make decisions. Get your bedroom primed by removing distractions and clutter, and investing in a supportive mattress and comfortable bedding.
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