5 Tips to Improve Your Studio or Office Work Space
Take your studio productivity and feng shui to the next level with these simple tips
As creators, movers of culture or corporate hustlers we often spend a countless number of hours at work, or in our creative spaces. It is our addiction to excellence that drives these long days and marathon sessions, but these taxing hours may in fact be doing more harm than good. Lucky for us, there are a few easy things that you can do to make your time in the studio, office or home work space more productive and more efficient.
Ditch Your Dad's Swivel Chair
Its 2018 and you’re still rolling around the studio or office in the same swivel chair your teenage employer used? Sitting for long periods can lead to a myriad of problems from increase in heart disease, back and spinal problems to shortening your overall lifespan. Studies have shown that standing chair or desk can have enormous benefits including lowering blood sugar and boosting energy levels, even increasing productivity because of elevated mood. These posture friendly stations can also allow more movement, relieve back pain and strengthen your core, all while you work!
Step Your Screen Game Up, Literally
Are your shoulders constantly tight? Upper back and neck always sore? Lifting your screen at your desk could do more than you may think. Raise your monitors and screens so that the top edge is right about eye level, while sitting upright (ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips). This will allow the muscles in your upper back and neck to relax and relieve tension. Be sure the screen is more than 20 inches away from your face, and there should be a natural downward gaze toward the center of your screen. Several companies sell adjustable work spaces, however adjustments can be made as easily as placing a box or other platform beneath your laptop or computer monitor bringing it to a more comfortable height.
Greenthumb.. Or Fake It Until You Make It
Spending time in nature sharpens creativity and thinking, improves concentration, reduces stress and inflammation, amongst other benefits. Unfortunately we can't always go out to the middle of a forest and work. Integrating nature into your work space via fresh plants and flowers can have similar therapeutic effects to actually being outside. In fact, even seeing images of nature have shown to have improvements in productivity and mental function, similar to being outside in nature. So if you can’t move your desk to the middle of your local nature trail, and don’t have the gift of a green thumb, at least change that screen saver to a waterfall, forest or mountain range for the calming effects of nature, minus the insects!
Let There Be Light, And Color
Open a window and let in some natural light! Sunlight can provide a boost to your productivity and energy levels by increasing serotonin in the body. Extended periods in dark or dim environments can cause symptoms of depression and moodiness. If you don’t have access to natural light in your office or studio space, or prefer working under the shade of night, you can purchase “daylight” bulbs for your lamps and fixtures to mimic natural light. Even adding colored tints to your lights can enhance your creative or work experience. Reds and greens promote balance and relaxation, yellow inspires creativity and blue stimulates the brain. This is the one time its ok to "light it up"!
Let It Breathe
While the ten-thousand hour rule still holds true for mastery, breaking up that time up into healthy segments is key to achieve the maximum return on your efforts. Contrary to popular belief, spending hours on end in front of your work or project doesn’t help the task reach completion faster, or at its highest quality. In fact, spending extended periods of time at a single task can the opposite of desired effects. The ideal amount of time varies from study to study, but the consensus seems to be that the brain can maintain focus and performance best when working in intervals of 60-90 minutes. Between work sessions be sure to get up and do some physical activity to refresh not only your body but your mind as well.