Designing a Productive Workspace

Working from home, even for just a short time, can be difficult for many. There are constant reminders of things that need to be done, and if you have any procrastinating tendencies, you can see just how difficult it can be to ignore your home to-do list. This leads to creative compromise and overall dissatisfaction with your production. We’ve all known someone who would rather clean the house top to bottom than start that project with the deadline, and rather than become that archetype perhaps there is a way to treat this issue.


Designing a workspace with intention is the first and last step. How does this one go about this? Should we get Alan Moore to bless the room with chaos magic? Perhaps that’s a little too far, but taking some principles from mysticism, architecture, and interior design we can turn your home workspace into an area that culls creativity, productivity, and focus.

Choosing the Space

While you may not have the opportunity to turn an empty bedroom into an office, or convert the space under the stairs into a nine to five hideout, you will have to choose a space. If you don’t have an extra room, and need to use the kitchen table as you desk, then you may want to start thumbing this guide to start fully transforming your kitchen from a distracting mess into a focused, Feng Shui space.

The reason for this is often times bills, notes, and disorder builds up in rooms shared by multiple members. If you can cut out the fat and add create a harmonious room, then you’re already on your way to a clear workday. Feng Shui asks practitioners to use natural light when possible, and a centralized area, such as a desk or table, to create a focus point in the room rather than create visual distractions. If you have pets or children, you’ll want to find a space where you can find quiet as well.

Search for a room to convert with:

  • Windows for natural light
  • No harsh colors
  • Little furniture and not overly decorated
  • Not a high traffic zone for others members of the household.

Streamlining requirements

Consider what you need on average to get your job done. Notepad, computer, and few pens. You shouldn’t be looking to add much to the list. Make sure you are eating outside of the workspace, the Dali Lama said it best, “Be in the present moment, this is unattainable with many actions at once”. Take the time for lunch outside the work area and your workspace’s productivity will remain unhindered.

If getting into the work mode is part of your daily routine, then perhaps going for a short walk, to reconnect the morning commute, is helpful to not only get the blood flowing but to put you into the work routine when you return home.

Redefining Simplicity

Some people have a larger need to tools, such as storage devices like a hard drive or just a filing cabinet. It’s important to keep these out of site. If you think you’ll need them then find a drawer for your hard drive and eliminate the clutter from your paper, when you remember you need these things you can go and find them.

If you aren’t so fond of a blank desk and blank walls, (that’s about as minimalist as you can get) keep in mind that Feng Shui allows for some art and decoration like a family portrait or a plant, but keeping it in line with the tenets of the concept is key:

  • Art should be inspiring
  • Vibrant colors on a light-colored wall, don’t try to hang art on a loud space.
  • Use the concept of Bagua to place objects in symmetrical patterns around the room.

Even if the concepts of eastern mysticism don’t hold any interest for you, the qualities herein can help you find focus and peace. The cultures here are particularly known for this sort of focus and mental cleanliness, so give it a chance and after a week of this kind of productivity you’ll want to rearrange the entire house.

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