Like other animals, humans are greatly impacted by their habitats. Here are some common work-environment complaints that don’t have to be tolerated–cope on these and you are setting yourself up for a much better day at the office.
It’s hard to get work done if you are uncomfortable or suffering from carpal tunnel. If your office has keyboards, chairs or desk heights that feel bad to your body, it’s worth investigating how to alter them by either asking for one more body-friendly for you, getting lifts on the desk legs or buying your own substitutes. A lot of people are finding standing while they work a better option for their physical and mental health performance (especially for backs and alertness) and you can now get mini-lift tray-like contraptions that elevate your computer keyboard and/or monitor from sitting to standing heights. Some people are even installing treadmills and getting semi-circular desks so they can workout while they work.
As much as possible, remove all objects that are no longer useful, in bad condition or lack positive associations. Visually, clutter distracts focus. Practically speaking, why make space for broken or outdated things? Emotionally, why live among things that constantly remind you of someone you no longer like or a crummy time in your life?
Need a big confidence boost? Organizing is always a triumph of mind over matter. When getting chaos under control you are reconnecting with your priorities and letting go of the unimportant, which is a great way to thwart overwhelm. Start where you spend the most time, such as your computer desktop, workspace, handbag, or your car.
As you may know, most indoor dust is human skin and most soot is toxic carbon residue from burning oil, rubber or plastics. GACK! So keeping your immediate work area clean is good for your health. If the cleaning crew doesn’t keep things to your standards, get a small bottle of organic cleaner or essential-oil-infused wipes (can be found at Whole Foods and other health stores) to keep at your desk to touch up where you work.
Working by a window with natural light is ideal for natural stimulation and wellbeing. If your workspace location doesn’t make that possible, and if your overhead fluorescent lighting bugs you, take out the offending bulb and buy some full-spectrum bulbs of your own. As most people are energized by bright lighting, add extra lamps if needed so your work area feels upbeat.
A lot of offices require people to work like sardines–even if they have to do phone work which can easily make you hate your neighbors. Sound cancelling headphones can be astoundingly effective in these situations. Even if you have a private office with a door, a lot of places can be very loud (especially in urban areas) so consider getting a white noise machine (which can cost less than $20).
A lot of studies have found that even in cities with pollution, indoor air quality is usually worse–especially if the windows don’t open. HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) systems need to be regularly maintained and cleaned to prevent mold. To make your office safe to inhale, buy plants that thrive in the shade or sun (as your workspace lighting determines). Not only are they visually pleasant, but they also act as filters removing bad chemicals that are being off-gassed by so many synthetic materials in our midst (plastics, flame retardants, exterminator pesticides, etc.). If your heat is too drying, consider a humidifier. Depending on your co-workers’ scent preferences, you may also be allowed to have your own aromatherapeutic diffusers or candles that many people swear by for their health and mood-enhancing benefits. Just be sure you are burning high-quality, non-rancid essential oils and high-quality clean-burning waxes like beeswax, palm or soy. (Paraffin-based candles are actually petroleum and literally create a mini oil slick in the air when they burn.)
Now that you have your optimum habitat to get work done, you can get to it!
See more of Victoria’s Creatricks posts on our Ideablog!
~~~Victoria C. Rowan, Creatricks-in-Chief: Ideasmyth Inc. is the brainchild of the indefatigably energetic native New Yorker, Victoria C. Rowan, who has been fascinated by all forms of media since she started reading at three. She began editing her school’s literary magazine at 16. Since then, she has spent over 25 years working in all forms of media, writing for dozens of publications; providing
Having midwife-ed such a range of projects and enterprises she has come to this conclusion: creativity can only consistently thrive when the rest of the artist’s life works and allows space for its potential. Sessions with Victoria will not only help you craft a better book, essay, play, poem, website copy or business plan, but they will also help you become the person you always wanted to be.