Redesign Productivity: 50 Ways to Create a Motivational Workspace

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 7:02pm by Site Administrator

The environment in which you work can have a profound effect on your level of motivation. Everything from the color of your walls to the way you position your desk can make an impact. Follow these 50 tips to improve your workspace, and you’ll be taking steps toward more productivity and motivation.

Feng Shui

Follow this ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects to create harmony.

  1. Sit in a commanding position: In feng shui, the commanding position is one where you’re supported from behind and open from the front, so this means you’ll work facing the entrance to your work area.
  2. Incorporate water into your office: Water features will keep you in tune with your desires and help you better become motivated to meet your goals.
  3. Keep your doorway clear: Make sure you don’t obstruct your doorway, or you’ll block the flow of positive energy.
  4. Look to inspiration: Don’t arrange your workspace so that you’re looking at clutter or unnecessary objects.
  5. Define your personal area: Use a door or alert bell to make a clear definition of where your workspace begins and ends.
  6. Rearrange your office frequently: Frequent changes in your work environment will keep you alert and on the ball.
  7. Draw attention to your achievements: Place your diplomas and awards in a prominent area to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished.
  8. Create a balance: Follow a balance of yin and yang, with light and dark colors, hard and soft surfaces, and more.
  9. Place symbols of goals in your area: Create something that is symbolic of your goal, and place it at a high level.


One sure-fire way to feel better in your work environment is to clear out junk. Follow these tips to de-clutter your way to a better workspace.

  1. Corral your gear: Make sure that all of your cords, devices, and tools all have a specific place.
  2. Create a calendar: Instead of using sticky notes and scribbled papers, keep all of your important dates together in a calendar.
  3. Adopt a to-do list notebook: Just like the calendar, a notebook can make it easy to cut down on having lots of different papers around.
  4. File: When you do have extraneous papers, make sure that there’s a home for them in your file cabinet.
  5. Create a system for paper: Decide what the process is for dealing with bills, letters, and more.
  6. Bulletin board: Use a bulletin board to corral important notices and keep them off of your desk.
  7. Create zones: If your work requires a few different tasks, create a station just for that task filled with all of the supplies you need. Good examples of work zones would be for shipping or reading.
  8. Throw away old magazines: Stop letting old magazines accumulate after you’ve read them. Instead, clip important pieces out, and scan or file them.


A comfortable workplace is a productive one. Take these steps to make sure you feel good in your work area.

  1. Listen to music: Use music to create a relaxing atmosphere.
  2. Eliminate loud noises: Avoid interruptions by choosing a workspace that’s far away from neighbors, TVs, and other sources of noise.
  3. Add family photos: Add a touch of home and remind yourself what you’re working for with family photos.
  4. Make it smell good: Use aromatherapy to add a nice ambiance as well as motivate.
  5. Choose an area with good ventilation: Keep yourself from feeling stagnant by choosing an area that provides lots of air flow.
  6. Add a few pillows and blankets: In your reading area, keep a few pillows and blankets to make it cozy.


Make these changes in your equipment to turn your workspace into the ultimate motivation zone.

  1. Get a nice chair: These days, a good chair is vitally important, especially if you spend a lot of time on the computer.
  2. Task lighting: Take it easy on your eyes by using lamps and other lighting to focus specifically on the task at hand.
  3. Ambient lighting: Use indirect ambient lighting to reduce glare on your eyes.
  4. Keep important items close: Make sure that you keep any frequently-used items, like a phone, close to your workspace.
  5. Reading chair: Use a separate, comfortable chair to create a zone made just for reading.
  6. Bookshelf with helpful references: Keep your knowledge close to you with a bookshelf filled with all of the references you need.
  7. Use a fan: Keep your temperature right where it needs to be so you don’t stagnate.


Take these tips into consideration when planning your work environment.

  1. Create a personal style: Your workspace needs to follow your own style, or you’ll feel like you’re working in someone else’s office.
  2. Use natural light: Stay in sync with day and night with a window for natural light.
  3. Add art: Introduce paintings or other pieces of art that make you feel great for added motivation.
  4. Choose a color: Adopt an inspiring color for your space. A popular color is green because it’s the color of money.
  5. Use a separate room: Get privacy and your own space to let your mind go into a work zone by choosing a room to be used solely as a workspace.
  6. Plants: Foster the growth of living, oxygen-generating plants so that you can grow with them.
  7. Give every object a home: Things won’t pile up if there’s a specific place for each type of item.


Carefully follow ergonomic guidelines to avoid injuring yourself.

  1. Ensure that you have adequate lumbar support: Reduce stress on your lower back with a good chair, and you’ll be more productive and healthy.
  2. Place your feet on the floor: Ensure that your feet rest on the floor, using a footrest if necessary.
  3. Protect your upper body: Ensure that your arms, elbows, neck, and shoulders are all in a comfortable position.
  4. Reduce glare: Make it easy on your eyes by eliminating or reducing glare.

House Rules

Set a few rules about your workspace to carefully preserve your motivation and productivity.

  1. Establish "Do Not Disturb" times: During specific times of the day, turn off everything and focus only on the task at hand.
  2. Avoid letting things pile up on the floor: Don’t let clutter take over your office, or you’ll find it to be a drain on your energy.
  3. Never use your workspace for storage: It’s tempting to use a secondary room for junk, but it will be distracting, especially if it’s not related to your work.
  4. Always turn off your computer: Symbolically turn off your day by turning off your computer when you’re done every evening.
  5. Make your office a sacred space: Make sure that friends, family and neighbors know that your workspace is for work only.
  6. Never eat at your desk: Avoid eating at your desk both for cleanliness and productivity.
  7. Never use your workspace for play: Train your mind to get into work mode whenever you sit at your desk by avoiding recreational activities while in your workspace.
  8. Always clear your desk: Never leave a messy desk, or you’ll leave the troubles of today piled up for tomorrow.
  9. If it doesn’t have a function, you don’t need it: Make sure that everything in your workspace serves a purpose, or you don’t need it.

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