Messy Desk

100 Ways To Live A Better Life – 13. Change Your Work Space


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Clean up your desk. Re-arrange furniture. Add some color to that space. Make the place where you work really enjoyable. So enjoyable that work there won’t be perceived as work anymore. It will be something you actually crave to do.

I love to change my work space every now and then. Because I consider that work space to be a mirror of my thoughts. Imagine how would you feel if you would think the same thoughts day in and day out. They have a name for that: being crazy.

Small changes in the work space around you can have a huge impact in your life. Not only you can become more productive, so to speak, but you will feel that every day is unfolding in a different way.

Changing your work space around should give you the feeling that work is in fact just a disguised holiday. Until the real one starts, of course. 

5. Ways To Change Your Work Space

I’m not talking about profound, or difficult changes here. Just small touches, but with a significant impact. Things you can actually do now, that will generate a visible improvement within hours, if not minutes.

1. Clean Up Your Desk

Don’t start your day with a messy desk. Piles of papers, pens, post-its, files, you know the drill. Leftovers from the day before. Just clean it. It’s so simple, yet so effective. A clean desktop is like an empty sheet of of paper, ready to be filled with words, sentences, paragraphs. Along with this simple thing, comes, of course, the very healthy habit of having an “inbox zero”.

2. Change Your Altitude

And by altitude I understand the level at which you’re sitting. If you keep the same level all day long, it will get boring. If you can, use a beanbag, every few hours, or a couch. If you can’t do this, just lower your chair somehow. Also, a few minutes spent standing are very good for your spine and leg muscles. This tip assumes that you’re working on a desk. If you’re not, feel free to adjust it to your current working routine.

3. Work From A Coffee Shop, One Day Per Week

I’ve been a digital nomad for years. Meaning I worked exclusively from coffee shops for years. It was a very enriching experience. Some of my most shared articles on lifehacker (external link to my author page) were about this lifestyle. Whenever you work on a coffee shop, you get the chance to meet completely new people. If your job doesn’t really allow you to work on a coffee shop (you’re a doctor, for instance) just take a break every once in a while there and enjoy some coffee and a bit of unexpected networking.

4. Paint Your Walls

Every once in a while, repaint. Change colors on the wall. If you don’t like colors, then try a few graffiti or other forms of wall art. Like paintings, for instance. A lot of your visual field is occupied during the day with the walls around you. The more divers the color mix on these walls, the more refreshing you’ll feel the entire space. It’s not something easy to catch at a conscious level, but it does work. Just try it for a few months. It will somehow feel like moving somewhere else.

5. Put On (And Adapt) Some Music

Your workspace isn’t built around your visual field only. It’s also at the audible level. Change that too. Put on some music. Of course, use some earphones if you’re not alone in the office, that will help you significantly with your social integration (which is a sarcastic way to say that you’ll be swiftly punished by your colleagues if you don’t use earphones). But do put some music while working, especially if your work consists from tedious, repetitive tasks.

further reading

The Productivity Map

The Productivity Trap



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I’m blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You’re invited, by the way.

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