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2X4: Four Ways to Work Better at Home

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Jessica
09.02.13

Working from home has a lot of benefits – you can wear PJs all day, and the perfect snack is always nearby. But if things get a bit too comfortable, your productivity can take hit. Boost your efficiency with one or more of these additions:

A Regular Routine. If you start every work session with a five-minute hunt for the right papers and office supplies, your productivity will take a nosedive. To prevent this, keep all of your supplies organized in your work zone and follow the same “pre-game” routine every day. By getting your head in the work-game with a few pre-work rituals – like making sure your favorite pen is handy – you’ll save time and be able to focus more of your energy on work. Your productivity will soar (like an eagle)! Tip: We’re big fans of going paperless. That way, every document you need is at the click of a button.

The Right Color. The best color for you workspace depends on the type of work you’re doing. According to research from Columbia University, seeing the color red will help you make more accurate decisions, and staring at blue gets your creative juices flowing. So if you’re a creative type, blue should be your go-to hue. If you’re more of a number cruncher, choose red! Be bold and paint a wall in a home office, or add throw pillows or other décor accents to your workspace.

A Work Zone. It’s easy to sit on your couch and space out, which is why trying to work in your “chill zone” can be like kryptonite to productivity. You need to mentally separate play-time from work-time, and a dedicated workspace will help with that. If you don’t have a spare room, consider converting a walk-in closet to an office or adding a desk to an unused corner. That way, when you’re in your work zone, you’ll be in a work mindset. 

Houseplants. What would you do with a 12 percent quicker reaction time? Respond to more emails or solve a problem faster, perhaps? It’s possible! All you need is a houseplant. Yup, a houseplant. According to Washington State University research, adding one plant to a workspace decreases stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts reaction time. If you don’t exactly have a green thumb or a big plant-budget, check out this list of low-maintenance, low-cost plants.

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