Create a Productive Working Environment

Where you work, creating a good workspace is an important factor in your productivity. The following steps can help you create a more focused, professional, and pleasant work environment for yourself.


  1. Control clutter in your immediate workspace. This not only makes you look more professional but allows you to work efficiently without hunting through a mess.
    • Use shelves, folders, or hanging files to create an organized filing system for paperwork.
    • Hang up a small corkboard for notes and memos.
    • Put up a dry-erase board on which you can write a 'To Do' list.
    • Recycle or throw away excess paper or other litter such as food wrappers, old memos, etc.
  2. Add small decorations to help you relax. A photo of loved ones, a picture of a favorite vacation spot, or a painting of a nature scene can add a soothing touch for your workspace. If your office computer allows it, set your desktop background to an image you particularly enjoy. Your workplace may permit you to bring in a small, potted plant (or a fake plant).
  3. Bring music and headphones. If your workplace is very quiet, you may want to listen to music without disturbing others. Music does help some people concentrate on their work. Headphones may signal co-workers that you are busy.
  4. Keep track of time spent socializing by logging your productive time with the use of time keeping equipment.
  5. Organize your computer so that you can easily find files.
  6. Protect your "personal space" from unwanted visitors. If someone often wanders over to your area to chat, gently tell them that you're in the middle of an important task and need to concentrate. Good phrases to use include:
    • "I'm sorry, but I'm really swamped right now."
    • "Maybe you could fill me in at lunch when I can give you my full attention."
    • "I'm sorry, but I'm really weird about people standing so close."
  7. Take your breaks away from your workspace. Using your work area exclusively for work helps you keep on task.

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