Spring is finally here, and to me there seems to just be this different, more enlivening feeling about this season of the year.
As we know, spring is a time of rejuvenation as the plants bloom out and even some insects come out. Spring is also a time when we take inventory—in our houses, we look at the china and decorations as they sit on our coffee tables or mantles, and some of us wonder, well, do we really need that there? Can I take that down because it’s really just taking up extra space.
We start considering items that are just holding space and may no longer serve a purpose or could be put back for another time.
Some of us also start considering the progress we’ve made at a quarter of the way through the year. Have we achieved at least some if not most the goals we’d set at the beginning of the year, or are we still sitting and waiting for those things to achieve themselves?
As you find yourself taking inventory this spring, we've put together several ways that could help you improve and enliven your workspace as well as some advice on readjusting your schedule to make time for those things that are important.
Spruce Up Your Workspace for Better Productivity
1. Clear away items that "clutter" & aren't "creative" or helpful
Do you find yourself reaching across two or more items that sit on your desk just to get to something that you really need? Items that take up extra space without normal use (an extra notebook just in case you need to write down something, pens so you don't have to rummage through the drawer, and a small jar of sugar for tea or coffee, etc.) can be more distracting than helpful. It's been proven that items that compete for your attention can be draining and more distracting than helpful when it comes to your productivity.
Consider alternative solutions for managing items that you might need to grab quickly - instead of the extra notebook, have a sticky notepad handy and a container with writing utensils.
As for other items like photographs or inspirational quotes, those can actually be helpful and even a boost. You could make sure that they're arranged in a way that's not interfering with materials that you need access to on a frequent basis.
2. Let in a little sunshine
It's amazing how a little sunshine can make you feel. If you're able to, sit near a window or open the blinds enough to get some natural sunlight. It's been proven that natural light can boost mood, creativity, and even learning.
So if you find yourself in a slump or a rut during the day, opt for a break near a window or outside if possible. This could help to rev up your gears for tackling tasks, responsibilities, and being more alert if seeing clients in the afternoon for appointments.
3. Brighten your area & mood with color
Does your space feel gloomy and not inspiring? Colors transmit different emotions, and if you're not able to have an accent wall or move to another area, consider adding a burst of color with inspirational items or even plants. (Great by the way when you need a break from the computer screen).
If you want some inspiration on colors that might work well with your working environment, check out this neat infographic on the effects of different colors here.
Readjust Your Schedule to Set Aside Time for What’s Important
1. Set repeating tasks on autopilot & add reminders
As we highlighted in an earlier post, it's a good idea to set repeating tasks on autopilot, and what we mean by this is adding them to your calendar in advance so that you don't have to stop and wonder on a Thursday how you're going to fit a regular task into your busy schedule that day.
If you're using our online scheduling system for keeping track of appointments but also use Google Calendar or iCal for your personal engagements, you can easily sync those engagements up to your TimeTap calendar so that you don't have to jump back and forth between systems. What's better is that if you set up a repeating activity through Google Calendar and sync with TimeTap, that activity will also show up in the BackOffice as well.
2. Spend a little time each day pursuing a goal of your own
Is there a goal that you've been meaning to accomplish but you've set it on the back-burner for whenever? Take a little time out of each day to work on that goal whether that's to be able to pull off a stunning flat lay photograph or plant that summer garden you'd been wanting to so that you'll have fresh fruits and vegetables.
Whatever that goal is to you.
Now, how does this help with productivity?
Consider going to work, coming home, cooking, cleaning, helping the kids with homework, sleeping, and replaying those events each day with very little variety or something different to look forward to outside of the norm. It's like being stuck in a wheel or pattern with little room for creativity and the opportunity to let your mind breathe. So after you've taken 30 minutes or so each day to do something that's not work or chore-related, you'll at least have had the opportunity to switch your brain into a different gear so that you may be less reluctant to tackling those responsibilities.
3. Take care of your mental & physical health
And lastly, it's important that you manage and care for your mental and physical health. To keep yourself in tip-top shape, you should establish a routine that allows for you to take care of daily tasks while also not overextending mentally on a daily basis.
Additionally, if you're sedentary for most of the day, you should try to work in at least 30 minutes of exercise for your physical health.
Even when you feel like you don't have enough time to fit exercise into your schedule, try to start off with a small amount of time each day even if you have to exercise at home.
We've made it to another season of the year - a time for rejuvenation and reassessment. What areas of your life could use a little spring cleaning?