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How Decorating Your Work Space Increases Productivity

Do you find yourself having trouble focusing on your work amid quarantine? One of the reasons you might be having trouble is because you aren’t working in a proper space equipped for your success. Here are some steps you can take to increase your productivity in whatever type of workspace you may have at home (whether that be an office or a kitchen table).

Cluttered Space = Cluttered Mind

One of the best ways that you can increase your productivity in a space is by decluttering.  Whether it’s the straw wrapper you left on your desk from your third iced coffee of the day, or the notebook with last semester’s notes, get it out of the way! The only things that should be on your desk are what you are actively working on, a few decorations, and some basic materials like a planner or a stationary holder. Other than those few things, try to keep a clean and organized workspace.

Add a Comfortable Chair

We’ve known for decades that having a comfortable chair impacts your mood and therefore your ability to hone in on a task. Although this isn’t necessarily a decoration, it felt necessary to include. A study was conducted comparing the influence of a hard chair versus a softer chair on decision-making skills. The results concluded that when people sat in a harder chair, they were more likely to make colder decisions, and a softer chair encouraged the participants to make more empathetic choices. Having a comfortable chair in your workspace could improve your mood and your focus, making it a worthwhile investment. 

Organization is Key

By adding a few different options for storage, you’re able to make your clear workspace a reality. Try adding a rolling cart beside your desk with a few bins or drawers to store extra supplies. Doing this helps you prevent the loss of motivation through having to look for a specific item. If everything has its place, you don’t have to worry about where you accidentally left your textbook for a certain class or where you can find a pen to take down your Zoom lecture notes.  

A Space to Brainstorm

By adding a whiteboard or even a piece of blank paper to jot down notes, you’re able to actively let go of thoughts that are clouding your ability to focus while also acknowledging their importance. Find a cute minimalist whiteboard and hang it at eye level beside or in front of your desk. This will help you to focus on the task at hand, and come back to the thought at a later time when you have time to dedicate to it. 


Having proper lighting in your space is a very important element to consider when trying to increase your productivity. Natural light is best for productivity, second is white light and third would be yellow light. The reason for this is because natural light is innately programmed to make us feel more awake. The latter is that yellow light is more apt to make us feel slumped and unmotivated. If you want the aesthetic that yellow lighting offers without having it affect your productivity, consider adding some string lights to your desk or workspace while also implementing natural lighting. 

Adding Some Plants

By adding a plant or two to your workspace, you’re not only increasing your ability to focus, but also cleaning your workspace indirectly. Adding plants to a workspace helps to reduce stress (according to a study conducted in 2010) and helps to clean the air. They’re also are very aesthetically pleasing and even more so if you put them in a cute pot! Just make sure to follow proper care instructions for the type of plant you get as some require more care than others.  Keep that in mind when choosing which kind of plant to add to your desk or workspace. 

house plants
Photo by Prudence Earl from Unsplash

Motivational Photos

Remind yourself of why you are working so hard!  Want to get into your dream school post-grad? Add a photo of the campus to remind yourself that your dreams are achievable. Working hard to be able to afford the new car you’ve been wanting? Find a picture of the car that fits your aesthetic and add a cute frame! A cute alternative to this is to ask the people who matter most in your life (family, friends, etc.) to write you a motivational letter and put it into a small shadow box or frame. This way, when you feel discouraged you can look up and remind yourself that people are rooting for you!

Most Importantly…

Make sure your study space is somewhere besides your bed. Multiple studies have shown that not only do you decrease your productivity if you work in bed, but also decrease your ability to fall asleep because your brain is no longer only associating the bed with rest. If you do not have a study space in your home, try to use a couch or kitchen table instead. It will make the world of a difference in how much you can get done. That way, after a full day of productive work, you can catch some shut-eye and do it all again tomorrow!

Hopefully, you will be able to incorporate some of these ideas into your space to increase your productivity during quarantine. Even if a few things don’t work for you, at least you’ll have a cute space at the end of it all to work in. 

Taya Smith

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Taya is in her 4th year of her English major with minors in both Psychology and Criminology. When she is not drinking abundant amounts of coffee, you can find her procrastinating her school work by any means necessary. She is passionate about writing and hopes to pursue a career in either education or law.
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