Design a
Productive Space

It's not kid stuff


By Brack Johnson



Working from your casa? Try to set aside a room of your own. Of course, Virginia Woolf wasn't specifically talking about Triangle women in her famous 1929 essay "A Room of One's Own." But she might as well have been. In the best scenario, you'll have a dedicated four walls to use exclusively for your job. If that's not feasible in your home, you can still have a pleasant and functional spot to while away the 9–5.


Here's how to carve out a hard-working zone:


1. Claim an area of a larger room. Ideally, make it one with a door that you can close or, at least, a divider. Use a large closet or space under stairs, if necessary.


2. Be certain it contains ample territory for:
• a desk and chair appropriate for your height
• a computer or laptop with secure Internet connection
• a clear main work surface
• shelving for books, binders and other materials
• a high-quality reading lamp
• a bulletin board or dry-erase board
• storage spaces.



3. Paint and accessorize. Use neutral colors if you concentrate best when it's calm or vibrant hues if you need a little zip to work better.


4. Think of typically neglected areas to make up for limited space. Look up! Are you using the vertical space (great for shelves)? How about the corners (just right for a desk)?


5. Make certain you have good lighting. There are many good resources on this subject.


6. Add whimsical touches or other elements of your personality. Also post reminders of why you love working from home.


7. Keep supplies handy. Leave your desk stocked with whatever you might need – for example, notebooks, pens, highlighters, printer paper and ink.


8. Maintain cleanliness and organization to avoid distractions. Take a moment at the end of each work session to tidy up a bit.


9. Consider posting a "Do Not Disturb" sign while you're working. It's not just for others. It'll motivate you, too.


10. Take your space seriously. Do yourself this favor to lessen the stress in your hectic life.