Decorative or Distracting: Where to Draw the Line
An inspiring physical environment is definitely important when it comes to working. I know if I had to be confined to nothing but plain walls, I’d feel too trapped to get anything done. Instead, my office is decorated with mood boards, collages, art, photos—you name it, it’s probably on one of my walls somewhere. I find that surrounding myself with beautiful images while I’m working is a great form of inspiration for my own projects. I also love changing out my wall decorations regularly to keep things current and interesting.
But there is always too much of a good thing. I’ll admit, on days when work isn’t as exciting as I wish it were (come on, we all have those days), the decorations on my walls and desk suddenly become significantly more appealing than my daily to-do list. Obviously, there are other reasons we get distracted aside from our surroundings, but it’s important to create an environment that makes you feel comfortable and ready to work. If you find yourself staring around your office more often than not, or playing with the items on your desk when you should be getting stuff done, it may be time to reconsider some of your office decorations.
First, consider the setup of all of your former and current workspaces (school, home office, past jobs). Pay special attention to where you sat in relation to doors and windows, as those can also be sources of distraction. Was there a certain place you were most productive? Pick the most important aspects of that space and adopt a similar layout in your own office.
Everything in moderation
When it comes to the walls, definitely have some decoration, but avoid putting decor in your direct line of sight at your primary work station. Instead, place something that’s visually interesting but not too stimulating, such as a piece of simple abstract art, photo or a simple quote to get you motivated. Avoid overly detailed pictures or posters, as they can muddle your work groove!
Clear it out
In general, a clear desktop makes for a happier office. Just as a bunch of papers can stress you out while you’re trying to work, having too many desk accessories can also interfere with your concentration.Only have necessary items on your desk, and put all the superfluous extras in drawers or in an on desk organizer.
Do you find yourself getting distracted by your office decorations at work? Tell me about it on Twitter: @officestylist or @myturnstone