Workspace Design

When it’s time to get work done we all sit down to our personalized workspaces. Everyone’s looks a bit different and is tailored to their environment – cafe, open table, standing desk, home office, or cube. Wherever we are, we’re hoping to get into a productive state to get stuff done.

For those with steady workspaces we can look at all the elements that help put us in our productive state. From physical notebooks to changing the room’s colors and mood, there are many different tools we can use to help us throughout the day. Some of these things you have already (To-Do’s / sticky notes to self), but others may be worth experimenting and seeing what results they have on your personal productivity. Nothing is a one fit solution, experiment what stimulates your personal productivity.

I like to think of desktop tools in 3 categories:

Productivity Trackers, Creativity Stimulators, & Workspace Essentials.

Let me know what you use in your day to day! Please reach out to by email.

Productivity Trackers

We are so good at getting distracted and equally as bad at regaining our focus. Throughout the day when distractions arise, we need a trigger that helps us regain our focus and get back to work. Here are some products that can help you track your time or your activities to help you measure and manage your daily productivity.

Pomodoro Technique Timer

Desk timer to help track your activities and keep you focused on working

If you’ve ever used the Pomodoro Technique before you know the importance of uninterrupted work sessions. The technique follows 25 or 50 minute sessions of work followed by 5 or 10 minute breaks. A physical timer on your desk is optimal as we know how distracting our phones can be.

Time Flip

Physical programmable timer to quickly track different activities automatically and help keep you focused on working

This desk widget lets you quickly select an activity and get to work. After that your activity is automatically tracked and logged to their mobile app. As someone who loathes manually tracking time this can be a huge time saver to allow us to concentrate on getting stuff done.

Sand Hourglass

Tracking time with a physical device helps us limit distractions from our cell phones

Look there’s a ton of apps on your phone or desktop that can help you track your time, and we’ll cover those to on Prod Stack. But sometimes putting your phone away and allowing yourself to get into a groove without distractions is exactly what we need. A physical time tracker is perfect as you flip the hourglass and get to work. I like this set as it has 30 minute and a 5 minute timer, so one to track your productivity, and one to track a quick break.

Creativity Stimulators

When working at our desk we often need visual stimulators to help us get into a productive state. Here are things I’ve experimented with at my desk to help me be more mindful and present, as well as creative and focused.

Digital Photo Album

Need motivation? Keep the photos and images that most inspire you close by to maintain focus on your goals and completing your projects

We are so good at getting distracted and equally as bad at regaining our focus. Throughout the day when distractions arise, we need a trigger that helps us regain our focus and get back to work. This digital photo album can be a great tool if you include images that stimulate your own productivity. Whether thats family, a relaxing beach, the color green, or a motivational quote, just be careful not to include too many images that change rapidly and diverting your attention again.

Desktop Colored Pad

Literally set the color of your workspace to something that motivates you

I always have a sense of calm looking at things that are green – nature… Starbucks. So when I want to get some deep work done where I need to focus I literally bring out the green pad to change the state of my workspace. And in turn change my mindset. And once I continue with leisure web browsing or emailing I put this away. I feel there’s diminishing returns to always using stimuli for productivity

Mood Light

Change your mood as fast as you change the color of the light.

When left to our own devices we are very bad at getting un-stuck or changing our mood. We need triggers to aid us and sometimes it’s as easy as seeing a different color to change our state of mind. Mood lamps are a favorite of mine to quickly change your thinking. While you probably can’t get away with putting a smart bulb into your co-working space you can bring a portable mood light to help regulate your mood in your cubicle or work station.

Zen Garden

Rather than check your phone for the 50th time today, gain some mindfulness for 2 minutes with a Zen Garden

We all get anxious and stressed throughout the work day, this is common. What’s uncommon is having ways for us to regain our clarity and sense of focus. Don’t let one distraction, lead to half a day of wasted productivity. Having some trigger on your desk that can allow you to regain focus is key. I like Zen Garden’s to stimulate creativity and to gather my thoughts.

Workspace Essentials

Raised Laptop Stand

Laptop stand that raises your computer to eye level preventing you from slouching and fixing that bad posture!

We spend so much time on our computers hunched over in a slouched bad posture manner. And improving one’s posture can do wonders to how they feel throughout the day. Along with standing desks, this raised laptop stand brings the laptop screen to eye level which in turn restricts you from tilting your head down and straining your neck.

Keyboard Wrist Pad

Keyboard wrist and support to aid in pain relief and hopefully make you conscious of your posture to stop slouching!

We spend so much time on our computers and often in a slouched bad posture manner. A wrist pad often can make a ton of difference in the long run to help decrease discomfort while working.

Water Bottle with Time Marker

Water bottle with time and amount markers to help you drink water throughout the day

I really like this water bottle because it makes drinking the recommended amount of water an after thought. Rather than drinking when thirsty and guesstimating how much water you’ve consumed, this bottle by Cactaki tells you when to drink and how much. One less decision for you to make throughout the day!

Multi Color Pen

If you are traveling and working remotely you know the importance of space, so get a pen that’s 4 in 1!

As a visual person, I often need my written goals and to-do’s to stand out against less important reminders. And I don’t like to carry around a ton of pens, so this 4-in-1 pen is perfect. Especially while traveling we all don’t want to be burdened with a bunch of pens to make our colorful to-dos. 

Sticky Notes

You know what these are for – Jot down  your to-dos and self reminders. But don’t confuse these as a full fledged daily planner!

Okay you can laugh at this inclusion on the list, but it’s always handy to have a sticky note available to write down quick reminders. Don’t treat your brain like a hard drive, off load unimportant information to any notecard in your workspace.  Writing down simple notes to your self help you to stay present and focused while working.

Next Level Workspaces

For those that brave new frontiers in the personal productivity world, here are some next level ideas for creating your perfect workspace. These solutions won’t be for everyone but maybe one or two is a fit or they inspire you try something new.

Cubii Jr. Desk Elliptical

A miniature elliptical perfect for under your desk, Cubii Jr. even has a display to easily track your progress

No time to get to the gym in the morning or during lunch? Test out the Cubii Jr. which is a small compact elliptical perfect for under your desk. We sit majority of the day when working, so why not harness some of that time to fitness?

Desk Hammock Foot Rest

An attachable foot rest hammock for under your desk

If the under the desk elliptical is as daunting for you as it is for me, then the desk hammock foot rest should be more your speed. We all enjoy taking our shoes off and kicking back at our desk, and if you are able to stay comfortable and remain productive, then invest in this cool product.

Convertible Standing Desk

This convertible standing desk allows you to switch between standing and sitting throughout your work day

First off, ask your employer to purchase a standing desk for you for health reasons. If not start with a convertible standing desk where you can switch between standing and sitting throughout the day. I like this option which allows you to add a keyboard and suspend it lower than the screen if you need.

Exercise Ball Chair

If a standing desk is too much but you still want some form of aerobics during your work day, consider a exercise ball chair

Next best thing to a standing desk would be an exercise ball chair. If you can handle bobbing up and down and the lack of a built in back support, then this exercise ball chair is worth testing out for your work space. I like the built in ring at the base which will keep you from bouncing around the office and situated in one space.