How to Create A Productive Study Or Work Space At Home

Everyone needs some space at home to focus on projects and work on ideas. But when this area happens to be right in the middle of a busy den or a crowded bedroom, you could have a hard time concentrating.

This is why a small nook or workspace can do wonders for your productivity. In fact, there are many tips you can use to get the most out of your home work station.

Here are some of them.

Minimize Distractions

You may convince yourself that you can work through distractions however a work area with a lot of foot traffic isn’t going to do you much good when you’re really trying to focus. It’s better for your productivity if you detach yourself from the day-to-day traffic and activity of the rest of your household. If you don’t have an available spare room, you can get the same environment in a corner desk or table—just position a bookshelf or set of drawers around your work area to reinforce your boundaries.

Don't Skimp on Storage Space

Even if many parts of our workday are now handled digitally, some items have a way of piling up. Staplers, papers, textbooks—they all clutter your space, and when there’s excess clutter, your concentration will suffer. Investing in a shelving console or set of drawers will serve you well. You can even purchase floating filing cabinets or install built-in shelves around your desk if space is an issue.

Get (A Little) Comfortable

A little comfort goes a long way. Don’t forget a personal touch can do wonders for your work space. Plants, cushions, or a novelty lamp can make the environment a little interesting and a lot more personal. In fact, a few thought-stimulating items, like a desk toy or some photography books, can help you redirect your thinking when you’re feeling stuck.

Add Plants, Sunlight, and Other Natural Elements

Having a plant or two around—or a large window with a view—reduces stress and makes you feel more at ease in your space. And the less stressed you are, more chances of you finishing that big paper or acing that test. Opt for plants like peace lilies, spider plants, Boston ferns, that do well in low light and simultaneously purify the air.

Give Yourself Some Light

It’s hard to think about doing anything that requires focus in a space that’s dim, dark, and dreary. If your work area could use a little boost in the lighting department, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing a few extra lamps. In particular, most people do well when they have access to both strong overhead lights, and spotlighting for reading and other eye-intensive tasks. Additionally, you’ll probably find you’re more productive if you use bulbs in cool white colors, since these reduce melanin production, making you less sleepy while you work.

The following responses were elicited from professionals on this topic and this is what they had to say:

Limited distractions (no TV), clock on the wall (for test simulation), no cell phone, and tons of light. Also books and supplies all in one place and they stay there.

Michael Arnold | CEO - Arnold Tutoring

A productive study space should minimize distractions and maximize accountability. Set up students in a space where they will be seen by others, such as the kitchen, but have them use a tri-fold board or face a wall while wearing noise-cancelling headphones to create the illusion of seclusion.

Nikki Bruno | Student Coach

  • Clean off work space. No lose papers or clutter.
  • Create dump sheet list. Dump all your ideas on paper in one spot. Clears up mental thinking capacity.
  • Buy matching desk accessories. It makes it easier to take pride in your workspace when it is customized to your tastes.

Crystal Olivarria | Career Coach - Career Conversationalist

  • Move your desk away from a TV
  • Keep an ORGANIZED dedicated work/study area in a quiet place in your home
  • Bring the outside in - add a plant or natural light via a window

Kristin Ferguson|

  • Dedicate a shelf (or two, maybe even an entire closet or cabinet) for work stuff. Books, 3-ring binders, supplies. It's easy to access and easy to put back when you're done. Stays neat and organized.
  • Working at the kitchen table is fine, you can spread out, and when you're done with your work, it's easy to put everything away.

Felice Cohen | Author, Organizer, Blogger -

I think it's all about being organized and consistent in my space. When organized and consistent, it's easier to apply a productive daily work flow. The more I use it, the more functional it becomes.

Chanette Sparks|CEO & Founder -IBJ PR & Marketing

Create a uniquely comfortable place designated for study. Dedicate a new, unfamiliar place away from your bed or existing desk, and move your desk if need be.

Joshua Porter | SCEL Director

  • Use a wide closet, two- two drawer filing cabinets and a 24 flush door blank!
  • Measure the space and shop for a new or used desk that best fits.
  • Pay attention to lighting and power sources
  • Consider a wireless printer, can sit elsewhere freeing up desk space
  • If possible, use a wireless laptop computer; making wi-go an easier internet connecting than adding wiring. Can also be used elsewhere in the house.

William Mayben |

A productive study work space at home should include a neat zen-like room, a pair of high-quality headphones, a large wooden desk, and a coffee maker nearby.

Stefan Taylor | ADHD Boss

  • Have a place for everything and make sure it always stays there: pens, paper, calculator, etc.
  • Proper height desk and comfortable/ergonomic chair to sit in.
  • Remove distractions, i.e., turn television off.
  • Put a timer on your desk. i.e. start your task and give yourself a solid 15 minutes of uninterrupted time, work until the timer goes off.
  • Clean it regularly, from dust to dishes, anything that clutters your desk will clutter your mind.
  • Add some artwork or images on a corkboard that motivate you.
  • Adequate task lighting. Our eyes get weaker with age, the older we get the more light we need to see.
  • Storage or filing cabinets for finished projects. Shelves for textbooks and other items.
  • All electronic equipment should be in an area where they can be easily and readily charged, phones/laptops/ipads/etc.
  • The room should be set to a comfortable temperature.

Ana Cummings | ANA Interiors Ltd -

Focus on your learning style. For example, if you are a visible learner, have highlighters and tools to gather ideas available.

Ashley Hill | Scholarship Search Strategist

As a freelance writer, I have to squeeze work time into home time. My life saver has been a door hanger--my husband knows that when my door is shut and the hanger's on the knob, I'm writing!

Holly Lyn Walrath | Freelancer

Designate a specific area for homework and studying, and stock the area with all the supplies the child might need - paper, pens and pencils, calculator, a timer to keep breaks short and definite, etc. This eliminates distraction and sets a tone for the space: this is where work is done.

Dr. Susie Wolbe |

You will need to find the most luminous space in your house or environment and place your desk facing a window. Natural light is vital when studying or working, also because you won't hurt your eyes trying to read the on paper or electronic devices.

Lucrezia Oddone

Treat your desk as you would your home, by putting items back in their designated location, focusing on vertical storage in drawers and trays. Keep flat surfaces clutter free, as they are for working not for storing!

Kristyn Ivey |

MAXIMIZE NATURAL ELEMENTS LIKE WOOD OVER MANMADE. The clean, healthy feel of an unfinished wood desk surface gives a healthful vibe, which helps me maintain energy throughout the day. And even though my desk is big, I keep it completely clear of anything but the essentials.

LISA BANKS | Executive Editor -

I encourage students to keep a timer on their desk so that they can be efficient with time, work in short increments and take breaks.

Yolanda Fraction |

With smart organizing, your study or work area will be the textbook definition of productivity. Best of luck with your work, both at school/office and home!

Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner.  She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.


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