How you set up a school or office at home says everything about its potential for success.
Here are 11 tips to get you aligned for a focused, calm, and productive environment:
- Location, location, location – just like in real estate, location is everything. Your work space should not be in a high traffic area where there are likely to be disruptive noises, or other interferences. Ideally this would be in a child’s room for home school or a guest room or isolated room in your house for an office, you might need to get creative with this. Where you DO NOT want to work is in the bedroom. You will not sleep well, or feel rested upon waking knowing that work is right there waiting for you.
- Saucha – a yoga term for living with cleanliness and order. DO NOT make your desk a breakroom with dishes and cups piling up, sticky drippings on paperwork, and crumbs on the keyboard. Make this a dedicated work space. Neatness, cleanliness, and organization are crucial for focus. At the Nitya Living Tutor Yoga Camp we had a day when we, the teachers, could stand the mess no more. We had the students clean and organize their desks and the difference was notable. They knew exactly where their books were, folders, assignments, and supplies. The anxiety and stress reduced leaving us all in an environment more conducive to getting work done in an efficient manner. It is a daily work in progress.
- Home Office layout – Rule number 1 is to NOT have a desk arranged so you cannot see the doorway.
a) Ideally you face into the room from the farthest corner to the door, this is the power position. Back to the wall, not a window. Never sit directly across the doorway.
b) Have a bookcase behind you for support or at the very least a picture of a mountain.
c) Flanking the bookcase would be filing cabinets, taller cabinets on the left of where you sit and lower to your right.
d) In front of you is open space to move easily in and out from your desk
e) Have a sorting tray to your left where you can stack papers in an organized way – on the top tray/shelf put a Brass Dragon to offer longevity, success, influence, and power in your job.
f) Ensure everything is in an organized place on your desk with no accumulation of clutter
4) Home School Layout – a little different for a child –
a) Location for desk is not in a high traffic area, quiet and secluded in their room is more ideal as opposed to a kitchen or dining room table.
b) Organize books, folders, supplies etc. in bins or baskets and label them if necessary – you want to make the work space conducive to independence in their schooling with as little parental involvement just as if they were at school.
c) Remove distractions of pets, toys, electronics, and the cell phone.
d) Motivational images – you might want to put post-its or images with positive messages around their desk. One tutor camp mom sends her daughter positive messages in her lunch box that she sticks to her desk. It’s a wonderful reminder that they can do it! That your child is smart and capable!
- Whether this is for a home school or an office always bring in a lush healthy plant like a peace lily that absorbs some of the toxic energy from the computer. A salt lamp is another great idea.
- Make sure to take energy breaks – even a few minutes to do a couple sun salutations, or from your chair reach down and touch your toes, then sit up and twist slowly side to side. Hold the position for a few breaths and feel that stretch. Nitya Living has a chair yoga class on our YouTube channel.
- Hydrate with water throughout the day.
- Nourish with healthy snack options like fruit and nuts, or granola and yogurt, hummus and veggies.
- Get outside several times in your day to take deep breaths, and go for a walk or run. It will make all the difference in your performance and your child’s. None of us are meant to sit in front of screens for hours and hours, certainly not our children.
- After work and after school walk away from the screens – this is not the time to jump onto Hulu or Roblox. This is the time to get outside or read a book, or build with Legos, or hang out with someone, even if from a distance.
- Access to natural sunlight from a window is always welcome. Make sure the lighting is bright enough, the drapes or blinds lifted up. A dark room depresses the mind, is heavy and lethargic. This is true for everyone – let the sunshine in!