We’re spending a lot more time at home these days, which can make it difficult to concentrate during the workday. While we can’t control the chaos that comes from balancing office hours, rambunctious children, and a fridge full of tasty snacks just waiting to be consumed, there are a few ways we can set ourselves up for success -- including, taking control of our office space. 

If you’re struggling to focus while working from home, we’ve got you covered. Ready on for five simple steps to creating a peaceful and productive workspace.

Clear Your Desk

The first step to creating a peaceful work area is to clear your desk entirely. (Don’t worry, it won’t stay empty for long!) However, you want to be purposeful in filling your space -- only include the items you need. A cluttered desk leads to a cluttered brain, making it much more difficult to hold focus throughout the day.

Set the Tone

New York City is full of sounds -- even amidst social isolation. While some people need complete silence to concentrate, others can whip through their to-do list while hearing the constant bustle of a Manhattan street. Whatever side you’re on, it’s important to understand how sound plays into your daily life. Perhaps a specific playlist, or the light buzz of a white-noise machine helps you to focus. Consider how listening to ambient noise or a certain genre of music affects your overall mood throughout the workday, and then curate your soundscape accordingly.

Get Sunlight When Possible

This one depends a bit on your apartment, but if it’s possible to position your workstation near a window so you can bask in the natural light during office hours, you’ll be better for it. Sunshine helps boost both mood and energy levels, and can work wonders on productivity. Not able to work near a window? Make sure to take breaks every hour to catch some rays by going for a (socially distant) walk, spending time on your roof, or simply gazing outside for a bit.

Consider Aromatherapy

Just as sound plays a big role in the working environment, so does scent! So why not indulge yourself a bit? Buy some candles or stock up on essential oils for your home diffuser. Aromatherapy can be a very powerful tool. Opt for lavender when you’re feeling stressed, as it has plenty of relaxing properties. Whereas citrus or mint can provide an energy boost for that midday slump! Play around until you find your perfect blend. 

Make It Personal

While we’re all for keeping your workspace simple (see rule #1), it never hurts to have some inspiration hanging around your desk. Feel free to add a few pictures of your puppy or that amazing trip to Thailand. Anything that boosts your mood is an excellent addition to your office space.