You don’t need a hefty budget to create a Zen office workspace. I have found that there are many ways to create an environment that’s both mentally calming and motivating so you can focus and work efficiently. The word “Zen” refers to the Buddhist philosophy of achieving tranquility in mind and body. It’s also a practice that can help you be more mindful and aware of your intuition.
Creating a Zen workspace can help you combat the stresses that often come along with professional responsibilities. The more relaxed and confident you are while working, the more likely you will be to complete your work efficiently while still maintaining mental calm and relaxation. In the coming sections, I will show you 11 different, affordable ways to create your own Zen office workspace.
1. Create a Living Wall
Have you ever heard of a living wall? It’s just a wall that has been decorated with living plants. It’s a great way to bring the peacefulness of the environment into your own office space. Some people choose to plant bamboo in planters along the wall, while others choose to install small pots along the wall and plant herbs in them. No matter how you choose to do it, creating a living wall can bring a sense of peacefulness and tranquility to your work space. It can also infuse the air with more life-giving oxygen that can energize your body and mind.
2. Install a Water Feature
Can you think of anything more peaceful than the sound of trickling water? I can’t. That’s why I absolutely love the water feature I have on my desk. My water feature is small and plugs directly into the wall, but you can choose larger features as well. Find something that works for you and fits well in your space. You’ll find that the relaxing sounds of the water help you to quell work-related stress and improve your focus.
3. Set up a Yoga Corner
I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to Yoga. I guess it would be more accurate to say I’m addicted to how it makes me feel. If I’m feeling tense, irritated or overwhelmed, just 20 minutes of Yoga turns things around for me. That’s why I decided to set up a Yoga corner in my office. It’s really simple and consists of a Yoga mat, microfiber towel and a small gym bag containing my favorite Yoga attire.
When I feel like I need a break or work is getting to be too much for me, I give myself 10-20 minutes to hang out in my yoga corner until I feel relaxed. It works like a charm every time.
4. Create Your Own Rock Garden
Rock gardens are so Zen, and there’s no reason you can’t have on in your office. When done right, rock gardens feature neatly ordered elements and minimal lines. Don’t worry, you don’t need to bring in a dump truck of sand to create your perfect rock garden. Instead, purchase or create a mini version. Many come with rakes and other tools that allow you to create your own relaxing images and patterns in the sand around the rocks. Find something that speaks to you, then put it in an area of your office where you can see and play with it frequently.
5. Use an Aromatherapy Diffuser
Scents can have a powerful hold on mental and emotional health. If you wonder why aromatherapy is such a big thing right now, I’m guessing you haven’t tried it. Various aromas can bring out different feelings and states of mind. Aromatherapy can also be healthful and healing for the body. I love my aromatherapy diffuser and use it every day. I love knowing that I’m inhaling healthy herbal fumes that aren’t harmful like some synthetic scents.
When you’re selecting aromas for your office space, put some thought into the goal you want to achieve. For example, citrus aromas are more likely to help you feel energetic and motivated, while calming scents such as lavender or jasmine can help you lower your stress levels, but may make you feel a tad sleepy. Do some research to help you find aromas that help you achieve the state of mind you want while working.
6. Repaint With Soothing Colors
Like aroma, color can have a powerful effect on the mind. If your office looks at all like a dark dungeon, you’re more likely to feel oppressed and anxious when you’re in it. On the other hand, if your office is too bright, you might start to feel hyperactive and scattered. Many experts recommend painting in soothing colors if you want to achieve a feeling of Zen.
Currently, gentle, earthy colors like light greens and blues are popular in office spaces. They mimic the relaxing qualities of Mother Nature and can help you feel at one with your surroundings. Warm whites are also Zen and can help you maintain crystal-clear focus while performing your professional responsibilities.
7. Emphasize Organization
Organization in an office setting can’t be over-emphasized. Let’s face it, if your office is cluttered, there’s no way you’ll feel relaxed at all. It’s worth it to invest in sleek filing cabinets and a desk with plenty of drawers and/or cupboards. When everything has a place and is in its place, you won’t be distracted by what’s around you.
In addition to organizing your physical space, you’ll be much more Zen if all your invoices, financial records and other types of documentation are organized as well. This may mean investing in an accounting or invoicing program so it’s easy for you to keep everything in order.
8. Play Gentle Tunes
Music is a language all its own. Think about the last time you listened to an instrumental song and felt it communicate to you even though there were no words. Music has the ability to manipulate your mood just as a conductor manipulates the speed and volume of a playing orchestra. If your goal is to achieve more Zen in your office space, play gentle music in the background.
What works for me may not work for you, so tinker with various genres until you find something that helps you maintain the delicate balance between relaxed and focused. You may respond well to Beethoven or you may prefer the energizing sound of pop music. You may even discover that meditation music or the sound of waves on the beach motivates you more effectively than any other kind of music. Once you find what you like, consistently play that type of music in your office to achieve a calm feeling while you work.
9. Get the Right Lighting
Take a minute to inspect the type and quality of lighting in your office. Is it too dark? Too bright? Just right? Ideally, office lighting should be sufficient to help you avoid strain when you’re looking at your computer screen. If your office lighting is too dim, your eyes could become overtired while you work. However, you don’t want bright, glaring lights that make you feel like you’re in an interrogation room, either.
Play with your lighting until you find what works best in your work space. You may find that daylight LED lights help you maintain consistent energy and motivation throughout the day, or you may prefer the gentle glow of soft white lights. You may also want to bring in one or more floor or table lamps to get just the right amount of light right where you want it.
10. Choose Your Drapes Carefully
If you like drapes, be careful when placing them in your office space. Heavy or dark drapes can block out too much natural light and make you feel closed off from the world. Light and airy drapes are usually preferred in offices because they add style and personality while still allowing plenty of natural light into the space. When selecting drapes, make sure they match the overall style and color palette in your office or you could end up feeling discord and friction instead of relaxation and seamlessness.
11. Purchase an Ergonomic Chair
Creating a Zen space is about more than just appearances. In order to achieve a healthy state of mind, you need to make sure your body is comfortable and isn’t susceptible to unwanted aches and pains. To do this, select an ergonomic chair for your office space. Such chairs are more expensive than cheaper options, but they’re worth the investment. They’ll coax you into a proper seated position so you’re less likely to experience strain in your back, shoulders or wrists.
In addition to purchasing an ergonomic chair, select an ergonomic keyboard and mouse as well. These tools will help you work in comfort so you can get more done each day. Creating the optimal work space at home takes some thought and effort, but the results are worth it. The happier you are with the work space you create, the more enjoyable it will be to fulfill your daily professional responsibilities.