Space is not something that people really think about. By space, I am talking about the physical area where you live and habituate, perform daily activities such as studying or hanging out. Space, and the elements that make it up, are extremely important to make better use of your time and extract all of the meaning from what you are using that space for. Here are some tips that I have found to be really beneficial for creating environments where you can be your best self.
- Define the use for your space.
By this, I mean are you going to be studying here? Are you going to be trying to relax here? Are you using this space to entertain others and hang out with friends? This is important, because it will really help you to identify the important elements of your space. For example, if you are going to be studying, you need to think about where you will do your best work for studying: do you do best with a little noise, or do you do better if it’s quiet? Do you like to be isolated, or have others around that are also studying? However, these elements would be different if you are using this space to socialize: where you would need to consider other elements such as music, what kind of gathering you may be hosting, etc.
- Consider the lighting
I know it seems so bizarre to think about lighting, but it really makes a huge difference in how the space is used. There are plenty of studies that have shown the powerful effects that lighting has on the brain. Not only is light required for vision, but there is a vast difference between, for instance, natural daylight and fluorescent ceiling lights. Sometimes we do not even realize the lighting in a room, but start to notice how lighting affects your mood when you are in a room. For example, when I am looking to chill out, I turn off the bright ceiling light in my room and only use string lights and candles for a more relaxing atmosphere.
- Eliminate clutter / unnecessary objects
This tip is especially important if you are looking to be productive. Clutter can not only be physical, but it can be in the space of our brains as well. Try and eliminate unnecessary things from the space so it is not distracting. For example, if you are going to use a space studying for an exam, you definitely will not be your most productive self if you have tons of trash or other schoolwork that you are not working on at the moment all over the desk / space.
- Make the space your own
No one can tell you where you will be your best self. That is something that you must define and think about. Personally, I cannot completely de-stress without relaxing lighting, my essential oils in my diffuser, and minimal noise. I am so extroverted, but I always look forward to my “me time” and I know the elements of my space (usually my room) where I can go and just chill. Because I have defined this space as my relaxation space, my brain subconsciously knows that each time I come to my room, plug in my string lights and diffuser, that it is time to relax. Similarly, if I go to a quiet study table in the library and plug my headphones in, my body knows that I will be doing work.
Most people do not even consider the impacts of space to be efficient, but hopefully now you will consider this when you are looking to use a space for something specific. When we are able to think about all of the elements that define a space, we can get a lot more out of it.