Create a Mindful, Positive Workspace While Learning from Home | Arts and Science ONLINE

Create a Mindful, Positive Workspace While Learning from Home

By: Maria Lalla (BA History and Certificate in Academic Writing)

As an online student, I quickly realized that I needed to make my study-from-home workspace a more conducive environment for focused learning and productivity. Considering current changing dynamics within our homes and opportunities to study online, adjustments to make these transitions smoother require careful planning. When our workspaces are not aligned with our busy lives, and don’t provide a quiet space in which we can work effectively, this leads to inefficiency. By making a few simple inexpensive changes to your workspace, you could find yourself on a more successful path towards enjoyable online studies. To transform your study-from-home office, I’ll briefly discuss five key areas which can improve your well-being, creativity, focus, and productivity.

Surround yourself with natural elements

Think about when you’re surrounded by elements of nature and how it makes you feel when you are outdoors. By incorporating certain natural elements into your space, you’ll find yourself feeling calmer, balanced and focused. Some ways in which you can incorporate natural elements are by integrating wooden furniture, a table-top fountain, nature wall art, plants or flowers, and simply situating your desk beside a window (De Paoli 161). I love having plants in my space and feel the addition of plants adds life to an otherwise mundane environment most days. These elements will invigorate you while adding life and a calming feeling into your workspace.

Bright office with plants

Get Organized

An organized workspace can help remove distractions and provide a clear-thinking atmosphere. If you look around your office and notice clutter, try decluttering items that don’t serve a purpose related to your studying. This past winter break before I painted my workspace, I cleared away items that didn’t serve my needs any longer. By doing this, I found not only did I have more space but that I am more focused this term. Relocate items to a space in your home where they may serve a more useful purpose. By clearing away items that don’t serve a purpose related to your studying, you may find your mind is freer and more relaxed.

Organized office shelf

Display Inspiring Photos or Art

Are there photos that give you positive thoughts or memories? Artwork or quotes that inspire you? By including these elements of inspiration, you may find yourself subconsciously impacted in a constructive way. In my space I have an artist drawing which encourages creative thinking, and personal photos to give me happy memories (Lee 416). Photos or art can be placed on your desk, on the wall, or on a shelf to surround your space with positive thinking.  

Artwork that says never give up

Use Colour to Encourage Positivity and Productivity

Studying from home can lead to feelings of isolation, boredom, and feeling uninspired. Adding colour to your workspace, by painting walls or incorporating a pop of colour, can help create a more productive space. Painting one wall in your workspace, for instance, can help to elevate your mood, and adding a pop of colour with flowers or a piece of furniture can also help to stimulate your brain. Pink provides inspiration, green is soothing, yellow brings energy and optimism, it all depends on what attracts you and makes you feel uplifted (Preiser). Over this past winter break I painted my workspace pink and green. I found my newly painted room uplifting and cheerful to come into everyday. Ultimately, painting is a quick and cost-effective way to bring a refreshing change into your workspace.

Desk with colourful flowers and mug

Listen to Sounds for Focus

Have you ever found yourself unfocused or distracted by outside noise or thoughts in your mind? We lead very busy lives and often times while studying we can be easily distracted with noises within our homes, or thoughts of other tasks or day’s events. Through my own personal experience, I found by listening to studying music playlists on Spotify, I was able to focus more when reading research. By including soothing sounds or music into the background of your workspace, you may find an increased sense of concentration, calm, and focus (Lee 416). You can easily locate music for studying by searching Youtube or Spotify using the search term “study music”. You’ll find a variety of music that includes nature sounds, classical, jazz, hip hop, and other mixes. Other websites that offer focus background ambient sounds include,, and

Woman doing work on laptop while listening to music

By making a few small, easy adjustments to your workspace, you can create a more mindful and productive environment while studying from home. I hope you can utilize some of these tools to create a calming environment, free from stress in which you can work comfortably and more productively during your online studies.

Works Cited

De Paoli, Donatella, and Arja Ropo. "Creative Workspaces – a Fad Or Making Real
Impact?" Journal of Corporate Real Estate 19.3 (2017): 157-67. ProQuest. Web. Feb. 2021. doi:10.1108/JCRE-09-2016-0029

Lee, Young S. “Creative Workplace Characteristics and Innovative Start-up Companies.”
Facilities, vol.34, no.7/8, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Feb. 5, pp 413-32, doi:10.1108/F-06-2014-0054.

Preiser, Amy. “How to Choose the Perfect Color – The Feng Shui Way.” House Beautiful, 31
December 2015, Accessed 4 February 2021.