You’re going to spend a sizeable part of your life working in your office. More importantly, your office is where the money is made. You need to ensure your office setup is configured for both maximum productivity and maximum comfort. Here’s how:
1. Invest in a very good office chair
This goes back to one of my rules that it’s perfectly acceptable to spend a lot of money on something you use every day, like your mattress, your electric razor, and certainly your office chair. Sitting in the cheap chair you picked up at the local big box office store for $79 is not a good idea. You’ll be uncomfortable, end up with back problems, and your productivity will suffer.
The best office chairs are Aeron, WorkPro, Humanscale (Freedom), Herman Miller, Raynor, and a few others. Google around and do your own research, but don’t buy the cheapest option. Get something very comfortable that will last a long time. It’s best to find somewhere local where you can go try some out before you buy.
I own a Herman Miller Mirra 2 chair, and it’s badass. It cost me around $500 and it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent. It will easily last 10-15 years and comes with a lifetime warranty. I’ll even sit in it when relaxing or watching movies; it’s that comfortable.
2. Use a thumb trackball mouse
Mice are ridiculous. They require you to move your wrist and your arm, and hog up a lot of desk real estate to operate. No thank you. Instead, get a Logitech M570 wireless trackball. This is literally one of the best things I’ve ever purchased and I will never use anything else. Your hand, arm and wrist stay stationary, and only your thumb moves. They’re also good for travelling and working on the road, like when you’re cramped on a plane.
They take a little bit to get used to, but they’re well worth it. You’ll thank me.
3. Ensure proper keyboard placement
Don’t center your keyboard on your desk. You want the keys centered, not the keyboard itself. If you use a normal keyboard, you want the “B” key right in the center of your torso. If you use an ergonomic keyboard like I do (highly recommended, much easier to type and better for your wrists), it’s even easier. Just ensure the center row of buttons (usually where the scroller is) is at your center.
You also want your arms to be at perfect right angles as your hands rest on your keyboard. If they’re not, adjust your chair up or down so they are, or get a different chair or desk. Too many people use sliding keyboards or other systems that place the keys too low
4. Center your monitor(s)
Most people have their monitors too low. You want the point about three inches down from the top of the monitor casing to be at eye level. You also want the monitor to be about an arm’s length away from where you’re sitting, but I’ve found a little closer is okay too.
5. Go paperless
I went paperless many years ago, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have far less stress, I’m far more productive, I store far less crap, and my office looks much nicer.
To this day, I only have one piece of paper on my entire desk: my daily and weekly goal tracker. Even that I could do on the computer or my phone, but I prefer it as a hard piece of paper. That’s way it’s on my desk, screaming at me, so I can’t ignore it. But that’s my point; that’s the only piece of paper that’s ever on my desk.
For snail mail and other hard copy, I have a bin that I drop all that stuff into that I go through twice a month. For paper receipts, I use a check spindle to store them, and I scan then shred them once a month.
If you haven’t already, I STRONGLY recommend you go paperless. There’s no downside.