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All sleep and productivity resources I have seen recommend against working in the bedroom. But what do you do when you have no other choice? Right now since I'm sharing an apartment, I have my desk and computer set up in the bedroom. I find that it's hard to be as productive compared with having a dedicated office space.

I do not think that the computer is affecting my sleep, but rather the bedroom is affecting my work and ability to focus.

What tips do you have for setting up the bedroom for both work and sleep? For example, one thing I am experimenting with is turning the mattress against the wall during the day, just to signify that it's work time.

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more specifically, what issues are you having? Is it only psychological, or do you for example find yourself laying in bed at odd times just because it's drawing you to it? – Vic Goldfeld Sep 11 '12 at 10:17
@VicSzpilman, it's mostly psychological. I'm not drawn to sleep because I'm in there. And I don't bring a computer to the bed. I just think I need to mentally separate work from play to get things done. – izak Sep 11 '12 at 23:27
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I'd recommend going through the motions to make it seem like you are showing up to a normal workplace... i.e.

  • Clock in and out with a time tracking app - I'm a freelancer and once I clock in I feel this unspoken commitment to be working on my project at hand
  • Remove your workspace of distraction - maybe you are like me and while you are laying in bed you check your personal email, facebook, etc. Keep those "fillers" away from your workspace
  • I do like your thought about making the entire room conform to a work environment but if that becomes too time consuming or a hassle, consider positioning your desk in a way that you don't have a constant view of your sleeping quarters. Something as simple as this may just help it be "out of site, out of mind"
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I think flipping the mattress really helps and is not too tedious. – izak Sep 11 '12 at 23:28

Buy a 3 panel screen and use it to separate the work area from the sleeping area.

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I like the previous answers regarding setting a schedule and fulfilling the rituals of going to a job. If I may add one more tip: get dressed - wearing pajamas all day, I believe, can affect one's drive and motivation. Best of luck!

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If space is an issue, put the emphasis on time: create a very stable structure, with rituals that you fulfill day in day out, to determine when you're in 'work mode', and when in 'leisure'. Once you've built the habits, they will put you in track.

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How about this:

Ease yourself into working with that environment. For example, it may be easier to get work done when you're with someone else. Perhaps establish a few sessions until working with them in that area feels comfortable. Then somehow engineer a situation where you start off working together but your partner leaves the room for you to work alone. Finally, minimize the time required for them to jumpstart you.

My sister is a studio artist and we work on projects together. Doing this works for the both of us.

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  • Open the windows, try to get lots of natural light in as possible.
  • Do some time boxing. Tell yourself you're going to do a certain amount of hours of work a day, and stick to it. Even with distractions, you'll feel compelled to do things.
  • Avoid doing work on the bed if possible. Sit up, get a table if you have the room for it.
  • Don't skip lunch breaks.
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