It comes as no surprise that we are all highly influenced by our surroundings. Still on the fence about creating an inspiring workspace? Get this: a study from the National Institute of Mental Health and Ohio State University demonstrated how everything in our surroundings; wall colors, ceiling heights, light fixtures, etc. deeply affects how we think and feel. In his book “The Architecture of Happiness”, writer and philosopher, Alain de Botton, narrates how we can attribute a large quantity of both our happiness and misery to our environment.
That being said, as bloggers, our workspace should be a sanctuary that maximizes our creative workflow. And while your personal workspace need not follow any specific rules, you do deserve to be in a space that inspires you and allows you to be your most productive self. Here are a few ways you can create an office that beckons your attention.
1. Make Your Business Goals Visible in Creative Ways
Incorporating personal details, let’s say of hobbies or interests, will make your space truly feel like YOUR workspace and simultaneously ease your creative output. One way you can do this is by taking something ordinary and adding your personality to it.
For example, my primary focus is on my growth as a writer, so instead of having a regular pencil cup holder, I have a vintage “Hemingway” pencil cup. Seeing this vintage, little typewriter makes me happy and reminds me of my writing goal. It also doesn’t hurt that it is named after a legendary writer (wink wink).
Another example is my camera-inspired tape dispenser because — you guessed it — I like photography. Then there is my raven paperweight. A favorite photo subject of mine is any ebony bird, mostly because I’m a big Edgar Allan Poe fan.
I also find that keeping motivational quotes or sayings keeps me positive and goal-oriented. These can be in the form of wall art, note holders, etc. I firmly believe that the visuals in our workspace should both inspire and portray our personal andprofessional goals clearly.
2. Maximize Your Space & Mindset for Uninterrupted Concentration
In order to write and create, you need to concentrate. There is no way around it. Your workspace should ideally be as quiet and undisturbed from outside factors and interruptions as possible. But, life happens and we have to work with what we are given.
As someone who cannot concentrate with any bit of sound, I invested in noise canceling headphones. I absolutely love them. They keep me noise-free and in my creative zone. But, I am fully aware that there are plenty of people who can work with music playing. I continue to be both baffled and in awe of them. If you are one of said people, by all means, play the concentration music that keeps your creative juices flowing!
The bottom line is that your workspace should mentally prepare you to work. In my personal workspace, I chose not to have distractions, such as a TV (Netflix junkie over here), because I was adamant about keeping my sanctuary as distraction free as possible. But like I mentioned above, life happens and for me that involves a very needy puppy who is half adorable, half terror. His name is “Lucky”, and I always say he is lucky he is so cute.
Organization is key, so I went ahead and set specific time frames for walking/play time, which benefits me as well, because taking mental breaks is important. You should also be mindful of your needs, ahead of time, so that you are not constantly interrupting yourself. This means having your coffee, water or wine (whatever helps right?) already served, so you are not having to get up.
Whatever your personal situation is, make a schedule so that when it is workspace time, creating takes center stage.
3. Set the Mood
Is a cluttered desk a sign of a cluttered mind? Not necessarily. Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted a series of experiments with surprising results. Those in orderly environments were prone to better behavior and healthier choices. Those in disorderly environments were more attuned with their creative thinking abilities. Whether you choose to keep your workspace messy or clean is a personal choice. I, myself, find unkempt spaces put me in a gloomy and unproductive mood. To each their own right?
In addition to making sure your space is just the right level of tidy or untidy, consider setting the mood with candles or other yummy smells. I personally like to light incense (Nag Champa for life). I find it very calming for writing.
Also, if possible, keep your workspace lit with natural light. It does wonders for our mental health. And lastly, keep yourself comfortable with moderate room temperature, not too hot or cold. Taking time to set the mood beforehand will keep your mind occupied on writing rather than small, external annoyances.
So, my fellow bloggers, whether you are just starting to set up your workspace, or you currently have one, I hope you find these tips informative and helpful. I am a firm believer that we all need a personal sanctuary to which we can go and escape from the boisterousness of daily life and do what we are called to do; create.