Design an At-Home Office Workspace
Having a workspace makes all the difference if you’re looking to get some work done while at home. Whether you’re writing a novel, working remotely, or just trying to get your bills up-to-date and paid, the environment in which you’re getting all this done can affect your productivity greatly.
I work from home full-time as a freelance writer and digital strategist, so if I did not have a concrete workspace, one that was a separate entity from the bedroom in which I sleep, read, and get dressed every morning, I imagine I wouldn’t be half as prolific as I am now. Your work environment has a crucial, direct correlation to the amount you’re able to achieve.
While I am very hesitant to align myself with minimalism, I will say that I tend to keep things more clean, organized, and spacious in my workspace so that it’s easier for me to keep track of everything. Minimalism, to me, means keeping as organized as possible and only “filling” my workspace with the essentials. Here are some of my tips for designing the perfect at-home workspace.
(Photo Credit: Alesia Kazantceva)
Don’t underestimate the power of smell.
A candle is definitely one of the essentials I keep adjacent to my desk on a nearby end table. I find that the smell gets me in the mood of getting sh*t done because it’s a smell I subconsciously associate with my office. It also makes the mood a little lighter and less intense. Some people need a more intense environment and other people, like me, may work better in a space that’s conducive to a calming, stress-free work day.
Keep organized with folders and a planner.
Folders and planners save my life. I use folders for everything from organizing bills, receipts, and information about my car, my different freelancing gigs, my medical bills, receipts I plan to reimburse later, and more. My planner is also an integral part of my workspace as it keeps me informed about what’s coming up, what’s happening today, and more. It ensures that I make deadline and don’t forget about anything important.
Plants should be nearby!
In my workspace, I NEED PLANTS. I went through a phase last year where I really struggled working in a high-rise environment because I felt so disconnected from the earth. It may sound trivial and silly but it literally felt like I was just floating in the sky, in space, 24 floors away from the ground. And I guess literally, I was. It did something to me, affected me negatively, and I found myself suffering from panic and anxiety attacks that became more and more intense. I was constantly having anxiety about leaving my chair and found myself in need of sidewalks and park and spaces where I could touch the literal ground.
Now that I’m no longer in a high-rise, I’ve learned my lesson and have vowed to keep some form of plants in my nearby proximity while “at work.” I find succulents to be the best candidate for this because they are relatively a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require much watering or fussing, only ample sunlight.
Only include things in your space that inspire you.
Feel free to let go of the knick-knacks and post-cards from places you’ve never been but were given to you; if something doesn’t inspire you, it shouldn’t be in your space, the space where you need inspiration the most. Only surround yourself with the absolute essentials and the things that motivate and challenge your creativity. This can vary from person to person: For me, my desk contains a small calendar, a package of thank-you notes, and a card given to me by my former co-workers. The card serves as my inspiration; it is a reminder of all the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside in the past and it keeps me prolific on days when I’d much rather curl up in bed with my dog, watching re-runs of The L-Word.