How to Make Your Workspace Productive
Keeping my home desk clean has always been a struggle for me. Even as I write this, I'm surrounded by three different projects (none that are on my to do list) and all the clutter that accompanies them. Sticker supplies are strewn across my workspace while I'm cutting out orders, my planners are all open while I plan the next week ahead, I'm designing new things, and writing out this post. Not exactly the ideal situation to be productive. Life as a sticker-maker isn't as glamorous as you might think... ;)
It's funny, because when I was a pastry chef, having a clean and organized workspace was an essential habit, but with my desk at home, it's a whole lot harder to stay organized.
Luckily I've put together a list of tried and true tips to make your workspace ORGANIZED. From one crazy, unorganized creative to another, I know you can definitely find a trick or two to help you find workspace peace!
Bringing the Outdoors In:
A view of the outdoors. I totally sympathize with this one not always being possible for everyone; My first apartment literally had a view of a brick wall. But as time went on and I moved, and moved again, I've realized how important nature is when you're stuck inside all day working. Whether you're studying or even just practicing a hobby, it's so important to get a taste of the outside world! Cabin fever will make you go crazy, not to mention uninspired and probably pretty miserable.
If you aren't able to have a view of the outdoors, do what I did and get a plant or two! Bringing nature in is another foolproof hack to making your desk a positive environment. A succulent is always a good idea (unless you're like me, and can't keep one of those alive...ever). Or even a fish! If you're feeling crazy, and actually able to take care of a new pet, invest in one of those fish tank ecosystems where you can grow some plants on top!
That last suggestion aside, you really don't have to go too crazy with your environment. Just do your best to get some fresh air inside and have a taste of the real world so you don't go stir-crazy. Have some essential oils going, put on some of your favorite music or background tv (it works for me!), and be sure to get up every hour or so to stretch; You can get outside as soon as you finish the task at hand!
Do Your Supplies Bring Joy?
Okay, I think I'm an expert on this because I fail at it so often that I know the consequences by now of a messy desk. I'm a clean person! I really am. And I'm organized too, in my own weird little way. But when I'm deep into work, or really inspired, stressed, or busy, my workspace suffers. And it's no longer organized clutter, it's just an unnecessary mess.
The main solution I've figured out is to just focus on one thing at a time. I'm so guilty of doing the opposite: It's a habit I have to practice every single day. Make sure you only have the supplies you need for the task at hand; Everything else goes away in it's designated spot. When you're done with what you're working on, put everything away. That part is crucial, no matter how much you don't want to!
While you're at it, take a look at your actual supplies. If you're anything like me, you have a lot. You don't need them all. Some of them are probably dried out, others are just hanging out taking up space because they're cute or sentimental. You can't find your stapler and "important" scraps of paper are strewn across your desk.
Declutter! Marie Kondo the heck out of your workspace. Anything that does not spark joy or make you want to work, donate it or toss it. Then organize what's left so you can find all the tools you do need, when you need them.
Other Tips & Tricks:
• Keep a large glass of water at your desk so you don't have to keep getting up to keep hydrated and getting distracted by other things. Plus, staying hydrated keeps you productive, so it's a win-win!
• Have a mood board in view to remind you of your end goal and to keep you inspired
• Keep a family photo on your desk for those tough days that you really just need a pal
• Move your pets bed and toys into the room with you so that neither of you get lonely and still get to spend quality time together. My cats are totally my best friends during the workweek, even if they're a bit crazy and sit on my printers and knock over all my supplies. But I love their company!
I hope you found something useful in this list!
How do you stay productive?