Having an inspiring workspace is crucial for productivity. I'm a very visual person, and having my thoughts and inspiration in front of me when I work is what really keeps me going. If you have a real office, that's great, but most of us students don't really have an economy that can support that, so I though I'd show you how I made part of my living room into an office. I know that these seven steps are not new to any of you, but getting from thinking to doing sometimes need a little push so I have decided to collect seven of the things that I thought about and was inspired by when I made my little workspace.
No.1 find the right spot
If I had a nice view I would have my desk facing the window, no doubt about it! But I don't, so I've chosen somewhere with lots of light (but where it won't reflect on my screen), with plenty of space around it, and a great big white wall I can fill with my plans, thoughts and inspiration. Having an actual workspace makes it easier to work when you need to work, and make the couch, bed and dining table work free, so make sure to choose a good spot where you can limit your distractions.
NO.2 pick a great chair
Support is everything, but design is a much more tempting characteristic. You need a chair that won't make your back hurt, but the way you like to sit on it while you work is crucial to what chair you should choose. I know that's a given, but having a normal chair makes me super restless. Why? Because I like to sit in weird positions when I work (confessions of a yoga girl!!), and often result in working from my couch or bed. But I recently bought an incredible chair. It's wide, it has arm rests, it's deep and I can sit almost however I like. It's perfect for leaning back with great back support and for sitting in every position I would not have been able to before.
no.3 Surround yourself with inspiration
This is where you personalize your space. Yes, I'm using an issue of VOGUE as my mousepad and have plastered my wall with fashion photography. All because I'm currently writing my master thesis on fashion as identity and marker of social status, and need my ideas and thoughts visualized on the wall. Constantly being reminded of the different brand identities, how photo shoots are styled and the designers motivation can kick me from unmotivated to productive. I change the pictures depending on what I'm working on, to always keep my thoughts where they need to be. I'm not saying you need to cover an entire wall, but keep your inspiration visually represented around you.
no.4 Visualize your goals
My wall is filled with gorgeous photographs, interviews with amazing women who started amazingly successful businesses, portraits of people that I admire, their own work, and a general atmosphere of the life I want to live. This is accompanied by my own pictures and brand new business cards, plans with The Royal Danish Ballet and plane tickets for upcoming adventures.
no.5 Get your gear positioned right
Working with annoying, slow computers will drive me to swearing, hair pulling and what not. I'm running big, complex programs and have been working on a machine that had me wait 15-30 second every time i pushed something. So I kind of just added a wonderfully strong iMac to my life (a very big thanks to my dad for helping me make this happen). Work is getting much more effective, and I'm forever grateful for having a machine that works with, and not against me. Make sure to have the programs you need to efficiently do your work and not get pain in your back, wrists or neck. One of the reasons I really like working on the iMac is that the screen is so high it makes me relax my neck and shoulders a lot more. If you have a laptop you can put it on a stack of books, and buy a separate keyboard quite cheap if you want to improve your physical woking condition.
no.6 make it a place you'll want to be
Having a beautiful space to work, actually makes me want to work. It makes me want to get stuff done. My desktop picture and screensaver are chosen according to my current projects, I almost always have fresh flowers, and I only keep work related items on my desk to keep it fresh and clean and ready to start working. Find a way to make it an appealing spot where you want to be.
no.7 Keep it tidy
If you are one of those people who like chaos, and like your space better when it's not tidy, feel free to ignore me completely on this point. I CAN NOT WORK if my desk is not tidy, and by that I mean: filled with stuff I don't need for the work I'm doing right now. Make sure to have enough space around you to have the pile of important mess you need to do your work and still not feel that it is cluttered. I have a very tiny desk, and I still feel like I have lots of space. Maybe because my keyboard is white and wireless and tiny, or maybe because I keep it clutter free (if you had a look into the desk drawer you would see something very far from tidy, but that's a different story). If I have chaos in my head, it helps to have a tidy desk so I can focus on the important aspects of the work that I need to complete first.
Inspiration is beautiful. It is a fuel that keeps things going. That is why I try to stimulate it in every way possible. I know many of these things might seem trivial to many of you, and you might be right. We all have different ways of being inspired and stimulated, and because I'm a visual person this does wonders for my work. I get more stuff done, I make plans, and it makes me happy. My hedonic trigger is incredibly easy to set off, and it's a true blessing because I can manipulate it into eudaimonic components with little steps like this. And guess what: it makes me accomplish my goals and build my career, so who cares if it's a little silly? I hope you are all finding ways to push your lives in the right direction.