My workspace used to be a big source of disdain for me, more of a hindrance than an environment to take action on my goals. Consisting of a 78″ tabletop from Ikea, 4 storage cubes from Michael’s, and a folding chair from my basement, it is certainly not my dream workspace, but I am beginning to like it more and more for its character and for the money I saved by creating it with things I already own.
I used to think that I wouldn’t be able to get work done if my desk wasn’t just right. I focus better when I feel comfortable and happy in the space around me. I recently rolled up my sleeves, arranged some things, and found a way to work it out using what I already have. I stopped making excuses and I started making changes that have been lending themselves to improved workflow and efficiency.
The most delightful feature of my workspace is being surrounded with inspiration, culminating in the focal point of my desk: an inspiration board. I use a white magnetic board with these magnets, which acts as a streamlined bulletin board without putting pin holes in my pieces. I keep it at eye level in front of me so that I can look up at it throughout the day and remember the things that motivate me to work hard towards my dreams.
In setting up my workspace, I determined things that were hindering my productivity (noise, clutter, being overwhelmed by the size of tasks to be done) and I came up with solutions to tackle them. The following have been game-changers in getting things done for me:
- Spotify | I have a worship playlist for when I am designing and painting, as well as a more mellow playlist for when I am studying design books.
- Lighting | I positioned my desk between the two windows in my room, taking advantage of all of the cheerful sunlight that streams in during the day. To add an extra layer of lighting, I have a simple white lamp from Target positioned at the corner of my desk for nighttime or days when it’s cloudy.
- Visible Goals | I keep the tending list of my PowerSheets on my desktop at all times, reminding me of the big picture of what I am working toward.
- Planning | On most days, I set a daily action plan with tasks that I want to complete that day. Additionally, I keep a ‘big list’ of items that I want to accomplish that month that might not be crucial and tending-list worthy, but that I don’t want to forget (such as going through my wardrobe for pieces to get rid of, or scheduling a haircut).
- Accessible Tools | I keep my most-reached-for items within reach. I used to dislike the idea of keeping things on my desktop, but I recently realized that it can save a lot of time to have purposeful placement of items (such as my Bible, software guidebooks, a color guide, etc) rather than keeping them tucked away in a drawer.
- Hydration | It is super helpful to have a glass of water on my desk throughout the day to remind me to stay refreshed and hydrated.
- Warm accents | During this time of year, it is extra lovely to have a candle to light to bring a little more warm light into my space.
Setting up my new workspace was entirely free and has been an anchor for me over the past two weeks. I sit there to write, paint, work on pieces for my internship, and more. With a designated space to focus and work, I find that I take my projects and tasks more seriously. I am more productive and less distracted, which makes for better time management and a happier me.
If you have found yourself in a rut with your work or lacking motivation, consider using what you have to create a space that is uniquely you and will help your workflow. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that you need new ‘stuff’ to create a legitimate workspace, but it can be very fulfilling to use what you have to cut back on costs and refresh the space that you call your own!