Summer is winding down. The kids are back in school and we are back in our much needed routines that I have missed so much. I love having the kids home, but summer isn’t lazy, it is flippin’ Crazy. There is NO structure A T A L L !! We are all over the place with different camps, sitters, etc. I often draw or work on my lap top pool side.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
It is for a minute, but isn’t as productive. Balancing work and family during the summer months can be tricky. Thank goodness for seasons!
September is the time to recalibrate and get my studio back in order. There are challenges for entrepreneurs that work from home. Most designers have several offices – the tile store, trade showrooms, local coffee shops, and of course – the car, but we have a home base too. (I will have to show you one day what my “car office” looks like)
But for now, lets dive into how I can help you create a productive workspace in your home.
Create a Productive workspace tip #1- Light it up
Have you ever tried to read in a dark area? Your eyes are bunk and you strain too much. Lighting is the first place I start. If you can get natural light, that is the best. It is said that you will sleep better at night if you work in a space with natural light. Like any design element though you will need to layer it. Having windows without obstructions, overhead lights for general lighting (especially on cloudy or rainy day) and then lamps for task lighting and ambiance.
Some of my favorite desk lamps lately…
2. Create a Productive workspace tip #2-Eliminate distractions
When you have a home office – your house tries to tempt you to come back and hang out! OR the daily chores mock you and make you feel guilty. I have fallen into that trap where I HAD to clean up something and before you know it, TIME was up! There is a TV in my office, but I don’t cut it on when I am working. Some people listen to music, but for me I use a fan. Something about the white noise is soothing and I can focus. Whatever works for you. You know the things that distract you. Add the things that DO help you focus. I added a kerig coffee machine. I love coffee!
Create a Productive workspace tip #3 – Remove clutter/ simplify
If you walk into your office and your desk is piled high, you will automatically be overwhelmed and less productive. Find a home for everything and put it away. Then make a list of what needs to be done. I like having my To Do list on a web app called Asana. That way my to do’s and thoughts are not scattered. But I also love this very simple daily planner by Desi Creswell that gets you focused on your day and how you spend it. Awesome Resource!
Create a Productive workspace tip #4 – comfortable furniture
You don’t have to sacrifice design for comfort, even in the office. Check out these adorable chairs below.
My top desk chair picks…
Create a Productive workspace tip #5 – temperature
If you are too warm or it is stuffy, you will be less productive and sleepy. Do you remember being in a classroom and they turned the temperature way down, so you would stay awake and alert? You don’t have to freeze yourself out, but keep your office on the cool side and just wear a sweater. The cooler air helps your brain to think.
Create a Productive workspace tip #6 – bring the outside in
Plants will soften up any room and help clean your air. If you are worried that you might kill the plant, try these below. They are some of my favorite indoor plants that look good and are resilient.
Create a Productive workspace tip #7 – choose colors wisely
We all want a space we can create and do our best work in. For a lighter feel, go neutral on your walls. If you need color, Greens promote growth and prosperity and Blues promote tranquility and stability. They are both calming and peaceful. Yellow and red are energizing and might be your jam. But stay away from browns as they will have you feeling heavy and tired.
Create a Productive workspace tip #8 – have the right fragrance
The air we breathe affects our brains. Smells are not just good for our nose, but our productivity. So, besides bringing in plants, use whatever fragrance makes you feel good. I have candles and scent warmers, but for my office I like essential oil diffusers. I can change up the scent and add healing and energizing oils to the air. My favorite is Orange and vanilla, or Purify from luckyvitamin.com See below.
Create a Productive workspace tip #9 – keep inspiration close
Inspiration can come from anywhere. This can be certain books or pictures on your wall. I love having my beautifully framed cork board to tack up certain projects, goals, and inspiration. Have something inspirational where you can see it. Working in a place that inspires us, will help us to keep with the hustle.
Create a Productive workspace tip #10 – Make your office hours
Finally, and this is key. You know that if you have a home office, it is hard to S T O P.
My clock-out procedure is easy. When I need to go pick up my kids, time is up. There is no going over time. The struggle is when I am back and a project starts calling my name.
But I value time with my family and friends, so I try to end my day and be present with them. If I have a thought on a project, I jot it down in my planner or sketch book.