Where do you do your best work? Can you work in any location with equal productivity and inspiration? For I confess, I cannot. My surroundings and environment have a huge effect on how inspired I feel and my level of focus. Recently, as I sat in the very uninspiring setting of a dismal local cafe, it occurred to me how much thought and care I’ve put into transforming my home office into a workspace that I truly love being in. It led me to ask the question: What do I need in a physical space for it to inspire me? In my answer, I’ve put together the following list of strategies for making your workspace more enlivening and uplifting.
I positively love color. I always have. Occasionally I’ll have to wear all black for a concert I’m performing in, and I just don’t feel like myself. I’ve added color to my office in a variety of ways. My Sierra Club wall calendar, rainbow-colored Beatles desk lamp, recently made vision board, and a framed piece that my mom colored for me from one of her adult coloring books – all add colorful flair to my peripheral and keep me energized through my workday. How could you add more color to your workspace?
Natural light is wonderful, but that’s not always possible. Even within the realm of artificial lighting, not all lights are created equal. A light giving off a warm glow of indirect light is a world away from a fluorescent light splaying directly and harshly down on you. How is your lighting? How does it make you feel?
I have three houseplants in my office, as well as one or two bouquets of flowers (depending on the day). I find having living things in my office gives it a freshness and vibrancy that it might lack otherwise. Check out this great infographic on picking the right office plant for your environment.
4) Books for quick inspiration.
When I’m in the middle of a design project, nothing is more helpful in a bout of “designer’s block” than being able to grab one of my web designer’s idea books and flip through for a few minutes to get me going again. Do you have any such books that could offer you some quick inspiration in a time of need?
5) Words on the wall.
Call it a vision board, call it a mission statement, call it a manifesto – call it whatever you like – putting actual words in a place where you can see them has been shown to have an effect on your thought patterns over time. What ideas do you want to firmly plant in your mind? Get them on paper and put them in your line of sight.
What would you add to this list? What does your workspace have that you love and appreciate?