How To Create a Productive Work Space

In the days of online work and at home jobs there have never been more people working from home.  As someone who writes (Religiously) it is important to have a space that both inspires me and keeps me focused; a line that can be easily blurred. I’ve talked before about the importance of training your brain and having a productive workplace is pretty much the ultimate extension of that.  Its important for writing, working, organizing and getting myself set up or races.  Too casual and I end up watching youtube videos, too strict and I end up uninspired.

Just like everything in life, it’s all about balance.  And that big armchair on my bed where I read is not about balance.  So the first thing that you need is to actually have a workspace where you sit down and mentally tell myself I am here to write.  Not to be on facebook, not to scroll through Instagram videos (As inspiring as they might be) and not to get hooked on “Young and Obese” on Amazon prime video.  When you sit down here, your brain needs to say “This is where I sit to get my shit done”.

Declutter your workspace

Oh, the dreaded c-word.  Okay, not that C- word.  The Clutter C-word.  I am not a huge fan of clutter in a part of my living space but it is particularly important in a workspace.  If your desk is in the living room and you have your kid’s glitter and glue sticks on it…then your life is going to be about glitter and glue sticks.  You don’t want your life to be about glitter and glue sticks.  Make sure you have your own space that is somewhere where you are not multitasking watching the kids, writing, answering emails and thinking about just what you are going to make for dinner.

Likewise, if you don’t have kids, you still need to make sure your inner hoarder isn’t taking over.  Only have what you need in your workspace. Make sure that it is just the one project that you are working on and what you need for it.

Likewise, make sure that your mind is decluttered.  Close the table on your web browser, turn your phone and messaging systems onto silent and bask in the glory of single-tasking.  The world can wait for half an hour.

Make sure you have fluids within reach

I can not tell you how many times I have been writing for hours before I realize that I haven’t even had a cup of water.  Make sure that you are hydrated and using that water every few minutes. Your brain will thank you for it.   You will be much more productive and happier in the end.

Add Some Green

Plants are so magical.  Not only are they pretty but they add some umf to our oxygen.  I love having plants everywhere around, even if I’m not so great at keeping them alive.  Make sure you find a nice plant that works with the kind of light that you have in your workspace.  Low light plants tend to do better inside but if you have a really bright area don’t be afraid to go for it.  Yes, they are so pretty but they also clean the air, which helps our brain physically and psychologically.

Add Some Tunes and Pleasent Scents

“Alexa, play my writing playlist.”  I can not even tell you how much I love my echodot.  I use her for music so my phone doesn’t have to even be near me and I use her to set timers.  I have a lot of instrumental on my writing playlist but I also have some that follow depending on the character that I’m writing or the kind of scene.  Mix it up and look at some other peoples writing playlists too.  You’ll absolutely fall in love with some of the things that you find.

I also like to brighten up my writing space with scents.  The scent is one of the most powerful reminders and triggers in the brain.  It can go anywhere from making you sleepy, the making you anxious.  I love candles that I can find for super cheap from Home Goods, but I also super love the aromatherapy defuser that I got on sale at Whole Foods.  You can really mix up your scent and keep you awake or set you in a mood with it.  Plus its just always pleasant to be in a place that doesn’t smell like wet dog.

Make it a Positive Space.

I don’t have to tell my friends or family or writing partners but I can write some really dark stuff.  Stuff that can really get into your head and get you down.  But that is Exactly why my workspace doesn’t reflect that. You dont have to be a loner who hates everything to be a writer.  In fact, it is all the more reason to keep the balance.

Bright, cheery and light with a Picasso over it, my writing space and workspace is there to remind me that I am good at what I do.

And you are too.

You can find the perfect quotes and pictures to make you feel positive and inspired on places as simple and free as Pintrest, print them out and frame them for damn near free wall art.

Don’t Get to Comfortable

So you want to get comfortable but not TO comfortable in your workspace.  You should know what you are doing in that space and be sure to be aware of your purpose.  A chair that is comfortable should also be supportive.  Beds should not be a place to work, nor should the sofa or anything with distractions like tv around it.

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What do you guys have in your workspace that inspires you or makes you feel more functional?  Let me know in the comments.

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