HOW TO MAKE YOUR DESK THE MOST POSITIVE PLACE
Well I am a huge fan of making things more positive. And because my desk is one of my most important day-to-day places I use a LOT, and because the first goal this year is the renovation of our home office, today's article is about practical and inspirational advice about making this space the most positive you can.
By the way, before we start...I made you a workbook with ALL the information in this blog post...just for you...to download and work through at your own pace...you can find it in my resource library which you can sign up to...
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT DESK
There are a zillion beautiful desks out there! And a million ways to start choosing. You could pick one because of the colour, the style or even the price. And even though I have always been more of an impulsive buyer, I highly recommend taking some time with this one.
There is a lot to think about: What size and height should it be, should it have included storage or would you prefer independent filing cabinets? Do you prefer warm wood or cold glas or metal? Will you need it just for your laptop or also for some crafting hobbies as well?
My best advice: even if you are on a short budget, go to a big furniture store, where there are lots of working spaces displayed (Ikea has always been my option). Take seat. Take pictures of the ones you like. Then go home, go to your office, look at the pics you have taken and imagine those desks in this room. Give it some more thinking.
Would it fit? Would you have enough sitting room? How would you put it? And the moment you have made up your mind, you can either go and buy the one you liked most, or you can start looking for alternatives that match your budget. Either way, you will know exactly what desk to look for!
2. THE RIGHT LIGHT
I should probably admit to you guys that I remodel my office every 3 to 4 months. I know it sounds crazy, but that helps me with my creative processes. Anyway, no matter how many times I change my desk's location, I always, ALWAYS make sure it's in front or on the side of my window. Daylight and our beautiful view are two of the important fuels for my creativity!
BUT, especially when you work with computers, you should diminish the light intensity in your working space. So try to protect your screen from direct sunlight and bright light sources. Beautiful lamp shades and lower intensity bulbs and tubes are just some of the things you could try out!
Here's a link that gives you a little more information about this subject.
3. WORKING DEVICES
Our next step is to place our working devices on the desk. In my case: my laptop with a mouse and a mouse pad, a lamp, and that's about it...
Of course there are those little helpers (which we will come to in a minute) that you need to keep close, but not necessarily ON the desk.
I always try to keep my actual desk top clean. That keeps my mind cleaner, too! There ist nothing more annoying than your elbows touching clutter all the time. Trust me, been there!
Once you have your working stuff all set up, it's time to deal with healthy habits. For those of you who, like me, spend a lot of hours working at the desk, let me give you this advice:
If you want to keep your bones, tendons, muscles and eyesight healthy, you should know a bit about ergonomics...
And for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about: ergonomics tell you the best seating height, the best position for your arms and wrists, the best distance between your eyes and the screen, etc.
I am no expert and this post would just burst if I would try to elaborate on this subject. Therefore I would recommend to check out one of the following articles, where real experts explain how exactly a perfectly ergonomic working space should look like:
And...just for the laughs:
5. THE LITTLE HELPERS
If you are like most people, you receive mails, bills and other documents that need to be filed and/or dealed with. Therefore, there are a few helpers that will make the task of dealing with documents almost effortless. Those staplers and hole punchers, tape rollers and paper clips...all those things should remain close. Depending on how frequently or infrequently you use every one of them, you need to find a place for them.
A drawer, a box, a desk organizer, anything that keeps them at hand. The less you need to search for each helper, the less time you waste on searching.
Best case scenario example: you don't even have to look up from the document you're dealing with right now to search for the stapler. You know exactly where you put it and only need to reach out your hand to grab it.
I know this might sound like a mundane thing, but if you have ever spent too long searching for something you don't quite know where you put, the better you will understand why I think it's an important thing for a happy workplace. :)
6. FRAMED INSPIRATION
Personally, I need reminders now and then to make me realize how easy being happy actually is. It's like having constant little wake up calls right in front of me. Words that get through to me and shake my core. I tend to change them every few weeks, because by then I have read them that often, they just loose their impact. And so I need new inspiration to wake me up!
If you are searching for inspiring words, I would recommend to you to go over to www.pinterest.com and get yourself flooded with those! Just search for the following: "inspiring quotes"
I do that a lot and have made my own inspirational pinterest board, where I keep those quotes that most resonate with my current life.
Of course it doesn't always have to be words. It can be an inspiring picture or photo, too!
Got you covered...I also have a board for that here!
7. FRAMED HAPPINESS
I could have called this section "photos with family and friends", but that would be very specific to my kind of photos and my history!
And so I decided to go with a name that would describe the feeling those frames are supposed to evoke. For me, it's photos of my two cute little ones, my grandparents, my wedding day. To some of you it may be a photo of a certain vacation or event, where you felt totally excited or at peace! You get where I'm going, right? Pictures that give you the memory of a happy moment or a person you love! And that's an important detail:
You could hang a photo of someone climbing to the top of the Mt. Everest. And that would be very inspiring, but it would not take you back to a happy moment! But that is exactly what we are looking for!
8. PLANTS OR FLOWERS
The only thing more beautiful than a flower is...a bunch of flowers! I once read that flowers are nature's way to smile. I guess that is why I tend to smile when I see a beautiful flower bouquet. Human's natural and biological respond...haha.
There is just one little detail that clouds my experience. The fact that cut flowers die too quickly! This is why I went to my local garden center and asked for flowering plants that could be held in a pot inside. And there are plenty of those, besides orchids. ;)
And if you are one of those persons that believe they can't keep a plant alive, don't worry, you can go for a cactus or a succulent instead. Both can be pretty and are low maintenance!
9. TO-DO-LIST (CLOSE-BY, BUT OUT OF SIGHT)
Well, now let's talk about the serious stuff...like the work that needs to be done on a desk. Because that is what they are usually for, right? Getting sh** done!!
In order to get things done, the most effective tool is a to-do list. I guess we all agree on that one!
But here's the thing: that tool can be very depressing to look at. Because sometimes there are too many things still to "check" and too little things already crossed. It can be frustrating to have that "inability" right in your face all the time...
The best thing is to schedule a certain amount of time every single day to work on that list. and please, let that time NOT be first thing in the morning. Because for our brain, the first thing we deal with each morning is the most important aspect of our work, and you don't want that to be "crossing things off your to-do list".
For example, I always start my day with a little writing. THEN I take care of my to-do list for one hour. After that, I put it away. Someplace where I can't see it anymore. And if there are still things to check, I set myself a timer for a few hours later. That way I can focus on other important things in the meantime without having a bad conscience. Because I know I will deal with it later.
One last quick tipp for a happiness boost relating to this usually annoying list: deal with the biggest or scariest point right away. Because once you have made a check mark on that big one, everything else will seem easy-peasy! (Tweet this!)
10. DECLUTTERING REGULARLY
The last point is one where I am sure lots of people would not agree with. And yet I think it's an important one.
I am a huge fan of decluttering. And my desk is no different from any other spot at home.
It's really simple: the less clutter there is on my desk, the less information my brain has to deal with before it really gets to work on the important things.
Now, I know a lot of you ladies out there will state that a little clutter can boost your creativity. And that might be true for a painter that leaves it's colors and brushes on this painting desk. Or a fashion designer that leaves fabrics and accessories visible.
But for those of you - and I think it's the majority - who need to work on different things throughout the week, a little decluttering at every end of a working day can be magical to boost your productivity the next day! (Tweet this!) I promise!!
So, what do you think? Are you already making changes in your mind? Well then: mission accomplished! :)
I would love to hear about your plans and wishes in the comments. What would be the first thing you would change?
Have an incredibly good day!
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