I’ve developed a bit of a nasty habit: I leave piles of things on my desk and I do all my work in my bed.
I don’t think I’ve used a desk for its intended purpose since my early high school days, and as a result, my desk has become a sort of dumping area for all sorts of things. Bills, notebooks, snacks, clothes, everything. Of course, there’s no way this is really conducive to me getting work done, even as a so-called “creative”. Slouching under the covers while I design logos and come up with ad copy is keeping my mind and body in the entirely wrong mindset. I tell myself that I’m supposed to be working, but my body and mind is ready for sleep.
Deep down, I’ve been wishing I actually made use of my desk space for awhile, especially after seeing so many pictures of gorgeous work spaces splashed all over home decor sites, but I haven’t brought myself to get my desk together until today.
I realized I needed to take the plunge as I was lying in bed reading an article about people who work from home. I’m a full time student, but all the time I spend doing homework in my apartment is akin to what it is like to work from home, so I figured the principles would easily apply to myself. Most stay at home workers strongly recommend that you keep a clean (upright) work space so you don’t find yourself getting distracted. Imagine your room as a metaphor for your mind. If your room is a mess, your mind will become equally messy. Your thoughts will get tripped up and trapped between mounds of clutter and piles of paper. It might seem silly to think this way, but if so many stay at home workers agree on this as a universal truth, I figured it can’t be far from reality.
Of course, being a highly aesthetic person, I believe there is more to the equation than cleanliness. When building a productive work space, you must not only make it neat, presentable, and easy to use, but also inviting. A work space that does not fit your aesthetic tastes will not draw you in. You’ll inevitably retreat back to your bed or wherever you are most comfortable.
You can brighten up an otherwise cold work area by adding warm lighting and pops of color. You can do this fairly cheaply with some fabric and a DIY attitude. A couple of my favorite ways to add pops of color is by adding fabric to boxes or push pin boards. These are items that are used for decluttering and make your work space more efficient, so why not make them an attractive focal point while you’re at it?
Of course, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. I knew I needed to walk before I could run. I decided to start overhauling my workspace by cleaning up all my clutter. I’ll tackle the DIY projects next time. Stay tuned.
Ancient bottles of water were dumped. Nail polishes were returned to their assigned seats. Piles of mail were organized. Loose change made it back into my wallet. I have to say, it was all pretty darn satisfying. But the most powerful part of the process? Sitting down at my desk to work for the first time in years. And honestly, I have to wonder if the reason I had enough time to write a post today was entirely a result of my space change. I found myself flying through my work today at breakneck speed. Maybe it was just a fluke, but I’m certainly not going to find out by climbing back into bed.