As an independent entrepreneur (graphic designer and publisher) I work both at the office and at home. You probably recognize it when you are also working at home; you are just concentrated at the kitchen table, but you have to eat like this and so you have to clear the table of your office stuff. Or you are just face-time with your partner and your husband and children run screaming by. It is obvious; you are ready for your own workplace! Rest in your head, stuff in place and get to work! But what requirements must your workplace meet in order to be called a 'perfect workplace'? Want your workspace to feel like a productive retreat? Do you want to get started completely zen? It's possible!
What do you need when you work from home? A place without clutter on your desk, no things around you to distract you. With natural light and a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Here you will learn how to do this in 10 steps. Whether you have an entire office at your disposal or just a tiny corner in your living room… it doesn't matter at all! So! We are going to create a perfect workspace for you in 10 steps to be able to work full focus.
Step 1 - Make your workplace official
Make your workplace official. For starters, a workplace is not your own workplace until you have officially given it that name! Corner desk, attic room, coffee table? In any case, it must be a place where you can sit comfortably and a suitable place to do your work in peace. Can't find a nice place? Then move some furniture, put down a good lamp, clear out some old stuff… This is how you create a new space. Just make sure it's a place that encourages you to work.
Step 2 - Make your space inviting
How you should set up your workplace naturally depends on what kind of work you do. If you give social media advice or if you have a webshop with more than 500 Japanese products, your workplace will look different than if you are a graphic designer. In any case, you have to make sure you feel like going there or sitting down.
Step 3 - Sits well and looks nice
What do you all need? At your permanent place, of course, there must be a good chair and cushions for your back and a work table or desk at a good height. If you do a lot of sedentary work behind your computer, your working posture is extremely important. Do you have a lot of loose supplies that you want to have on hand? A bookcase with transparent boxes with content stickers on the front is super handy. If you still have room for it, also put down a small, easy, nice chair. It is ideal to sit down for a while when you need to read, so that you adopt a different position. Make a floor plan when you are going to buy new cabinets or bins and first draw everything in to size to see if what you buy fits in the space and if you have enough room to move.
Step 4 - Provide good light
The best is of course if you have natural sunlight and can work near a window. Especially in winter when you have to work for many hours in a row, this can make a world of difference to your energy level. Open the curtains as far as possible and place your desk as close to the window as possible. If your workspace is dark, or if you work at night, make sure you have good lights.
Step 5 - Get rid of things that distract you
Ok, the spot has been decided, but now… clean up! To be able to work really well, you need a space where there is no clutter around you and where not all things are a distraction. A tidy workplace is necessary to get things done. Take a step back, take a look around you. What can go away? Loose clutter, piles of paper, books you still want to read, clippings, charging cables, pens. Sometimes it even really helps to completely empty the place you've chosen and rearrange it. A tidy workplace gives you space in your head. Make sure you only have what you need for your daily work at hand.
Do you have a lot of paperwork? Remember that when it comes to your archive you have to work with a passive and active part. Passive part; do you have papers that you need to keep for reference or tax retention and do you not often have to look up something in them? Then use suspension files for that. The active part of your archive can be divided into 3 activities: doing, reading and saving. It is best to use magazine cassettes for this, because horizontal mailboxes often become large stacks where you also lose the overview.
Video - How To Tidy A Home Office With Marie Kondo
Step 6 - Get Inspiration
Sometimes you need a little encouragement for your work/creativity. Hang on your clipboards or bulletin board pictures, texts and other reminders that motivate and encourage you. Or hang up a mood board on which you have visualized your goals. These motivators help you to stay focused on what is important to you and thus your work environment has a stimulating influence again.
Step 7 - Style your workplace
Now comes the best part: you can also implement your corporate identity at your workplace with the help of color and your choice of materials. You are now going to add the elements that ensure that your workplace radiates the atmosphere that makes you happy.
Choose beautiful pillows, a nice soft plaid, a pleasantly warm rug and storage boxes or baskets that match the look you want to create. You can also hang artwork that suits your style. And candles, a tray or maybe an essential oil diffuser. Don't forget the plants! Plants not only make your workplace cozier, they purify the air and provide better humidity.
Step 8 - Create calm with white space
It is important to have 'white space' in your workplace. Just like the white space on a website or in a magazine. This gives peace of mind. Choose calm basic colors and if necessary change the color or materials of the accents (cushions, pots, trays) per season or period. Schedule regular clean-up/restyle moments. That also feels really inspiring.
Step 9 - Keep Supplies Within Reach
Would you like all kinds of nice, nice things around you such as notebooks and various pens and pencils? Start with an empty desk and determine what items you need on your work table. Think about what's important to be productive here. Do you have a planner to keep tasks organized every day and to be able to get started in a targeted manner? Do you have all the tools at hand to work for your company? Everything must be within reach to carry out your daily tasks.
TIP: Buy a nice planner, notebooks, day block, desk block or consultation block. Choose one style to keep your desk quiet like Paper Time.
Step 10 - Keep Moving
Don't forget to get up every now and then to get coffee, for example. Nice to keep moving. Plan your coffee break using the Pomodoro technique. You can download a free Pomodoro Technique printable here. Or take a walk and enjoy all the little greenery around us. There is even a special Green Planner to get the daily activities clearly organized and at the same time to consciously experience all those little green wonders that make you reflect on the season, nature, the plant world.
A workplace that makes you happy
In short, a tidy workplace with good lighting and in the style of your brand can do wonders and support you in achieving your goals and staying productive as a creative entrepreneur. An inspiring workspace also makes less fun things a lot more fun.
What does your workspace look like? What have you done to make it match your branding? What are you missing?
Author - Marloes Lubberding from Paper Time
Marloes is the creator, designer and publisher of the Paper Time work planner. In addition to her webshop Paper-time.nl she runs Initials, text and design and with a partner docentorganizer.nl She loves paper, plans, pink and other grayed-out colors and drawing.