Clean versus cluttered?
It doesn’t matter, there is no one way to work.
Do you find yourself getting drawn into the FOMO of wanting the latest workspace trend? It’s a common occurrence during the monthly Creatives Roundtable accountability meetings to inquire about each other’s workspaces, always keen to see how others set up their workspace. I mean, check out Amy Gorrek in her office (pictured above)! She looks like she fits right in!
Maybe you yearn to have a space that looks good on Pinterest or the latest design or lifestyle magazine you fawn over?
If only you had that very cool desktop organizer or your walls were painted with an embellished mural. If you had that done, then, of course, you’d see your work performance improve!
But let’s get real. It isn’t the color of your walls or the brand of furniture that gets the work done. The one and most important characteristic of your workspace should be that you can FOCUS on it, that’s it!
You may be a person who thrives among clutter or gets excited at seeing an immaculate desk in the end. But what matters is if your environment fosters and encourages you to sit down and work?
What should you keep in mind when creating your best desk space?
- Comfortable seating. You need a chair that can support your back as well as be comfortable enough that you can focus. When you spend most of your time at the desk, make sure you invest in a good chair that is comfortable as well as supports your posture. Constantly fidgeting doesn’t do well for focus.
- Keep the essentials within reach. Whether your desk is clean or cluttered, it’s important to keep what you need at your fingertips. When you have the right pen, notepad or access to what you need for your project within reach, helps you to keep in the zone. Nancy likes this Hammock Tech Accessory to keep her client notebooks handy and fun colored tins for all her favourite markers and pens.
- A designated space… and a door if you can swing it. Not everyone has the space to shut out the non-work world, but if you can, create a designated space so when you are in it, that is where you work only. I have a small enclave in the upstairs of my home that I have dedicated as my office. With my family at home 24/7 the last few months, it was time to invest in noise-cancelling headphones. Since a tight budget didn’t make adding a door to my office viable, I added a curtain that functions enough to reduce visual distractions of house members wandering the halls next to my desk.
- Know your weaknesses (AKA distractions). Even tucked away in your work hole, there are other tempting distractions you need to manage. Start your day with a snack and beverage at the ready. Besides turning off all the dings and notifications that tech likes to keep us in the loop with, use your desktop wisely. When you are deep into a project, keep only those windows visible and expanded so it’s all you see. Honestly, the more screens you have, the more chances you have of getting distracted. Put your phone in a timeout by turning off sounds and placing it facedown. So when you pick it up, it’s intentional instead of reactive.
- Spark joy. As much as we have this idea that we love what we do, there are still parts of our job that can be a grind. Something as simple as a candy jar or glitter jar at the ready to add some joy to our day has value. Maybe it’s pictures of your adorable children or a sandy beach where you can imagine being all alone. For Wendy Wood, the best office essentials are one’s best friends.
- There may also be days when the best workspace is not your desk. Getting a new perspective is a way to add variety to work but still get things done. It could be your back deck on a beautiful day, or I admit I have even brought my laptop to my bed when I need to relax. Then if you can, just get out of the house/home office completely. Fresh air will do you a lot of good.
In the end, do what works best for you, and be open to change, as well as committed to the success of getting it all done. Because the real driver of your work is you.
Written by: Crystal Reynolds