As a blogger, you could imagine I do quite a bit of work at home. I work from home for TSOH, and for several aspects of my dietetic internship and research. I also work from my office nearby, but basically, I split the time between the two.
A really important stimulator of productivity for me is being around likeminded, intelligent, and productive people being creative too. As a blogger, like many other workers, I work alone a lot. However, I always work better around other people working hard too. That’s why it’s great to get out of the house to work. Coffee shops are fine to work, but can be super distracting and expensive (not to mention the calories add up too!). I lovee working at WeWork too if I want those creative juices to flow! They’re a coworking company set up a great little office with modern décor and I can work close to home in an environment where all these brilliant minds are working too. It’s like an office for people with home offices! They just opened a new one right near my house — perfect morning run distance away! So, if you have one near you I’d check that out, cause I’m pretty much obsessed with it.
By going to WeWork and working from home/coffee shops, I’ve really been able to see what a massive difference your work area makes in productivity! If it’s cluttered or not into my desk/work area, I’m not going to get anything done. If my area is on its game, I’m going to be much more productive (and we all know I can’t get enough of the “hustle”. So, I’ve put together this list of the essential tips to make sure your workplace is set up for success and badassery.
1. Computer/writing level. If your chair is too high or desk is too low, you’re going to be hunched over your computer or looking down on it. This is BAD. Not only is it terrible for your posture (what’s up hunchback?!), but it’s also bad for productivity. It limits the area that your lungs can expand, so your breaths are more shallow and therefore less oxygen is getting to your cells (and brain!) to keep you thinking hard. By lifting your computer and writing area up, you’ll sit up straighter, look forward, and expand your chest to promote productivity, thinking, and sexy ballerina posture shoulders. To do this, I recommend either lifting the legs of your desk by placing books or risers under them or simply putting books under your computer. You can make a statement with them by either painting them a pretty color or using pretty hardcovers from a local used book shop.
2. Zero clutter. I get so stressed out when I see some of my colleagues desks. A zillion post-its everywhere, stacks and stacks of paper strewn about, etc etc. Seriously, I don’t even think they can see the desk under there. I always work best with zero clutter. I have a fantastic bookshelf next to my desk with paper boxes and crates to organize my papers into files (labeled!) and hide away unsightly loose sheets. The only things that should be on your desk is your to do list, computer, a glass of water or tea, and a pen. Maybe a post-it or two. (The BEST chic desk accessories!)
3. I am an organization freak. Not only are all my to do lists color-coded and prioritized, but my drawers and all need to be the same. Having an organized desk and work area makes you more productive by saving you time looking for things. Need a stapler? Bam, right there. Pen? Bam. That old handbook? Bam, in it’s designated spot. Organization de-clutters and calms your brain so you can focus on what’s really important.
4. A comfy – but not too comfy – chair. My work chair is super important to me. Think about it – you’re working most of the day, most days of the week. You’re sitting in that chair for SO LONG. Ideally, you would have a standing desk or a treadmill desk. We can’t all be so lucky. (Though we ALL should stand up and walk every two hours while working!) I LOVE using a balance ball as a desk chair because it keeps me moving/bouncing and keeps blood pumping even though I’m idly working. I highly recommend that. If you can’t get that, you want a good, comfy chair that won’t hurt your back (ergonomic, anyone?). However, be careful not to love your chair too much, as that can decrease productivity. If my chair is too soft and comfy, I get sleepy and lazy. This is The Perfect Lucite Office Chair.
5. Light! Lighting is key. Too dim of light and you’re snoozing, too bright and your eyeballs are stinging. Natural light is key (if you can get it), but having a lighto n your desk and overhead is a great alternative.
6. General “prettiness”! I work best when I’m feeling inspired (especially on TSOH). If I’m in a dingy, cold, boring, ugly office, I can be really productive on non-creative things (charts, literature searches, diet analyses). However, when writing or researching, I need my creativity to be stimulated through décor of my workspace. I love clean lines and motivational words, pretty planners, and framed art. Just what I personally need around me. Everyone is different, but having some nice desk accessories and décor can go a long way. Try not to over do it though, you don’t want that touch of décor to turn into clutter! (My favorite HUSTLE gold foil print.)
How do you all work? Especially you bloggers, where’s your go-to work spot?
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