Whether you run a business from home or just occasionally allow the office to spill over into your personal life, having a dedicated work space holds many benefits.
When I started freelancing about a year ago, my desk was cluttered with papers, books, magazines and a sadly underutilised sewing machine (yes, I have ambitions of making my own clothes… someday) took pride of place.
Apart from the one or two days a week I’d work in a shared office or elsewhere, the rest of the time would be spent grafting away in my tiny bachelor flat. With the lack of desk space, I found myself wandering from kitchen counter to couch and sometimes even my bed throughout the working day. Obviously, this was far from ideal and I received many-a stern talking to from more organised friends and family members.
Finally, I decided to heed their concerns and set to work reorganising the unused desk. I got a neat cabinet for my sewing machine and equipment; bought an attractive and comfortable chair; cleared away all the papers, books and magazines; stuck a few of my favourite quotes and pictures on the wall; plonked down a plant or two and, unbelievably, the desk spaces I had been saving on Pinterest had suddenly come to life (sort-of)!
It’s been about two months since I made the change and I’ve noticed a huge difference! Not only do I actually feel inspired to set to work every morning, I really enjoy the time I spend at my desk too.
There are a number of factors that play a role, of course, but these are the five biggest benefits I’ve noticed:
IT SEPARATES WORK FROM PLAY
Having a designated desk space/office at home is an excellent way of ensuring that you don’t mix work and pleasure too often or too easily.
If, like me, you live in a tiny space that already tends to blur the boundaries between different areas already, this is extremely important. Before setting up my desk properly, no area of my home was sacred. The whole space ended up being where I worked, which – in retrospect – robbed a lot of my chill time of its charm. It’s just no fun, ending off the working day on your couch and immediately switching over to watching series. Having a little end of day ritual and moving from one space to another is so much better.
If, unlike me, you live in a larger space, but share it with other people – some of whom may even be kids – having a designated workspace can be a saving grace. If your housemates/spouse/kids see you sitting down to work at your desk, they will eventually realise that these are periods of time you are not to be bothered.
Moving from one space to another during a working day, as I used to do, is definitely not conducive to productivity. On the contrary! Distractions just seem to pop up everywhere.
However, when you know a certain space is for working and working alone, you are more inclined to sit down and commit to whatever it is you want to get done.
Believe me, this really is true!
An important aspect of creating a workspace is to infuse it with some inspiration – whatever that means to you.
In my case, as I mentioned earlier, I decorated the walls with a few of my favourite quotes. I also put attractive stationary holders, a few books and a plant or two on my desk to encourage the idea of a productive workspace.
The result? I absolutely love my desk space and cannot wait to sit down there in the mornings. Since having it in place, I’ve written more blog posts, edited more photos and come up with more exciting project ideas that I would have in the same amount of time previously.
IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR POSTURE
This is actually a biggie and, of course, depends greatly on the type of chair you end up using.
But, the principle remains – sitting at a desk to work is so much better for your posture (although still not as ideal as not sitting at all) than perching on a bar stool, sinking into a couch or slouching on your bed.
YOU’RE THE BOSS
Last but not least, having a dedicated working space really gives you a sense of authority. Even if it’s only over yourself and your productivity.
Plus, if you keep it tidy and organised, you’ll know exactly where to lay your hands on something when you need it. And there’s nothing quite as satisfying as feeling like you have that constant control over yourself and your efficiency.
Looking to freshen up your work space? These indoor plants will not only liven up your desk but will help to purify the air in your home. Himalayan Salt Lamps are also great for cleansing the air and their warm glow can help to brighten up your work space.
Decluttering can be a powerful way to clear your mind, read these tips on how to simplify your home.