In my mind, september resonates with "Back to School". And I’m probably not the only one. When we are workers, we use this time to give a second start to our year. It's time to take resolution and to decide for some changes. But when you have kids or are a student, it’s a fresh start and a time to get motivation back on. The challenge being to keep it for all the months to come. The way you will plan your place can have a big impact. To help success during this new year, here are some ways to create a motivating workspace for your kid or for yourself if you are studying.
A dedicated space.
Sometimes, the workspace at home is neglected because we think about it as an optional choice. But having a spot specially created for work is really important to focus, organise the work and keep track along the year to come.
It doesn’t need to be a huge space or using big expenses. A woodboard as a shelf or a console table are perfectly enough. The goal is to create a link in the mind, knowing that this specific spot is meant for work. Try to avoid your kids working on the coffee table or yourself studying where you will eat 2 hours later.
And if you are like me and enjoy spreading your papers, books and notebooks all over the place while working, having a dedicated place will save you a lot of time. No half-hour-long cleaning and no paper lost during the process. A good point for you, maybe not-so-good for your kid who will miss an excuse for the teacher (« I’ve lost my homework »)…
A clean space to focus
Empty the place.That’s not just my scandinavian influence speaking here. There will be enough books, papers and pens coming along without adding more clutter. The mind needs space to be efficient. If you are surrounded by thousands of objects or flashy colors, it will be impossible for you to focus. You’ll have to think about the storage of course, but you’ll also have to think about the overall styling of your spot.
Take a simple start with sober aesthetics like a natural light wood desk or a white board. Keep in mind that stationary is mostly shown with lot of different colors and patterns. Adding this to a colorful space and it will be harder and harder to keep a nice and inspirationnal spot.
"The mind needs space to be efficient."
If you have difficulties to understand what I mean, just imagine a kid’s desk with lot of different colors and shapes. Got it ? Now, imagine on top of it, the bag, notebooks, pens and accessories of Cars or Frozen (or Iron Man, or Spider Man, or Hello Kitty, or…….) You see what I mean ?
Start with a nice and simple desk, the next step will be easier to manage and you’ll be sure your desk will always be at its best.
Comfort is key
Studying is not easy for everyone. Some people like to study, for others, it’s a nightmare. To bring motivation on, it’s essential to create the best atmosphere possible to make you forget working is a pain. The comfort of the chair is probably the first thing to check. Try to work on a wooden stool and the only thing you will think about is the minute when you’ll be able to escape. Not really the best thing if you want to focus. Choose a smooth seat to make you forget you are not on your couch.
If you have enough space, a seat with wheels is of course the best as it gives more freedom to move. But if you suffer a lack of space, a small chair or even stool can work as long as you or your kid feel comfortable on it.
"Love your space and you will love spending time there."
Last advice but not least on this point : the style. As a professionnal, I’m supposed to tell you ergonomic is the most important. But I have to be the bad person here. For me, for my motivation at work, aesthetic is more important. Even if I spend all my days sitting at my desk, I just can't choose an ergonomic chair just because it's best. I need beauty around me while working and as long as ergonomic chairs are not exactly matching my tastes, I’ll choose a nice-looking chair even if it's less ergonomic.
Love your space and you will love spending time there. It works both for adults and children. Comfort is good, look is best in my opinion. As long as you will choose the furniture you like, you will have a good feeling sitting there. That’s the first step to have the good work done.
A break for the mind
On the same tune, I suggest to give a break to your mind. Nobody is able to focus for hours. The mind needs some rest from time to time. It needs to escape and to be filled with things you love. That’s why you sometimes sit at your desk to move from it 2 minutes later. Distraction is your worst enemy here and there’s an easy way to avoid it.
If it’s important to keep your workspace as uncluttered as possible, it’s good to dedicate a small part of it for decoration and inspiration. You can choose a frame with your favorite photography or a panel on which you will hang pictures, objects and drawings. Create a protected area where your eyes will turn when you will suffer a lack of inspiration in your work. It will remind you or your kid what’s waiting after the work is done. It will bring motivation back before you start moving from your desk, looking for an enjoyable distraction.
"A picture of a landscape you love, a picture of your family, a sign showing « Keep calm and sing Soft Kitty », or even seasonal decorations"
There are no rules. Everything which gives you a good feeling and bring your energy back is suitable. A picture of a landscape you love, a picture of your family, a sign showing « Keep calm and sing Soft Kitty », or even seasonal decorations (Christmas, Spring,...) to bring a light and happy touch to the place.
Above my desk, on a grid, is showing a random exhibition : a postcard of Richard Serra’s exhibition at Beyeler’s Foundation, 2 postcards of ballet costumes from an exhibition at the National Center for Stage Costumes in France, a painting from my 4 year-old niece, a graphic work done by a friend, a drawing of my own from a live session at Dansmuseet, Stockholm and 2 cards showing motivating quotes. That’s what inspires me and helps me to get a 10 seconds break to breath and get back to work.
As you’ve probably realised, these advices are not limited to kid’s or student’s workplaces. It works for everyone. Indeed, even if we are all different, we can suffer the same difficulties to keep motivation while working.
If you are looking for a new start this month, use these first tips :
● Create a dedicated space;
● Make it clean and simple to help you focus;
● Comfort is key, both physical and visual;
● Create a break for your mind by showing items which inspire you.
If you are looking for more advices to create the perfect workspace, more posts are coming during this #BusyCozy month. To be sure you’re not missing anything, register here and receive everything directly in your inbox at the end of the month.
Enjoy this new month and good luck for the new start !