How to make your workspace workable + chaos-free
This is the second in a 5-part series on the 5 Areas of Chaos you need to conquer for your most brilliant life. Start at the beginning.
In this post, we're going to get real deep on that place you go when you're ready to be JK Rowling, George RR Martin, Picasso, or just you: Badass.
It's your work environment, and when it's a chaotic mess, it F's with your head and makes YOU a chaotic mess.
This means your office, your desk, your computer, and so on. It could also be your studio, if you're an artist. It's wherever you get your work done most of the time.
Don't have a designated workspace? Then that should be your first priority.
We all need a workspace other than our bed or couch. The reason is because it helps the brain shift into 'get shit done' mode. When you're at your desk, your brain knows it's time to work. But when you're in the bed, your brain thinks it's time to get snuggly and go to sleep.
Ignoring this could lead to problems other than low productivity. If you constantly work in bed, your brain will forget that beds are for sleep and sex, and you'll find it harder to go to sleep and sleep soundly when you do.
That's the reason behind why we're told to get up and hang out on the couch for a while if we can't fall asleep at night—it keeps your brain in bed = sleep + sex mode.
Keep your workspace tidy and clutter-free to eliminate a sense of chaos when you sit down to work on your passion.
Take special care with things like:
- Paper documents
- Computer files
- Email inboxes
- Social media distractions
- Room temperature
- Adequate privacy and quiet
I challenge you to make your workspace a place where you get PUMPED to work when you're in it, a place where the thought of NOT working when you're there is unfathomable.
How can you do that?
Design a workspace for ultimate creativity and productivity, without discomfort or distractions.
An example EPIC workspace for a writer
Freelancer, blogger, or novelist, it doesn't matter. Setting up a good place to write is the best way to avoid writer's block. This is also a good set-up for online entrepreneurs, students, and teachers.
You need a few key things for a good writing space:
- A flat surface with enough space for your computer and a notebook to take handwritten notes on
- A comfortable chair
- Desk/surface height + chair height configured to minimize strain on your neck, wrists, shoulders, and lower back.
- If using a laptop: A stand to bring the screen to eye-level and a separate mouse/trackpad and keyboard (non-negotiable)
- A door that can be shut to keep sound out (as needed)
- A comfortable temperature
- A glass of water + another glass with coffee/tea/wine/your creative "spirit" of choice
- An inspiration of choice: mood board, quote poster, before + afters, and so on
Ergonomics are so so important for your best work. If you're uncomfortable, you can't focus well. If you develop neck problems from always staring down at your laptop you won't WANT to work anymore.
Believe me—I know this one first hand and it's a problem I'm still trying to fix. Once you've screwed up your neck muscles, they don't go back to baby soft and supple without a fight.
DO NOT fuck around with a laptop without a stand unless you're on an airplane.
Psst: If you're liking this post, please consider sharing! 👇
- How to Ergonomically Optimize Your Workspace via Lifehacker
- How to Set Up an Ergonomic Workstation via CNET
- Office Ergonomics: Your how-to guide via Mayo Clinic
All of these guides have great advice that you shouldn't ignore. However, I'd like to share 2 further tips that I've read from holistic health practitioners about office ergonomics that I didn't see in any of these three guides:
- Your seat cushion should be stable enough that you can stand on it — this is because it keeps your core stable and in alignment.
- Your eye-gaze focus should "pull back" so that, at all times, you are aware of a wider frame of vision than just your monitor — this keeps you from developing Forward Head Posture.
I can't find the sources for those last 2 tips right now, but if you know of them, please share them so I can properly credit.
What does your workspace look like? Do you feel excited to work on your passion when you're in it? (I'd love to see pics!)