My Office is Lacking Inspiration…

I dream of this patio to be adjacent my home office...

As I gazed around my office this morning, I realized it was lacking in – something. A hint of déjà vu washed over me, and I felt as if I have visited this topic before. Searching through the “Article Ideas” file on my computer, I realized I had written about this before! Reading my own words, I motivated myself to make my boring space a little more inspirational…

Magazines and blogs are overflowing with ways to be more productive at work or in your home office. Suggestions like adding plants, practicing yoga during breaks and listening to spa music fills the lists.

But what if you don’t like listening to classical music while you work? Allergic to plants?  That new greenery will help you get a lot of work done as you sneeze on your MAC.  While I would love to think I am meditating on my break and guzzling water instead of coffee, I pause to be realistic. I am going to spare you the obvious suggestions: buy an ergonomic chair, add a plant, have sufficient lighting and organize your files.

I think we are beyond the obvious, don’t you?

When arranging or re-arranging your home office, ask yourself a couple of questions.

What helps me think? What would make me want to spend more time in my office?  What inspires me?

Whether your office is an elaborate room in your home or just your kitchen table, how can you make your surroundings work for you? Yes, you have just blown $1000 at IKEA finding the “right” office stuff, but will you sit at your desk and be productive?

If you are not inspired by scented candles and mid-day chanting, I offer an alternative to the zen lists…

#1-Ambiance-I like classical music as much as the next girl, but it doesn’t always move me.  A nice alternative and not as distracting as my favorite band, I have been listening to movie soundtracks.  It is amazing how “The Lord of the Rings” can change my mood, stimulate my brain waves and motivate me to kill some Orc’s/crank out an article.

#2-Pop a mint-When I used to work in a community setting that involved a lot of hot air, I would habitually pop a mint before any professional gathering.  The refreshing yet soothing feeling a tiny mint gave me was a gentle pick me up for the next 30 minutes.  Why not do this at home? Mint has a natural calming effect on the body.  Ahhhhh…..

#3-Comfort is in the bum of the beholder-Fung shui in theory is a good idea, but I am too busy to read another book or hire a professional to come in.  I say, go with your gut.  What makes you feel comfortable? Re-arrange the furniture in your office. Position your desk so you can see outside.

#4-Now, take your office outside.  I love working on my laptop in my back yard.  I have small children, so they can play in the sandbox or ride their bikes around while I work.

#5-SHUT OFF YOUR PHONE and disable your email notification.  Even if it’s just for an hour.  No one is going to die if they don’t get a hold of you.

#6-Make a punch list.  What do you need to do today?  I am a solid believer that making a list will help you be more productive . And skip the electronic list maker.  WRITE IT DOWN!  Old school, on a piece of paper or write it on a dry erase board.

#7-Balance-Take breaks!  Step away from work, even if it is for 5 minutes.  Take a brisk walk to get your creative juices flowing.  Run up and down your steps.  Turn up your music and rock out for a few.  You’re home alone, so feel free to embarrass yourself.

#8-Surround yourself with positive images/things.  What inspires you?  What makes you happy? Yes, the fifty pictures of little baby Joey makes you smile, but what about the vacation you took to Europe? Print off pictures/images which whisk you away and give a temporary and natural high! Remember that really weird piece of driftwood you found on the beach? Use texture!

#9-Don’t get too comfortable.  The mission here is to be more productive, not to be so comfortable you fall asleep on your amazingly comfortable chair. Breathe some air.  Is there a window near by?  Open it. Even in winter.

Let’s did deeper.  What calms you on a stressful day?
How do you get inspired to get some serious work done from home?

Need some inspiration? These lovely ladies make me gasp with their creative visions!

A Happy Adventure

The Lettered Cottage
The Pioneer Woman

And, oh my! I almost forgot – Miss Mustard Seed