I left the house today in a bit of a mood, feeling tired and a bit teary (blame the pregnancy hormones). House/dog-sitting at the moment, I’m living out of a suitcase and have lost my regular routine. While it is actually lovely to be staying in a beautiful terrace in the Inner West with two adorable Cocker Spaniels, I’m acutely aware of the fact that my baby is due in 2 months time and that there is a heap of organising and sorting to be done at my own home (where I haven’t been for a week), as well as plenty of work to get finished before I go on maternity leave in 3 weeks.
I feel a consistent nagging at my subconscious to get things done, to get the items on my 'things to do' list ticked off so I can create physical and emotional space in my life to focus on this new and wonderful development in my life. It must be part of nesting instincts to help mothers prepare for their newborns, because the need to feel ready for the baby is all consuming! However, in order to get these things done, I need to feel organised, have a strategy and focus.
On my way to work this morning I passed a flourishing hedge of Lavender and was so struck by the colour and fragrance of its flowers that I was compelled to pick a small bunch (choosing flowers growing over the footpath side of the fence of course- in other words hovering in public territory). I carefully nestled them into my backpack and continued on my way to the office, feeling better already, consciously deciding to embrace the day and let go my feelings of frustration. I became aware that by picking the Lavender I had made a choice to bring some calm and colour into my work day.
I walked into work and felt despair creep in again as I observed the state of my desk. Papers askew, dirty cups and plates, scattered stationary and an old apple ready for the compost heap, it wasn’t a very welcoming site, and it didn’t inspire me to have a productive day in front of the computer.
So, again I made a conscious decision to improve my circumstances. I spent some time sorting my desk. I filed the paperwork, I washed up the dirty dishes. Put all the pens in their holder and went through my in-tray recycling whatever was no longer required. I found a tiny glass, filled it with water and placed my lavender flowers into their makeshift vase and arranged the few crystals I have on my desk next to it, inviting some Zen into my workspace.
Suddenly I felt inspired and positive. All I had to do was glance over at the bright purple stems or take a visual sweep over my now clear desk and I felt at ease, the panicky feeling in my gut gone, serenity and clarity in its place. I was struck with how easily I was able to change my mood, and very aware that I had brought about this change by my own actions and choices. I was also struck with how sitting at a tidy desk had such an impact over my state of mind. Naturally a bit chaotic and creative, I often leave a bit of a whirlwind of mess in my wake. But sitting amongst the mess doesn’t help with my creativity, it just invites stress and important things get lost or misplaced.
“Happiness is not something readymade. In comes from your own actions.” - Dalai Lama
Planning to working from home once the baby is born, I started to think about my home office, and realised it wasn’t an especially positive or productive workspace either. Knowing time to get work done will be at the whim of a newborn, I will have to take the opportunities when they are presented. Having an organised and inspiring office will be paramount to my productivity especially with sleep deprivation thrown into the mix.
So in a bid to get inspired, I’ve listed some of the important factors when creating a positive and productive workspace. Now all I need to do is implement them!
- Everything needs to have its place – from pens to bills to folders and receipts. It makes tidying up easy and quick and finding things simple.
- Sort paperwork into folders for easy access and less chaos
- Try to keep storage items and folders the same colour for a clean look. I've already placed an order through Kikki K for a set of matching white folders and archive boxes (these sorts of purchases are tax deductable if you are using them for work so added bonus!).
- Every week (put a reminder into your calender) give your desk a tidy, putting everything in its place so things don’t get out of hand.
- A clear desk = a clear mind. There needs to be clear surfaces, uncluttered storage, drawers which close easily because they only contain things you use and need (not random stuff shoved away out of sight).
- Do all your pens and note books need to be on display? Or can they be tucked neatly inside a drawer allowing more space on your desktop.
- An oil burner, crystals, a vase of flowers, perhaps a pot plant, aromatherapy mists or roll-ons – anything which helps you to feel calm and positive. Keep them to a minimum though, just what you reach for throughout the day, and group them neatly and in a way which still allows for a clear and simple looking workspace
- Have access to natural light if possible
- Have a jug of filtered water at hand, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice in your water is great for your immune, elimination and digestive systems – and if you are feeling good you will be more productive.
- Find inspiring quotes and imagery to display. Pretty cards, postcards, beautiful photography, just try to keep them to a similar colour or theme for a streamlined look.
- Have sources of inspiration within easy reach (the internet is one of the best resources) but also books, magazines, articles – just keep these neat and tidy and once you are finished with them put them away.