Shoowooo, feeling so chained to my desk, sitting in the same spot for the last month and I need a change of perspective. This home office is looking sooooo tired. At the same time I am being extremely conscientious about what we spend money on.
We have been forced yet again in to practicing austerity. We went through this 2008 and 2009. We held on to our home without refinancing, we were raising two little ones and we made it out a little scarred and mentally changed, but stronger none the less. We understand we can eat less, go out less, spend less and become more self sufficient and creative. We choose house projects we can complete with what is already in the tool shed. We eat less meat, because its simply expensive (bonus we loose weight and get a little healthier).
I wanted to share with you what I do to uplift my spirits without spending too much money to change my space. To see more sign up for my news-ish letter here.
Staying productive working at home is a challenge no matter what. There are endless distractions aside from the utter boredom of having to shelter in place. It’s a real challenge. But here are. Few ways to brighten your attitude and your space.
The easiest thing you can do is just move your office around. If you are working from home now and stuck in a small space, desk in a back bedroom, maybe you can’t move the desk in the space, but you can move your body. Find other places to work. Move to the kitchen, take your lap top in to the yard or on the porch. Fresh air is the best thing ever. I have a great screened in porch out back. It is my oasis. I’ll put a few hours in that space and get some really creative work done. You just need a different perspective sometimes.
I probably move my office around every other year, but I am thinking it may happen more often than that with the shelter in place thing going on. The key I have found is to make sure I can look out a window. taking a mental break watching the wind through the tree outside my window frees up space in my mind to write the next sentence with clarity and gratitude.
The next easiest thing to make a change is the change a paint color. What are the best colors for productivity, concentration and creativity? These are all the attributes we need to get stuff done. This can be the entire room or it can be an accent wall. Paint is one of the cheapest investments you can make in your space.
Greens are low wave length colors that promote restfulness and calm, and they improve efficiency and focus. Green is an excellent color for improving concentration. Apart from being one of the easiest colors on the eyes, it reminds us of nature.
Orange is welcoming and mood-lifting color which in turn promotes comfort and improves neural functioning.
Some theorists argue that an environment rich in the color orange increases the oxygen supply to the brain, stimulating mental activity while simultaneously loosening peoples’ inhibitions. An increased oxygen supply also leads to feeling invigorated and getting ready to ‘get things done.’
At the same time, I would say to use this color sparingly or with lighter values. It can be over stimulating and so counter active to what you are trying to get done.
Blue is a productive and calming colour. It lowers the pressure in your body and calms the breathing. Also, it stimulates your brain to accomplish more tasks during your working day. The mixture of soothing and intellectually stimulating may be the reason why blue is known to increase productivity.
This is a color that people with highly intellectual work, which requires a high cognitive load, for instance, programmers or academics perform better surrounded by. Again, I think keeping the value of the colors lighter are better for this outcome.
Adding artwork to your environment is another easy way, if you’re not up for painting the entire space, don’t want to leave the house, try adding these colors in art work in to your space. glancing up from my computer to see art in my office is the next best thing to looking out a window.
Being surrounded by artwork reminds me of the endless opportunities, creativity and connection we all have in life.Thinking along these lines it occurs to me, when you don’t have cash to buy new art work for your space and don’t feel you can create it yourself, some of the finest art work can be found outside in your garden. Finding flowers or greenery and bringing them inside is a wonderful way to brighten you space and add a smile to your face. House plants to me lift the aesthetic of a room simply by being.
Another great way to literally brighten your space is to add table or floor lamps where you are working. Over head light can be so obnoxious to work with. Having a simple table lamp adds the perfect task lighting for a desk while not shining directly in your eyes.
Finding fun lamps online is ridiculously easy. I would say build.com has a ton of options reasonably priced. Lumens.com is one of my go to’s for more contemporary styles. Dwell has great mid-century modern lamps and shades of light has plenty of rustic options.
Adding basic furniture to your office space aside form actual office furniture will make the idea of staying in there all day less overbearing. I like to have at least one comfy accent chair in a corner to sit in to get up and walk away from my desk for a few minutes. When I am sitting in that chair i get a new perspective on the day, on what I’m working on and what I am planning to accomplish by the end of the day.
Last but not least are things to practice to keep you productive.
What music I choose has a great deal to do with how well I can concentrate. it changes for the task at hand. if I am in creative mode I choose music that has no lyrics. That way I’m not distracted by trying to listen intently to what the musician is saying. My mind can wander and create.
When I am doing straight production work, drafting in CAD interior elevations or flooring patters, with zero creativity necessary then I listen to lots of upbeat different artists or possibly even a podcast on social media marketing.
The first thing that pops in to my calendar in the morning to to “Do One Thing At A Time.” I have to remind myself of this constantly because I think I have ADD. Not only do I have a short attention span, I am constantly interrupted by the kids, husband, people stopping by, the dog, and just looking out the window.
The interruptions are so many that I will put a sign on the door to leave me alone until a certain time. I also keep the notification setting turned off on my phone. Current;y I am only turning it on when the kids are gone from the house or if I have an appointment I need to remember (like picking the kids up from school, which I forget regularly).
I no longer keep lists of what needs to get done during a day. I schedule each task to make sure there is enough time to give to it. At the same time, I follow the schedule to make sure I don’t go over on time on a project or nothing else gets done and I get lost in the rabbit hole. (By rabbit hole I mean the one like Alice fell went down chasing the silly rabbit and getting list for days, my Mom reminded me that not everyone know what that is.)
Whoa, this was a long one. I didn’t mean to make this such an ordeal, but I hope you get something from this to help you though our little Covid Hiccup and working at home. Making the space around you more palatable can make all the difference in how much you get done and how find joy in every moment as much as possible.
Please sign up for our news-ish letter here for more.