The significance of the desk space is something that is seriously overlooked. Think about it, for the majority of us, it’s the one area where we spend most of our waking hours during the week. I know I spend at least 8 hours a day sat in my little corner.
We focus so much on making our homes beautiful, it’s time we did the same for our home away from home. Whether you work in a shared office, are a student or you work from home, here are some subtle touches and tips that can make all the difference to your working day.
#1 Rule: Keep It Minimal
The first rule of a productive workspace is to keep it minimal. The less crap on your desk, the less stressed you’re likely to be. I know that, when I’m feeling under pressure to fulfil a deadline, being physically restricted is one of the worst feelings. Clear your desk of anything that you don’t use daily. Ask yourself, ‘do I really need this right here on my desk?’. If the answer is no, donate it to a colleague in need or, better yet, drop it off at a charity shop on your way home. If the answer is ‘sort of’ put in in your drawer where it’s to hand but not in the way.
A Floral Fix
It’s such a small thing but fresh flowers at your desk will make your work environment look so much more inviting as you walk in, replacing that, ‘Oh god I’m here again’ feeling with the delight of seeing fabulous florals. You don’t have to splash the cash either. A little supermarket bouquet like is £3 from Tesco and is big enough to bring joy to your desk without taking up too much room. With proper care these should last the full working week so why not swap one day’s latte money for weekly flowers instead? You’ll cutdown on caffeine and calories and do wonders for your morale (I recommend a Friday, everything better on a Friday. You can stand instant coffee on a Friday and, let’s face it, you’ll be onto the bubbles by lunchtime anyway).
If you just can’t kick the coffee habit, there are so many places that make beautiful artificial flowers nowadays (please dispel past images of stiff, shiny monstrosities set in painted green styrofoam). These new kind are the real deal – well, as good as. A one-off investment of £5-10 can see you with a fauxquet (fake bouquet) to last you all year round. A worthy investment if it means less stress! Can’t get away with a full bouquet? A single stem in a water glass, is elegant, discreet and enough to put a pep in your step on an otherwise dreary day.
There’s something about a scent that can take you away to a completely different time and place. Be it the beach, a fireplace in a warm winter cabin or just home. I personally love to have scented candles burning in the background when I’m working at home as I find the flickering light calming. My favourite is my Hygge scent from MADE by Jade (go figure, since I hand blended it myself). It’s a mix of warm spices, soft vanilla and fresh gingerbread with top notes of green apple and it reminds me of a warm hug. Now that we’re into spring I’ll be adding more floral and fruity scents to the collection so keep an eye on the store! If you’d like a custom scented candle just drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I love creating made to order pieces!
Now, I understand that some work places may not be cool with you lighting fires (fun sponges) so, in lieu of scented candles, room sprays are a great way to surround yourself with a super scent. A single spritz in your area is no more offensive than the perfume the person next to you will undoubtedly be topping up on and it works wonders for injecting a little luxury feel into your working day. I like citrus scents in the morning to wake me up and lavender when I’m feeling stressed. If you wanna err on the side of caution, soft vanilla is generally liked by all, should it waft. If you really can’t get away with a spray, scented hand creams are a great way of refreshing your senses subtly. These ones from The Body Shop are super moisturising and luxurious feeling leaving your hands feeling like you’ve just left the spa. The scents are gorgeous, giving you that ‘wake up’ feeling and they’re a bargain at just £5 each for 100ml.
I’m a huge believer in constantly reminding yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing whether it’s a handbag, a holiday, the home of your dreams or the happy family waiting for you at home. On a good day it’ll give you motivation to work that much harder and on a bad one it makes it so much easier to get through it if you have a visual reminder of why you’re putting up with whatever it is that’s getting you down. I think that these wall prints are such a stylish was of expressing that. I love them because they’re cleaner than a traditional vision board and not so personal that everyone has to know your deepest goals. They also apply to a lot of people so you can share the positivity and spread the happiness!
|These Hand-sketched prints are from my online store MADE by Jade (P.S. they come with Command sticky strips so they won’t damage your wall paint!)|
For shared offices, these hand-painted desk canvases are a more subtle version of the wall prints and can be made to order with a phrase, a meaning full word or even just a beautiful colourful design to brighten up your desk. If you can’t get away with desk decor, a printed photo of whatever you’re working towards works wonders for creative visualisation. Stick it under your keyboard and sneak a peek when you need a boost. Failing that, write whatever your goal is on a Post It and stick it in front of you every day to keep you focused. It really does help.
Working From Home
Though the home environment itself might seem like a pretty cool place to work, I’ve learnt that if I don’t have a proper and permanent work space, I just don’t get shit done. When working from home, it can be easy to fall into the trap of working from the bed, the sofa, the dining table, the floor and pretty much anywhere that isn’t an actual desk. While this may seem like an obvious perk of working from home, the reality is that this often makes it much harder to work productively. Start times get later and lunch breaks get longer because, realistically, who’s going to turn off an episode of Dinner Date halfway through? So what if your ‘lunch break’ is over? You’re working from the sofa anyway right? This can lead to unproductive work hours followed by restless nights as our subconscious tells us to relax when we should be working leading to us having to work when we should relaxing.
I recently cleared out a corner of my living room specifically for my personal desk space. My boyfriend, who also works from home, has a very separate work space in the bedroom and ne’er the twain shall meet. Mine is girly and pretty and filled with all of the things that I need to work productively.
As it’s a part of my living room, I wanted the space to flow nicely without looking like I’d just shoved an unsightly desk in the corner. To tie everything together, I made this faux sheep skin style throw that matches my dark wood floors and doors. The fabric cost me just £5 for half a metre at my local market and it makes my desk look extra stylish and luxurious whilst keeping with the colour scheme of my living room.
|30 seconds of handy work with some scissors and I had myself a faux sheepskin throw for just £2.50|
I only used half, so I used the excess fabric to make a cute, plush cushion cover so that I’m extra comfortable because it goes without saying that if I’m suffering from backache or a numb bum I’m not going to work as efficiently!
I hope that this post has inspired you to feng shui your own desk space a little. Give it a try and see if you feel more productive. I love mine so much, I have to be forcibly removed from it each evening haha. I genuinely prefer to sit here than on the sofa now – it’s more glamorous!
Do you have anything that makes your work space seem more special or that helps you to work more efficiently? Please let us know in the comments section!!
WIN A CUSTOM MADE by Jade PRINT OF YOUR CHOICE!
I don’t know if you’ve heard but I’m giving away tonnes of my favourite products all throughout April as part of a HUGE giveaway to celebrate my birthday which is this Sunday – yayyyy!! Now, I know that a lot of you have been loving my handmade prints on Twitter, so it seems fitting with today’s post that I give one away to a reader! The winner can chose their frame colour and what they’d like written inside and I’ll happily sketch it out, just like the others in my store and send it to you.
If you’d like to win a print just leave a comment below letting me know and you’ll be entered!
I’m announcing all of the winners of m giveaway in a video on my YouTube channel on Sunday the 1st May so make sure you’re subscribed there! There are prizes peppered all over my recent blog posts and my social media (linked below) so feel free to go on an entering spree – you never know!!
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x Jade Mercedes Fraser x