Author: Helena Zachariassen, Home and Lifestyle Editor
It is a fact. Working from home is here to stay for many of us. Whether we like it or not. Did you know the average person spends 2.5 days per year searching for lost items? That’s a lot of time wasted. Are you up for a challenge to change that? And transform your current home office into a space of joy, creativity and inspiration? Chances are your organisational skills will improve, your productivity will increase and you will feel inspired and energised each day you sit down to work. And that’s not so bad, is it?
1. Declutter and tidy your desk in one go
I’ve put together the guide below so you can create your own ideal inspiration station. There’s absolutely no need to go shopping for any additional items, just use and repurpose what you already have at home. Win-win.
✦ Commit and make time for you. You will thank yourself later. Depending on how many things you have on your desk and/or in your home office the amount of hours needed varies. Start fresh in the morning.
✦ Take a ‘before’ picture of your desk and the environment where you’re currently working.
✦ Remove every single item from your desk so you have a totally clean desk. Nothing on it. Clean slate.
✦ Vacuum it. Wipe it with a damp cloth. Give it some love.
✦ Joy check all your belongings before putting anything back. Remember the KonMari joy check process? Take each item in your hands, feel it, and decide if you need it for work and/or if you love (looking at) it. Make the threshold high for what you allow to be on your desk.
✦ Put back the essentials only. These could be your laptop, mobile phone, water bottle, notebook and pen, pending work papers etc.
✦ Notice how it feels when you look at your essentials. Does the sight make you feel calm? Ready to tackle the tasks for today? Happy? Inspired? Sad? Overwhelmed? Stressed? Your desk should make you feel calm, inspired, creative and happy to get to work.
✦ If your new desk layout doesn’t make you tick, go ahead and add/remove what you don’t like or enjoy. There is no right or wrong. Remember: this is YOUR desk. Take a ‘after’ picture and admire the work you’ve done.
✦ Organise, categorise and store all the rest that doesn’t make the cut to stay on your desk. Make sure to store likes with likes, preferably in containers, boxes, magazine holders, folders or baskets so you can easily find what you’re looking for. If you love labels as much as I do, go ahead and label each box and folder. You will be so happy you did – it’s a huge time saver.
✦ At the end of each day make sure to take 5 mins to tidy your desk and put everything back where it belongs so you can start fresh the next day again. And you need your well deserved break in the evening.
✦ If you don’t have a permanent work desk at home you can create a mobile office basket. Make sure you like the basket! It should contain only your essentials: your laptop and essential work papers to move around as needed. A basket can easily be stored away for the evening if the dining table is your office during the day.
2. Create your own energy tank with items you truly love
This step is one of the most important. You should choose a few selected, dearly important and loved items that you wish to keep on display on your desk. Items that might be sentimental, like family pictures. Items that might spark a creative flush in you, maybe a powerful quote. Items that kick your adrenalin. Or something deeply inspirational for you. Or a simple beautiful flower to calm down your senses. YOU are the master creator. Be bold, be uniquely YOU. Make sure not to overcrowd your desk – only a very few selected items are enough.
The value of these items should not be underestimated. They are deeply powerful and will work as a source of energy for you, if you allow them to. When taking breaks during your day, make sure to look at your selected items, hold them if you wish, and just breathe a few minutes. This is an instant recharging of your batteries in no time.
3. What you eat and drink at your desk affect how you feel
Choose only the good stuff. Your favourite coffee or tea, of course served in your favourite cup, and that favourite water bottle. Hydration is super important! If you need a snack, get up and take a 5 min break to get that snack and get your energies moving again. Think about if you really need to bring food to your desk? Multitasking is not particularly helpful for the brain, and those bread crumbles and sticky keyboards do not really spark joy, do they? Make your break a real break and then get back to work.
4. Air your office as often as possible for better focus
Do you know how much fresh air can help you focus? A lot. The more fresh air you inhale the higher the oxygen levels in your blood. The more fresh air, the more your brain can help you remember things and concentrate better. Not to mention how much more energised you will feel! Did you know that the ideal indoor temperature is around 18 degrees?! You think that’s cold? Put on your favourite comfy sweater! It’s much healthier to spend time in a fresher environment than in high artificial heat.
What’s even better? Take a walk in nature. Even a few minutes can be helpful. And while you’re out – leave the windows open in your office!
And speaking of windows, have you tried sleeping with your window open? I’ve slept with the window open all my life and I couldn’t have it any other way. And I come from Finland where winter nights can be pretty cold.. 🙂
5. Add green plants to your space
Human beings have a natural desire to be connected to nature. Something scientists call ‘biophilia’. It’s a fascinating science, and these are some of the top health benefits:
- Plants can help reducing stress
- Plants can help increasing your productivity and creativity
- Plants can clean the air and increase the humidity level
- Plants can help reducing sickness
- Plants can help people feel calmer and happier
Check out a list of beneficial indoor plants here. My favourite indoor plant is the Monstera Deliciosa. Which is yours?
6. Work in short sequences
Ever heard of working the Pomodoro way? It’s a technique that uses a timer to break down work into shorter intervals, usually 25 minutes in length, separated by short 5 min breaks. It helps your brain to focus on one thing at a time with no interruptions. If you haven’t tried it, please do. I only discovered it recently and it’s been a game changer for me. No more multitasking, that just makes you feel overwhelmed.
7. Choose to become intentional about what you spend time on
This is the ultimate question we as a society should ask ourselves, whether it’s work related or private. We have gone to a place where it’s ever so hard to please ourselves. We can have everything we want by pushing a few buttons on a computer, travel wherever, do whatever. We are no longer happy with the little joys in life. It has to be more, bigger, better each year. Is it even possible to go back to a state of less? I truly hope so. It all starts within ourselves and our mindset.
What do you choose to do to live more with less?
Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more resources, our team is talking about – swiss travel, expat living, mental health, nutrition, wellness, recipes, home & lifestyle and activities for children. Stay well and stay with us!
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