When I was approached by Julie to write a guest post on workspace, I really didn’t see how, as a freelance writer and coach, I could offer ANY workspace and styling help!
However, as we started talking, I realised that, as much as any creative person likes to think they’re just ‘going with the flow’, there actually HAS to be a logical flow to our workspace too.
As with any entrepreneur working from home, the flow of your office space is crucial to your productivity. I’m lucky to have a small room for my office but, no matter how much space you have, it has to accommodate the following:
- Dedicated laptop space – including a desk that’s the right height for you and the best ergonomic seating you can afford, especially if you’re spending lots of time typing. It doesn’t have to look pretty – it needs to be functional. I’ve added a board onto my desk, to get a better typing and seating position, without straining my back and arms.
- Filing/storage – Obviously, you don’t need ALL of your filing and storage to hand, but having the essentials near you is… well, essential! For me, that includes pens, paper, notepads, filing trays and hanging concertina filing systems with my client files, all within arm’s reach of where I’m sitting.
- Printer – Wireless printers are a godsend, especially if you struggle with space on your work desk. For me however, as I have daily client emails etc. to print, I like to have the printer within arm’s reach of where I am.
Space to dream
Workflow isn’t just about having things within arm’s reach. As a creative person, it’s essential that I have space for creating too, so I have white boards across the wall behind me. White boards are great for writing ‘to do’ lists on, planning out projects, covering with post-it pad notes (when planning courses and books!) and mind mapping on.
If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, you sometimes need to switch mediums, in order to get the most out of your head and onto paper. White boards are great for that. They’re also practical too, as you can use them when interacting via Skype or on a webinar, so you can show clients exactly what you’re talking about.
There are only two places I work well – in my office and on the kitchen table. Why? Because nowhere else has the inspiration I crave. No matter what type of work you’re in, you’ll have visual stimuli around you to keep your motivation and inspiration high – it’s what makes your working environment personal.
For me, that includes photographs I’ve taken, wooden quotes on the wall and orchids. There’s also some items that really are unique to me – a painted stone from my unofficial second daughter (my daughter’s best friend who lives next door), a small pile of stones (each one collected from our various holiday jaunts), a small zen garden (given to me by my best friend) and lastly… a small gremlin statue.
He’s there to remind me that, there’s always gremlins. However, no matter how ugly things can get – there’s always someone who will love you for who you are.
And after a quick glance and smile at him each day, I have all the motivation I need to keep going!
Sarah PJ White is an author, coach and freelance writer. Sarah writes her own content and provides weekly blog posts for busy business owners, who struggle to find time, ideas and/or inspiration in their already busy lives. You can find out more about Sarah and her services, over on her website: http://sarahpjwhite.com