Recently I’ve found my creativity in work floundering and my productivity dropping. Not a great look for someone on a temporary contract, but more importantly than that I was disappointed in myself for letting myself go and slacking off to some extent. Little mistakes would start slipping into the copy I was writing or the poster I was designing on a daily basis; probably all due to lack of focus and attention. There were some big annoying things going on in my life in the background, so there are valid reasons – we all know that elastic bands being to slacken after being stretched for too long – but it wasn’t the sort of employee I wanted to be and was having detrimental effects on my satisfaction with life and overall mood.
I’ve often heard it said that everyone works and learns differently. So I decided to make some changes to my workplace to create a more personalised working environment that would make me feel more comfortable, even on those inevitable off days. I transformed my desk into a space that helps me feel more settled, inspired and get back the fulfilled feeling that comes with a job well done. Here are three personal touches that make my desk a more inviting and inspiring place to work.
My cafetiere & tea cupboard
I’ve always had a tea cupboard in work. Nowhere as elaborate as my version at home – filled to the brim with a variety of loose-leafed infusions and beautiful tins – but stocked with a variety of staples to get me through the day. Recently I decided to also bring my cafetiere in to work. Fresh coffee is so much better than instant and I very rarely drink any on the weekends at home. So I thought I’d use it much more when I crave a little morning wake-up beverage at work. So far I’ve been proven correct…It’s lovely to have a cup of freshly brewed coffee when you’re catching up on emails or a daily media summary.
Currently in my work tea cupboard are: Twining’s cherry and cinnamon, Pukka Herbs clean green (lemon) serene jasmine green and vanilla chai, Whole Earth organic no caf drink, a pot of Marigold instant miso soup and an old tin of coffee grounds.
If nothing else, plants will refresh the air in your office. They also add colour to otherwise drab rows of desks in nondescript office buildings. I brought my collection of succulents in to work, as they don’t do very well at home in winter (my only sunny windowsill being situated in one of the coldest rooms in the house). But I’ve decided I like them so much in work I might not take them back home (cue a trip to the garden centre for more house plants…). Every time I look at them I’m reminded a little of nature and that I could maybe take a longer route home for the pleasure of a lovely evening walk.
Many of my colleagues have pictures of their children on their desks. I’m not a child person and have never really wanted any. What I do love and what does inspire me is art. I used to have a selection of postcards depicting artworks that inspire me by my desk in University. Sadly, most of my stash (bought through the years in various museums and at exhibitions) is currently stored away in my attic during DIY work. I’ve salvaged two postcards that I love and remind me of beautiful things and places (one was bought in Edinburgh, the other in Kew Gardens). I’ve also hung up my first ever weaving in work. It’s small enough to be unobtrusive, but reminds me that I can learn new skills and create beautiful things when I turn my mind to them.
When I finally get a desk at home, I’ll definitely be surrounding myself with art, nature and hot drinks. I might also plump for a nice scented candle (I love these from Skye Candle Company) to complete the sensory desk experience!
How do you up your work productivity when you’re in a slump? What makes you feel at home in work? Are there any home comforts you can’t do without?