Alright... I'd be a bit of a liar if I said I wasn't busting at the seams about writing this blog post. Seeing other peoples space that they do their work and getting an insight to that part of their lives that (to me) feels so personal? I love it. Most of the time, we're seeing where people created their best work, we're seeing where they have tried and failed and sat back down at that darn desk and tried again.
For me, my workspace is where I do almost everything. It's where I'm writing this blog post. It's where I get creative and paint, draw, or play around on Photoshop. It's where I edit all of my photos and my clients photos. Sometimes, it's also where I contemplate choosing a different career for a few minutes (but that's only when my email is 100+ unread and I'm behind on editing). We all have to entertain that at some point... right?
Y'all, I love my desk. It love it. It has all the things I need in order to create, and it has plenty of space for me to spread out. There's little else to be said about it other than just like... jeez isn't it so pretty? It's a good lookin' desk, and the view sitting behind me isn't too bad either.
The thing is, I wouldn't love my desk so much if it were... well, a mess.
As you'll see in the photos below, everything has a purpose. Off the top of my head, I know where everything I need to be productive is at! And, as we'll talk about later, that gives me little to no mind clutter. I don't have to spend any time worrying about whether something is misplaced. This goes for physically but also mentally. I know that I have everything that I need to do ironed out in a way that works for me and keeps me on track.
The thing about my workspace is it just so happens to be in my bedroom.
Time to get personal, my friends!
I live with my parents! I'm a twenty-two-year-old entrepreneur/freelancer. You really think I'm living in Austin on my own? If you did, by god I am flattered.
The reason I mention living with my parents is because it paints a picture for you on why this workspace has to be in my bedroom. I'm not in a position where it feels right to get a commercial office. I can work from home and there's so many cute coffee shops to choose from where I can meet clients! This is true for many, if not most, photographers. Of course, there's people who make it a priority to separate their work and their home be it an office room in their home, or outside of it. That's totally wonderful! But, I know a lot of people who work from home know that it's simply not feasible.
Perhaps having kids, a small living environment, or a crowded house in general leads you to having your workspace be in the same room that you sleep in. We're in the same boat, my friend. Hop in and lets go for a ride.
I don't mind my workspace being in my bedroom! From a very young age I've always worked alongside my bed and rarely have a problem with it. But here's the thing....
My working environment is detrimental to my productivity.
Not only making sure that my desk isn't cluttered, but my whole bedroom. The whole shebang. If my bed isn't made, or I have old coffee cups scattered around, or too many papers and lists in my peripheral vision, I will get distracted and not work to the best of my ability. What that leads to is giving up for the day in a heap of frustration, leaving things lingering on my to-do list that will get pushed to the next days list.
I even get distracted if there's too many things on my floor, or if things just don't feel right. That might be taking things a little too far, but you get the gist. However, not everyone is like this! My brother is the total opposite of me. He appreciates when his room is tidy, but it doesn't disrupt his flow. He can create amidst the chaos. More power to those people!
So all of this is fine and dandy, but how? How do you attempt to stay organized?
(I'd just like to say, I'm giving advice here as if I'm qualified or in a position to do so, but I'm not. I'm just talking about what works for me!)
It starts with your mental organization first. What method does your mind enjoy being organized the best? There's tons of people who can go off of memory and never have to make a list a day in their life. There's people who love using apps for things, or even writing their day out on Google Docs. Hey, it saves paper!
For me, my mind won't calm down until I physically put pen to paper. Be it with a list for the following day, or even just ideas and notes about things that I can't get out of my head. Having something physical that I can look at makes it easier for me to remember the tasks at hand, feel like I'm not forgetting anything, and it feels good to cross something off.
I've tried different ways of being organized with my thoughts and pen and paper is what I always go back to.
Next is obviously your physical surroundings!
I will go to the grave with this saying: physical clutter is mind clutter. If you have cables, papers, folders, devices, even things like books or notebooks you haven't used in ages, cluttering your desk, your attention will be drawn there. It's stressful and unnecessary! But, perhaps you need those things in reaching distance. My CF card reader is bulky and has an attached cable to it, but I need it to import photos almost daily.
This is where the magic of drawers, desk organizers, or boxes come into play. One of the best gifts I ever got was a desk organizer. For me, my poison is notebooks, pens, sticky notes, and all of these damn cables. My desk organizer gives them a place to live that isn't just in a pile on my desk. It looks nice and I know where everything is. No losing with a desk organizer!
And if that's not your jam, maybe some small drawers to sit on your desk, or even some organizational boxes are your jam. Anything to give your things a place, especially the not so attractive things like cables, paperclips, or sticky notes. Not only will it look better, but you won't have to look for your drawing tablet cable for two days because you can't remember where you threw it last time you used it... like me.
And regardless of whether you consider yourself a creative, or an artist of any kind...
Your workspace should inspire you. Inspiration doesn't just mean in a creative, artist sense. At the base it should inspire you to be happy. It doesn't have to be motivational posters or one of those calendars with a new quote every day. It can just be the way you put yourself into your workspace. Plants, photos, even a mousepad that matches your aesthetic or design of your desk! It should feel like a place that feels like you, and definitely somewhere that you don't dread being at least... about... 90% of the time. Your workspace should bring you joy, plain and simple.
Alright, I'm done giving unsolicited advice now! I promise! If you got nothing else from this post, I at least hope you enjoyed looking at pretty pictures of my desk. Also, if you're so inclined and fell in love with my desk organizer as much as I did upon seeing it for the first tie, you can get one here. And no, unfortunately I am not getting paid for this link.
Here's the bottom line... my workspace makes my life easier. It works for me and for everything I need it for. It could just be a personal opinion, but I don't believe that it would be like that if I didn't have it organized or if I didn't know what kind of organization works best for me. If we're the same, let me know! If chaos inspires you, also let me know! Both sides of the coin are equally as fascinating.
Talk to you soon.