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Creative work is what happens when we have great ideas and then bring them to life. It's a real partnership: all the ideas in the world and no action doesn't get anyone anywhere and checking off lists of rudimentary tasks with no imagination just isn't very fulfilling. We like to think that most great ideas happen in solitude. It may be after a great brainstorming session or a meeting in a cafe, but the actual idea normally comes when we are thinking in private. But bringing that idea to life is the product of teamwork.
Our desk and workspace is sometimes the best teammate we have to help us get our creative projects underway. It's really important. Set up a great workspace and you'll have the ultimate working partnership. Here are our tips for Setting Up A Home Office:
1) Make the Work Space Your Own - We all like to work with people we like and it's the same with environments. If you love being in your workspace, you'll get a lot more done and the positive mood will flow through to work and results!
2) Find some Light - Natural Light is a great thing. It's what our eyes are used to and is recommended as best. If your workspace can't have this, invest in some lighting and lamps that you like. There are great softwares like f.lux to help with screen brightness for your computer too!
3) The Walls - Wallspace is a great opportunity to really make the work space your own. Create a mood that suits you best and don't be afraid to spend some time thinking in reverie whilst looking at art, maps, photos or inspiring quotes that you like.
1) Organise Your Tasks - Filing is really important. Reducing clutter on your work desk is essential to constructive, forward thinking. If your area is cluttered, your brain will get easily distracted and confused. Try to keep everything but what you are currently working on filed away.
2) Use Colour - Colour is something we humans understand quickly and easily. Colour code according to task, project or urgency to help organise efficiently. Coloured tabs, sticky notes and file folders are a great help!
3) Make It Easy - Proximity is very important when organising. If your files are all locked away in a cabinet on the other side of the room, it becomes far too easy to get lazy with filing things. Have your files close to hand, preferably so you can organise everything where it belongs without moving. Magazine Files, Document Boxes and Coloured file folders within arms reach will help you stay organised.
1) Use Quality & Variety - Make sure you've got some great tools on hand for each task. If you know you may have to do some sketching, make sure you've got some high quality pencils easily at hand. This way, you'll always use the best tools and this encourages you to explore new ideas. Sketching with a pen is not very gratifying and if you're not enjoying your work, you won't explore all of the options.
2) Use Paper - You probably already do, right? Paper and pen is a tangible extension of the self. We create best when we are completely free of restriction so don't trust your ideas to a keyboard or mouse. Get some paper and explore your ideas.
3) Go Offline - The internet is awesome for researching and getting your info together. Once you've done this, it's best to turn off the distraction and get to thinking creatively!
1) Be prepared to leave your Desk - In a drawer or somewhere nearby, have a kit ready to go for when it is time to leave your desk. Spending all of your time in the one space can restrict your thinking. Sometimes, a trip to the cafe or a library can really help re-invigorate your thoughts and ideas. We respond creatively to our environments, so finding a new environment when you've hit a block will translate into seeing things in a new way and helping un-block your creativity, leading to new insights.
2) Reflect on Past projects - A lot of creative professionals keep paper records of successful projects, to-do lists and brainstorms. Sometimes, if you're struggling to get going, you can kick start your thinking by reflecting on past successes. Label A File 'Winners' and look back on it to remind yourself of action steps, ideas and processes which helped with similar problems. The first step is often the hardest so don't be afraid to get some help!
3) Get Started! - If you've got a project, get started straight away. That golden moment where you have a full day to devote to a project may never come but if you get started straight away, even just writing down key words or doing quick sketches in half an hour, your brain will go to work on it in the background, fleshing out ideas subconsciously and making associations without you realising. Taking small steps all adds up...great solutions never come out of nowhere, you need to plant the seed and let your brain bring it to life!
4) Make your Space Adaptable - Our brains are very associative. We link certain sounds to certain emotions and certain environments to certain tasks. Think about your day. If you normally do 3 or 4 types of work everyday, try to create micro-environments which are task specific. When its time to answer email, move your stationery into a Magazine File until you are done. When it's time to brainstorm, close your laptop and move a plant onto your desk. If you do this every time, your brain will catch on that this particular environment is where you think best, or power through check lists best etc...subtle changes can make all the difference.
5) Keep it Neat - As mentioned, the working part of your desk is for working, not filing. Keep your space clear, clean and organised and don't let messy papers upset your thought process. Try to keep hardware like printers off your desk but still nearby.