For years, my primary workspace was a desk in an office. For a few brief, shining months, I even had my own office with a door!
At all of these jobs, I had quite a bit of time to twiddle my thumbs and work on my own projects. It should have been perfect: I was away from distractions such as laundry and dirty dishes. I was in a quiet, comfortable environment with every necessary tool at my fingertips that I could possibly want to crank out content. I had the time and the space and the “right” environment to write books, blog, plan, work.
Except I didn’t. Invariably, I got nothing done. That is unless you count spending hours scrolling my Facebook news feed and looking up interesting recipes as “getting things done.”
Nearly all the time I could ask for, the perfect space, the release from distractions – all that couldn’t drown out the relentless chatter that my own bored mind kept up. On top of that, the sometimes overwhelming sense of ennui and disconnect I felt with the work I was supposed to be doing in those particular workplaces crushed any creative spark.
The workspace I occupied was perfect. The headspace I occupied was totally, totally wrong.
Now, my workspace wanders around. At this very moment, it has a string of TARDIS lights hanging from the window and a massive pile of unfolded laundry in the corner. The laundry is driving me nuts, but it would drive me nuts from that lovely office that had a door as well. Sometimes I need to kick my husband and son out when I need to record videos or see a client on short notice (or I need to vamoose myself). Sometimes I get lonely. When that happens I move my workspace somewhere else, somewhere where there are other people to watch and smile at and say hello to.
It’s pretty chaotic. It also fires up my brain and frees it up to do the hard work. The workspace needs to nurture the headspace. It needs to foster the sort of mental state you must sustain to do the work.
You might need that nice office away from your home in order to do your work. You might be like me and need a bit of chaos. It’s important that you figure out what kind of physical space supports your mental processes. And if you decide that you “need” something you cannot possibly get right now, like an island in Fiji, than you must get creative and figure out how to find that feeling in the spaces you do have access to. Paint a room turquoise and fill it with plants, or grab your laptop and head to a greenhouse for a few hours.
Explore your spaces. See where you are most productive, then go there to do the hard work.