I won’t lie, we at FDM can be easily distracted at times. If it’s not our emails redirecting our attention it’s phone calls or our office dog/resident cutie Henry looking all kinds of sad beneath our feet just begging for attention. With so many external factors, keeping a distraction-free workspace is key. Or else, we really would get nothing done. Once we officially set up our office space (first I set up my home office, and soon after Crista got to work on the FDM HQ), creating an inspiring space that’s beautiful yet conducive to getting shit done, was in order. Here are our tips for achieving that delicate balance, alongside a little desk tour of my space (no cute pup at the moment, but perhaps next time we talk workspace?). Here’s to productivivity!
Tip 1: Start a Collection
Okay, you’ve set up your space and chosen a vibe (if not, think keywords like modern, crafty, bohemian, etc.) but you can’t expect all those décor pieces and fancy office supplies to materialize overnight. Allow yourself a little time to collect things you need to curate a beautiful space before carving out an entire weekend to decorate. If you don’t, you’ll end up with an unfinished space that’s awaiting all the missing pieces. It’s tempting to go for it all at once, but I suggest starting a box and adding your curated décor when you come across it, like the perfect vase, coasters, wall art, you name it. It’s exactly what curation is all about.
Tip 2: Keep it Minimal
The key to a productive workspace is having minimal distractions. Everyone works differently, so it may actually take some thinking on what really kills your productivity. For me, clutter kills productivity for the sole reason that if there’s a task I’m not exactly keen on, I will start a cleaning party before continuing work. Eliminating the problem in the first place is a way to keep my procrastinator’s mentality at bay. I also like to put away any notebook I’m not using. Whenever I have extra notebooks out, I create more problems. Now, I could be slightly insane, but I really do think that for us over planners, having empty pages right in front of us is just asking for it. One of my favorite things to do when I don’t want to be productive is to plan. Therefore, keeping it minimal is a must. Find your triggers and eliminate them.
Tip 3: Arrange and Rearrange
Decorating interiors really is an art. And like beauty and fashion, the best people make it look effortless, so the rest of us get in way over our heads when we finally give it a go. For the first three months of having my office, I had things set up a certain way, but because I didn’t quite follow through on #1 (bought a few things, then assumed the rest would materialize from thin air), it always felt unfinished. Though it’s not 100% complete just yet, I found that rearranging storage and décor was key. It doesn’t have to be the big stuff; simply rethinking everything from your magazine stash to picture frames can produce drastically different vibes each time. Like a good styled photo, you have to keep going until you find what works.
Tip 4: Allow for a Morning Ritual
Artists often tout the benefits of rituals. The writer getting up early, brewing a pot of coffee, and lighting a candle before each session, maybe even reading a passage from her favorite book. The scientific benefits of such a routine are iffy at best, but here’s how I translate this idea to a productive workspace: In the digital age, we’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions. Instead of checking email (and let’s be honest, texts and Instagram at the same time) the second you roll out of bed (which, of course, is already the second time you’ve checked them, the first being while IN bed) right when you enter the space, choose one thing to do to kick off your day. I usually handwrite my to-do list. And yeah, nice smelling candles and coffee are generally involved. (And occasionally, nail polish. When else do you have time to let your nails dry completely?) That means that my candles and planner are all I want on my desk when I walk into the space in the morning. Find out what you do, or want to do, first thing in the AM to kick off a productive day, and set yourself up that way at the end of the day before, every time.
What are the ideal conditions for productivity in your mind? We’d like to know!