We find ourselves in unprecedented times. Due to the nationwide lockdown we’re all in the position of having to work from home. And although in normal circumstances a home office is held up to Utopian ideals, the reality might be different for you. The location where we do our work can be a place of calm and creativity.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money or time to create a relaxing and productive sanctuary for your home office. We’ve compiled six tips for you to try. And by trying one or even all of them, you can transform your home office into a more tranquil environment that can help you be productive and calm everyday.
Get creative and see what you can find around your home that will add to the feel you’re trying to achieve.
1. Quotes that inspire
Don’t just ‘like’ quotes on Facebook or Instagram. Go ahead and print them out to keep close at hand. Place them around your personal spaces so they can speak to you anytime you need a little boost. You can pin them to a board with photos, tape them to your computer, or put them in cute frames on your desk.
Here are some quote inspiration accounts to follow:
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This series took 4 days, and it used to only take an hour or two to make a series. As I look at my list of things to do in the day, I often feel like I used to have more time and energy, and that I’m moving too slowly. I’m not as young or as quick as I used to be. And as someone who puts a high value on time and efficiency, I find myself asking this often, especially as I make things: Is the end result even going to be good enough? I learn a lot from slowness and thoroughness and this is also true: I fear running out of time. The mountain I am climbing today is a high one that requires slowness to travel. I am realizing how easy it is to shame myself when I can’t get things done as fast as I used to. I compare myself to who I was 10 years ago saying, “remember when you used to get up earlier and stay up later? Remember when you wrote all of the papers in grad school before you dropped out?” Making art has become a tangible reminder for me that I am so much more than my inner thoughts. Even though my mind tells me, “you’re not working hard enough, you’re not doing enough,” I have these paintings before me that force me to ask the question: What if this took longer than expected and it’s not yet perfect and it’s still beautiful, meaningful, enough? And what if grace is more than enough to hold me and all of my anxious thoughts today, even if everything doesn’t go my way? These are hard questions, that often lead to those easier-said-than-done kind of answers, but I am learning, in real time, what it means to slow down. I am learning in real time that there will always be work to do, and more than I focus on reaching all of these daily and weekly goals I put on myself, I must focus on being present, staying curious, letting grace be the rhythm I sync myself to. This world can be a rushed, anxious place so it is here, I must remember (what often feels like an overused word) the grace. Unmerited favor reminding me: “You are not too far behind. You will be fine. And it’s okay if it takes time for this mountain to be climbed.” – Morgan
2. Add in some greenery
Plants are not just aesthetically pleasing, but they add oxygen to the air, and remove carbon dioxide and toxins. That’s exactly the kind of help you need if you’re trying to concentrate amongst all the noise the home.
Go for plants that are easy to maintain. We love spekboom, Pothos plants and air plants would look amazing hanging from a bookshelf. If you don’t have any potted plants on hand, why don’t you go pick yourself a bunch of flowers from your garden? And for when we are out of lockdown, make sure to support local businesses such as Plantify and Cart, who can satisfy all of your plant needs.
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ALSO SEE: Your 15-Minute Home Workout
3. Make your home office smell amazing
Scent is one of our most powerful senses. And with having your whole family together, there might be many different scents competing for space. Try using scented candles, diffused oils, or even potpourri. Find a scent that is appealing to you.
You could even spritz some of your favourite perfume into the air for a boost. A natural perfume that has especially soothing and therapeutic properties is lavender. Place a few drops in your diffuser and you will immediately be transported to a calmer headspace.
You can also try keeping an herbal eye pillow handy. In addition to smelling nice, it can give your eyes and mind a break from staring at your computer screen and phone.
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We also love this lavender scented herbal eye pillow from Faithful To Nature.
4. Comfortable seating
This is your chance to redeem yourself if you’ve ever complained about your seating at work. Use this opportunity to make yourself as comfortable as you need to. Being comfortable is going to help you in keeping calm and you’re likely to be more productive.
Add big cushy pillows to sit on or comfy chairs in colours or patterns that make you smile. You could even sit on a big exercise ball, which would promote better posture. Don’t neglect to get up and move around – get some blood flowing, it will help you stay focused.
5. Lighting is important
Choose to work in an area of your home that has mostly natural light. The kind of lighting in your work space is important for two reasons. You want to create a light and productive ambience and you actually want to be able to see what you’re working on. This is critical so that you’re not straining your eyes. When the sun moves, and you’re cast into the shadows make sure you have good overhead lighting or a lamp on your desk, nothing too cool lest you risk the onset of a headache.
SEE ALSO: Your Well-Being: The Secrets Of Calm
6. Put on a playlist
Just as a certain tune can put you in a better mood, certain music can also have you feeling calmer and sustain productivity too.
A Canadian study found that listening to music resulted in improved moods, productivity and work quality. It also boosted creative problem-solving abilities. One participant explained that the music helped with relaxation and getting around mental blocks. Also, the more co-workers listened to music, the greater effect it seemed to have.
Here are some playlists to try out:
By Features Writer, Andrea Cresswell