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I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone in lock down right now that working from home was a bit of a shock to the system, as a lot of us spend majority of our time in an office and out of the house. Although I’m sure we all love our homes and enjoy making it look nice and homely, it certainly wasn’t always a priority in our busy lives. It’s so easy to put off painting that wall, or fixing that bit of fence or moving the furniture around to make best use of the room. However now we’re stuck indoors all day, those DIY tasks are surrounding us and taunting of us on the daily, reminding us that we should finally give our homes some lovin’.
If you’re like me, then having a tidy, homely and nice to look at (aka stare at mindlessly) environment really helps my mental health, nothing gets me anxious like an untidy and chaotic space. I find it really distracting and I can’t concerntrate when things are everywhere or dirty coffee mugs dotted around. I think this has been amplified to my immediate surroundings now that I’m working from home and need more than ever to be able to concerntrate on the task at hand, so improving my work space during lock down was a high priority to me. I can assure you the novelty of working sitting in a blanket on the sofa in my pajama’s has well and truely worn off.
Have a dedicated work space.
I know it sounds so simple and obvious but I can’t stress how important this is to have a dedicated zone that you can get into the ‘work’ mind space. Working from the sofa sounded great but after a week it hurt my back, work and down-time all blended into one, specially as I sit in the same seat in the evenings when im chilling out. Lets give a mention to the will power it takes to not just sit and aimlessly watch tv whilst it’s right infront of you. So we decided to turn the dining table into my office space, so I can spread out with my notebooks, my laptop and get my office chair from work shipped home to me. We re-arranged the dining room so that I can have my ‘desk’ at the end of the room where the french doors to the garden are so I can look out at the greenery and open them when it’s sunny and hear the birds. It’s made a huge difference to my mental health being able to see outside and not look at a wall all day. The windows are one thing we’re really looking to invest in when everything is returning to normal after lock-down, as we never noticed that our windows whistle quite a lot in the wind and seem to lose quite a lot of heat so it’s always quite cold downstairs…(which sucks as a female working downstairs ha!). So we’ll be checking out some window special offers as soon as things are a bit more normal and improve the quality of our surroundings.
Personalise your desk/work area.
One thing I’ve also tried to do is surround myself with cool things I love. I normally have lots of fun figures and toys on my desk at work, so i’ve tried to do that at home too. I like having fun things to look at. I think it makes it feel much more like my space and not just a laptop on a dining room table… All those hobbies you’ve now taken to? It’s the perfect time to display them around the house or print out photo’s of your loved ones to surround yourself with. Win-win right?
A calm/clean zone.
I’m currently living with my boyfriend during this lock down situation and i’m sure it’s a common thing right now, but it wasn’t exactly a plan we had happening this soon. His house is what I would call pure chaos. He’s a car nut with parts and tools and everything everywhere and sometimes I find it quite stressful being surrounded by his messy-ness. But we decided to dedicate a space in the dining room/office that’s mine where I can make it pretty and neat and homely. I know it probably sounds bonkers but honestly, having a nice area thats ‘mine’ to put art up, have plants and little photo frames on display is so lovely. Need to get away from your desk? Go to said space, zone out looking at pretty things or blast music out of your phone and dance around in it. Our house plant is called Betty and she lives in this neutral space, so it gives me a reason to check in, water her and look at cute photos at the same time.
Invest in a decent pair of headphones…
Work provide mine for me but if they don’t for you, get yourself a decent pair that can block out random noises. It’s not cool being on a call when your neighbour decides today is the day they start dismantling the shed or mowing the lawn or building a stupid extension. It’s also good to have a decent set so when you need to zone out and listen to music or get invested in that new true crime podcast, you can without unneeded audio distractions.
How are you managing your workspace?
Are you finding it hard to focus at home during lock down? What things are you doing to help your working from home environment? Have you tried any of the above suggestions? Or have others you’d like to suggest as I’m always open to more suggestions!
I hope you’re all doing well and keeping safe.
If you’re looking for things to do during lock down here are 5 book + 5 podcast recommendations.