Making Your Desk Productive: Where the Magic Happens
Summer is over. What a jolly way to start a blog piece, you might think. But let's face it. By now, most of us are back from their holibobs and are ready to face whatever challenges the new season has in store, whether it's going back to work or starting a new job, or maybe a new year at school or uni. However we put it, September is as much a month of new beginnings as is January and that is because summer is when we take some time off, recharge the batteries, reboot the system and we're good to go.
I still remember the first day at school after the summer break. There was always this kind of magic in the air, between giggles and chatter about our summertime adventures. I think this is what September is all about. It's this bittersweet feeling of looking back on your fun holiday time but also looking forward with excitement to what comes next.
This year, I have set out to leave the bitter aside and move on with a sense of sweet acceptance and the resolution to embrace my full potential. To do so, we just need to realise that even when our summer trips are done and dusted, there are still a lot of ways to treasure what we've experienced and let it brighten up our daily routine...
...starting from our desk. That's right. For most of us, students, writers and office dwellers, the desk is almost like a sanctuary, the place where we spend – whether we want it or not – a big part of our precious time. So we want it to be a productive workspace but we also don't want to miss the fun that the spirit of summer still reminds us of. Here are a few tips to put all of this into action.
First things first. We always hear everybody around us talking about productivity and being busy and as much as we don't want that mantra to turn us into machines, it's true that our work should be fruitful and rewarding. Having a tidy workspace (in this case, our desk) can help us 'visualise' our ideas better, boosting our concentration. Simply make sure that everything you need when you're at your desk is visible and easy to find. You don't want piles of clutter covering up some essential notes or important tools, such as pens or headphones. Remember (and this also a note to self, believe me), for example, that your desk is not a wardrobe because thankfully the modern age has given us other pieces of furniture as well to store our clothes in. The use of desk tidies is highly recommended if you want to be able to just grab anything you need when you need it.
Have your own zen corner
In recent years, especially when life gets extremely hectic, many of us have found some comfort in Zen philosophy, which prompts us to clear up our mind by embracing the chaos in it, explore our emotions and deep thoughts and develop loving kindness towards ourselves. There are a number of ways to reflect this on our workspace.
For example, taking care of something - anything (but preferably another living creature) - can be a way to nurture ourselves as well. So how about having a small plant on our desk? It could just be something very small, but it gives a real personal touch not to mention that plants can positively affect our mood. Succulents and cacti, in particular, improve our breathing by releasing significant amounts of oxygen throughout day and night. And what do they really ask you in return? Almost nothing. They're really easy-to-care, low-maintenance kinds of plants, which means you don't need to have a green thumb to look after them. With all the benefits you can get, this is really a no brainer!
You can find the cutest example of a desk planter in our Shop, created and crafted by Ovo Bloom. With two different options available to you, it's just the perfect combination of nature, art and peace for the mind.
If you really want to go the extra mile with the whole Buddhist notion of peacefulness and meditation, you can always add a mini zen garden to your desk. If you enjoy the process of making and creating, you could even DIY it in a few easy steps. Just take any container you may think of, such as, for example, an old lunch box or shoe box (make sure, in this case, that it's completely sealed at the bottom) and fill it with sand or gravel. If you haven't recently been to any beach resort (and even you had, why would you take some sand back with you?!) you can easily find some good quality sand or gravel at a craft store or floral store, even online. Then just simply add stones and pebbles of different sizes and use a stick or anything similar (a small plastic fork, even better) to replicate the all-important rack, which is the basic tool in a zen garden. Add a few mini plants for effect, if you like, depending on the size of your box. Remember: stones represent mountains or rocks and the sand a body of water. Use your mini rack to draw patterns across the water and around the rocks as light-heartedly as possible, and don't forget to breathe and unwind.
A bit of magic
When we get back to our daily routine, it's healthy to have little reminders of that magic that our summer adventures are made of. To kick start, have a look at this fab Vintage Styling Kit from our Shop. It comes with a string of fairy lights as well...what could be more magical than this?
We've been talking about the desk, but what about the space above it, that is to say, that wall we sometimes find ourselves staring at absent-mindedly? We might as well make it as pretty as we possibly can. Pick your favourite photos or postcards capturing the highlights of your summer and just place them up there. Don't worry if you're in a rented student accommodation and you're not allowed to use nails (we've all been there). Simply use some washi tape, which you can then easily remove with no fuss.
Finally, if you fancy something a bit cheekier hanging on your walls, our Shop can provide you with truly inspiring prints, such as this Prosecco print from QuaintlyKate or the Gin O'Clock print from LoveLi. They can be useful motivational boosters and they remind us that even when we go back to work, we can still keep a bit of irreverence and light-heartedness. In the end, that's what summer is all about!