What do you love most about a good workspace? For many creative entrepreneurs, it’s natural light, a clutter-free feel, a lack of distractions, and cozy, comfy vibes. These all work together to create an inspirational space that allows us to work productively on our businesses.
Whether you have an entire office at your disposal or a tiny corner in your living room, today I’m sharing 10 simple steps for creating an enjoyable workspace—no matter your setup.
If you want your work zone to feel like a productive retreat you get to return to each day, let this blog post be your guide.
1 // Find an ideal space for working efficiently.
Where are some possible places you can use as a workspace? An actual office? A corner desk in your home? Living room coffee table? Couch? Bean bag chair? Attic workbench?
This place should make sense for the type of work you’ll be doing.
Take a look around your house if you’re struggling to find a place to get things done. Consider moving furniture around to create a new area or to see your space differently. Just make sure it’s a place that will encourage you to work (instead of accidentally doze or glance at the TV).
2 // Ditch the clutter and distractions.
To get things done, you need an office space that is free of clutter and distractions.
Assess your work area, and determine what you can remove. A messy pile of papers? A dusty stack of books? A tangle of charging cords, pencils, and paper clips? Consider getting rid of everything you won’t be using while working on your business.
Hint: It’s often helpful to first take everything away from the space so you can start with a blank slate before rebuilding your work area.
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3 // Keep supplies and necessities at arm’s reach.
Think about the essentials your productive space needs.
Will you have a planner to refer to each day? Will you need scissors, tape, or highlighters? What about coffee to keep you going?
The tools you need to work on your business should be kept nearby your workspace for easy access. These necessities vary greatly from business to business, so list out your specific needs and supplies.
I have a few notebooks, my daily schedules, and my editorial calendar on my wall by my desk since I refer to them throughout the day. I also keep a glass of water to stay hydrated and alert.
There’s nothing more interrupting than having to get up every few minutes to grab another tool (or even a cup of coffee) before you can continue working. So a little forethought now can save you lots of time in the long run.
4 // Make your space organized and intentional. And determine good habits to keep it that way.
As you set up your office area, try to keep it intentional and organized. The more focused your work zone is, the more focused you will be, too.
How can you keep your space clean so it’s always ready for you to be productive? What time of day will you likely spend the majority of your time working? Will you need additional lighting? Will you need an outlet nearby? How will you store your supplies and tools? Will you clean up at the end of each day? Or will you leave tools out for the duration of a project?
Come up with clever ways to store these items and keep your workspace tidy.
5 // Leave “thinking-space” and room to breath.
It’s important to leave “thinking-space” in your work area. As you continue to build your productive zone, be careful not to overdo it.
Similar to the importance of whitespace on a website and in design, thinking-space provides room to breath and prevents an area from becoming overly filled with items. You’ve already taken care of getting rid of unnecessary clutter, so make sure it doesn’t become too busy again—even with things you love and find inspiring (like your notebook collection or your gel pen stash).
Instead, keep your space simple, and consider showcasing just a few of your favorite items. Another option is to rotate objects seasonally or each month. This also keeps your space feeling refreshed and new, which is another simple way to maintain that inspiring feel.
6 // Add motivators and reminders to encourage productive habits.
A great way to remind yourself that your new space is dedicated to getting things done is to include little reminders in your work area.
These can be in the form of quotes jotted on sticky notes, artwork that reminds you of your “why,” or a photo of your favorite fancy coffee that you’re allowed to treat yourself to at the end of a productive week.
These motivators help you stay focused on what’s most important and encourage you to work hard and effectively in your office space.
7 // Make your space comfortable and inviting.
You will likely spend many hours in your work area, so it’s important to make it as inviting and comfortable as possible.
The ways you make your space more inviting depend on your business and what your tasks include. What does a typical day look like for running your business? Do you work on a laptop? Do you stand at an easel? Do you sit at a table?
Think about what most of your time goes into, and determine how you can make that work process more comfortable and productive. An inviting space is much easier to return to each day. Choose a chair that you can settle into, add pillows for your back, and get an ottoman to prop up your feet. Use a desk that’s an ideal height if you work standing up.
It’s also a good idea to solve potential problems that might make you dread working in your space. For example, keep a hat nearby to shield your eyes from bright light bulbs if you find them irritating. Or keep a sweater close at hand if you tend to get chilly while you work.
8 // Take advantage of natural sunlight or get good lighting.
If possible, take advantage of natural light if you work near a window. Open the curtains or position your desk to get sunlight flowing into your workspace. There’s something extra inspiring about work places with lots of bright, natural light. And vitamin D is always a plus.
If your space is dark, or if you work in the evening, get good lights. There’s nothing more claustrophobic than not being able to see properly. If you do a lot of close work, such as beading and jewelry-making, desk lamps can also be a big help.
9 // Add decor to create your desired feel.
Likely the most exciting step in creating your business’s workspace is to add elements that bring it to the next level.
This is my favorite part of the process because it’s a bit like designing a brand and website for a creative company.
Think about the overall feel you want to create, and incorporate items that bring that to life. For example, I love a workspace that has a cozy vibe, so I always try to include pillows, a throw, a rug, and natural textures like baskets to soften the look.
You can also include artwork to add color and dimension. A few more decor ideas for creating your desired mood include candles, a coffee tray, an essential oil diffuser, or even background music (if it doesn’t distract you!).
10 // Bonus points for styling your space to match your brand.
If you plan on taking branded photos in your new office area, it’s helpful if the decor reflects your business’s brand in some way.
My home decor happens to have a similar style and colors to Ponder Trail’s branding, which makes my workspace a go-to place for photoshoots for my website photos. A correlating space also makes it easy to snap photos for Instagram without having to stage a branded setup.
It isn’t always possible for your work area to match your business, but you can add in some brand elements with just a few tricks:
Add one or two items that match your brand’s color scheme.
Choose a few pieces that make sense with your brand. These can even be your products.
Wear an outfit that correlates well with your brand design.
Having a dedicated area to get things done is one of the best ways to stay productive as a creative entrepreneur. An inspiring workspace makes the less glamorous business tasks more enjoyable. And utilizing a work zone or “office” can help you feel the part.
Have you created a workspace for running your business? What elements did you include? Is there anything else you’d like to do to make your productive area even better?
I would love to know in the comments below!