A few weeks ago I was desperately searching for some inspiration for things to do to keep me sane whilst we’re all locked in our houses. I found a box full of matchsticks with ideas on them that I’d bought from an independent store in London last year and that is where this post and the accompanying video came to be….
This post was inspired by one of my idea matchsticks that read:
“recreate your most conductive creative setting and see what happens”
My original idea was that I was going to do just that and vlog me (hopefully) getting some stuff done, but somewhere along the way it evolved into more than that. I vlogged the whole day and showed how I set up my space differently depending on the time of day, among other things, which is when I decided to turn my little experiment into a list of advice on how to use your surroundings to fuel your day.
If you want to watch the vlog and see how much I managed to get done (it was quite a lot!) and see how I set up my space, then you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/RDP8lXySBI8
For those of you who just want a concise list of all my advice on this topic, please read on…
How to use your environment to motivate you to get stuff done:
Have a dedicated space for certain kinds of work
This is a commonly stated tip, but trust me it works. It will take a few weeks to get into the routine, but eventually once you start doing the same tasks in the same place in your room/house your brain will create an easier pathway because it knows you do that thing at this time in this location. It makes doing things in a routine so much easier.
For example, I always edit my videos over at my desk on my PC, but I right blog posts on my laptop either on my bed or at Starbucks. After almost a year of doing this, I’ve gotten used to the routine and know that when I open my blog on my laptop that it’s time to write. It doesn’t mean I’l always feel invigorated to do so, but created easier pathways in your brain takes away some of the friction between getting up and actually doing the thing.
Mood Lighting is essential
I like to light my room based on what time of day it is and what I’m doing that day. In the evenings I’ll close the curtains and have only my fairylights and salt lamps on to create a very moody, quiet atmosphere that I find is most conductive to writing, but in the mornings I’ll turn on some of my brighter white lights as well as my main fairylights to put me in work mode whilst also easing myself into the day slowly.
I find that sunlight helps tenfold with productivity whilst the dark, moody evening lighting is most conductive to creativity for me. This will be different for everyone, so experiment and see what works for you.
Surround yourself with things that inspire/motivate you
I’m just going to take a shot in the dark here and say that if your living and working in a messy environment that doesn’t fit your taste or vibe, then you probably don’t feel motivated to work in it. For years I was still living in my kids bedroom, which aside from being tiny was also very pink and was not so conductive to creativity or productivity. Thankfully I’ll never have to see that pink broom closet again, but some of you might be in similar situations.
Now that I have a bigger room that my 6 year old self didn’t decorate, I prefer I cleaner, minimal look. I still have a fair few things because I’m a bit of a collector, but I try and keep that stuff away from my desk. I keep my desk clean and display my camera collection and a few of my favourite trinkets on the shelves to inspire me. I also have a fair few things stuck on the wall. Sticking things on the wall is one of the ways I used to get around my lurid pink walls. I plastered every surface with drawings, posters and pictures than inspired me, which covered the pink pretty well, but unfortunately made my very small room even smaller. A solution I’ve found to that is that sticking lots of things on your wall, but spacing them out can create the same effect, but without making the room too claustrophobic. Make a sort of ever changing gallery wall of things that inspire you – sort of like a pinterest board, but on your wall.
Keeping your space clean and full of the things that inspire you is what I’ve found to be best for me, but we all have our own personal tastes and you might not agree with my rather stereotypical minimal approach to interior decorating. Just pick out the things you love and work from there.
Put together a bomb outfit
This one might sound a little cliche, but trust me if any one of these tips is going to work, it’s going to be this one and this is far quicker and will give you some instant gratification where as the others take some time.
I don’t know about anyone else, but dressing up like I’m living my dream life always inspires me. Without fail. Also putting on some bright lipstick is a sure way to make you feel like a badass. I don’t know what it is about applying lipstick, but it makes you feel unstoppable, so go and get dressed up and see how much more you get done and remember that you don’t need to go anywhere to get dressed up.
Change things up
Even once you’ve found a solid routine, an inspiring space, a bomb outfit to make you feel like a boss and got the lighting just right, things can still end up feeling stale. That’s normal and isn’t a personal failure. If and when it happens just trying changing things up a little. Tidy up, reorganise your shelves, change your desktop background – the little things. 9 times out of 10 these little things help me feel motivated again because the stale feeling we all get from time to time stems from not being content with where we are. Trust me I know because I can’t wait to leave home and get my own place, but I realised years ago that getting my own place wouldn’t fix everything if I didn’t build up the routines and skills first.
If all else fails and you really are feeling in need of a complete re invigoration, then try completely changing around your room, repaint, dye your hair, change your style or run away on holiday if you can afford to.
And there you have it! Those are my 5 tips/things that I do in order to use my environment to keep me motivated and get my creative juices flowing. I hope this helped someone and I expect your all off to go and reorganise your spaces, so I won’t keep you any longer!
Do you have any times for using your space to motivate you? Let me know, so we can all share in your wisdom!
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out