If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m a big fan of improving productivity and efficiency. After all, that’s exactly what branding does when you finally have all the core visual pieces that will allow your business to really grow. You stop wasting time tweaking all the things and start spending more time and energy where it’s needed most — attracting and serving your clients.
Of course, in addition to branding, there are lots of other ways to improve our productivity, one of which is near and dear to my heart. Throughout our marriage, my husband and I have renovated and built numerous houses, not as a profession but as a “hobby”. When designing our homes, of course we love pulling together the style, finishes, and fixtures (in addition to my Graphic Design degree, I have a concentration in Interior Design), but the biggest consideration is always about SPACE. It doesn’t matter how beautiful it is if it doesn’t function well. If you’ve followed the latest trends but don’t have enough seating at the table, room at the stove for your sous chef, or space inside the front door to remove coats and shoes, you won’t be happy in that house for very long.
The same goes for your workspace, whether you have a whole room to yourself or a small desk tucked into a corner. If your space is cluttered and dysfunctional, you’re not working at your optimum level. Period.
Last month, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jennifer Vaaler of The Simplified Office. She has a new blog series that shows you how having an organized home office can help you be more productive in your business. You can read the full article here (and have a snoop through my studio!), but here are a few highlights of how you can be more productive in your workspace.
1 | Purge. Purge. Purge!
Stop the Pinterest scrolling, and start here. Be ruthless in going through all your stuff and only keep what's necessary. If some things can be stored elsewhere, then move them. This goes for your surface areas too. Resist the urge to have your desk covered with trinkets and papers. Keep the space as clear as possible so you can focus on the task at hand.
2 | Start with what you have.
Don't run out and buy more stuff, whether that’s storage containers, pens, or furniture. First, scour your house for items that can be repurposed, big or small. Every piece of furniture in my studio is one we already owned, except for the $15 glass desk (a.k.a. dining table) I bought second-hand. Originally I wanted a new rolling drawer unit; instead I added small drawers to the existing bookshelf to give me all the storage I need. So rather than spending money on a bulky piece of furniture, I could tweak what I already had and keep my studio more spacious. Win-win!
3 | Infuse it with your personality.
Whether you have an entire room or the corner of a shared space, don't forget to include something that makes it YOURS. Having a meaningful keepsake, personal photos, or a splash of your favorite color will help you enjoy your space and, in turn, your work!
If you’re looking for additional help on how to make your workspace more efficient and functional, here's a great series of articles by productivity expert, Matt Perman. I implemented many of his recommendations, and they were perfect for helping me think through my actual workflow and design a space that’s both functional and beautiful.