8 Tips for Creating the Master Home Lair for Your Private Writing Space
Whether you’ve been eyeing that room at the end of the hall that’s been collecting junk for years or have decided to leave a traditional office atmosphere, creating your master home lair for your private writing space shouldn’t be a chore. Embracing the space within your own humble abode is sure to get those creative juices flowing. Here are eight strategic tips to give you a leg up when putting together the perfect at-home writing space.
- Even though your old Human Resources Manager probably mentioned a thing about this from time to time, let’s face it — your corporate digs were probably not the best for your well-being. It’s important to keep your mind and body in check when working, and there are some easy steps to take to make that happen. Start with the chair as a first priority. You’re going to want to find something comfortable enough to keep you happy, but not so cozy it rocks you to sleep. You can even try rotating between an office chair and a giant exercise ball, or take the Hemingway approach and work standing up. Moving around throughout the day will keep you feeling good and your mind fresh. Your monitors should be at the appropriate height, eye-level or lower, and your feet should be comfortably resting on the floor or a footrest. Oh, and feel free to ditch the shoes! Co-occupants be damned!
- The office might have been doing something right by having all those wires and cables so nicely bundled. It never seems to work out that way at home, right? Rather than dealing with that rat’s nest every morning, try setting up your own system of cable management. Figure out what you need, where it should go, and give yourself the appropriate lengths so that you don’t have cables that are too short or too long restricting your desk layout. Traveling for work can be a real challenge, so have an extra set of travel cables nicely bundled and ready to go right in your work bag for trips. That will keep you from having to unplug everything, undoing all of your hard work!
- Having cast aside the fluorescents, as you move forward, embrace natural lighting. Open the curtains in your office and let the sunlight flow. As evening sets in, use lamps with a gentle amber glow to warm your space and ease you out of the work day.
- More than just natural light, try bringing in some nature! You don’t have to be a fan of plants or a master gardener (Full disclosure: My mom is a master gardner in Michigan and LOVES helping people add greenery to their home and workspace) to appreciate a little greenery. Pick up a plant that you enjoy and that will add life to your personal lair. Or, if you’re worried about keeping it alive, go for a classy fake plant that will add a splash of color without the responsibility.
- When it comes to decorations, you are the master of this domain. It’s your time to choose what makes you feel happy and what reminds you of success. If that’s your fishing trophy from last year’s big tournament, by all means! If it’s a picture of your daughter winning the spelling bee, great! Change your pictures and posters from time to time to keep things fresh and you’ll see what a positive impact it has on your productivity. Oh, and let the dog in from time to time too. Pets have been proven to lower our stress levels. Give it a try!
- Why have a master lair if you’re just pounding away at a keyboard, sitting at your desk from morning til evening? If you have the luxury of a whole room for your home office, use it. Create a comfortable area away from your desk where you can meet with clients or contacts, or just kick back for 20 minutes of reflection between tasks. Changing your scenery and putting your mind and body at ease for a moment will recharge your creative battery.
- Speaking of meeting clients and contacts, keeping a little fridge and even a coffee maker on hand is useful in the event somebody come by to see you. Being able to serve yourselves refreshments from the comfort of your workspace keeps you from losing time running back and forth to the kitchen, dodging kids and general family chaos. From the peace and comfort of your private space, you can talk business and enjoy a latte. Mmm, that’s good!
- Anybody that’s ever worked in a shared office space knows the annoyance that is “other people’s music”. From Wanda who listened to “My Heart Will Go On” on repeat, to the interns playing inescapable pop tunes, other people listening to music is plain and simply the worst, unless they happen to be your best friend and have the exact same musical taste as you. The beauty of your lair though is that it’s yours, so let your music play! As with anything, it shouldn’t be a distraction, but as long as it puts you in the right mindset to be productive, play on!
Once again though, the beauty of having an at-home writing space all for yourself is just that: it’s yours. You’re the boss, and you make the rules. If you feel like it’s getting cluttered, clear it out. If you feel like it’s too dark, choose a new lamp to brighten things up. You have the power to make the decisions now, and see what works most successfully with your professional needs. As a final thought, keep in mind that an at-home lair won’t come together overnight. Take the time to choose each piece and build up your space in a way that makes you feel productive and on top of your game.
— Marquina (@Marquina) March 31, 2016