This article is by Sahar Jamfar from the Carrot Magazine team. Check out more of their refreshing content here!
For a lot of us, it has been a year of working from home and motivation levels can be up and down. We round up the best ways to personalise your desk and turn it into a positive working environment.
1. Desk chair
A lot of student accommodations and furnished rooms include desk chairs, but they aren’t always the most comfortable. Given that you will be sitting and studying for hours on this chair every day, support and comfort are key. Finding a chair that suits you will do wonders for your back and posture. Check out Manomano or Argos.
This can be a great way to add colour to your work space and make it more personalised. It can be a painting, an edited photo, tapestry or a sculpture. A lot of people have turned to arts and crafts during the pandemic as a way to unwind, and some people have added their products to Etsy for people to purchase. Not only will you be supporting independent businesses, but you will also have something that will bring you joy. Picture hanging strips allow you to hang things on your wall without it leaving a mark, so your landlord never has to know.
Houseplants have been proven to reduce fatigue, lower stress and anxiety, and improve focus. So not only do they freshen up your desk, they have health benefits as well. A lot of plants are low maintenance and easy to care for, such as aloe vera, peace lilies and jade plants. The added bonus with aloe vera is that you can use the gel and juice inside for skincare. Check out Hortology or your local garden centre.
4. Something scented
I have become very dependent on my scented candles. They mask the smell of my cooking but they also uplift my mood, which is something I have needed more since working from home. The best scents to increase productivity are lavender, lemon, jasmine, rosemary, peppermint and citrus. However, I am also aware that scented candles can cause headaches if they are too strong, which is why soy candles are becoming more popular. They burn cleaner and produce far less soot than regular candles. Alternatively, reed diffusers are less intense and provide a more subtle aroma.
5. Extra lighting
Having a desk lamp or fairy lights around your desk are a great way to add focus and also add character to your working space. They are versatile, adjustable and decorative. Check out Wayfair or Etsy.
At a time when we cannot see our loved ones as regularly, printed photos on your desk are a great way to keep you motivated. Photos with friends, family, pets or partners can act as a reminder of what to look forward to when restrictions are lifted and also what life was like before the pandemic!
It’s important to keep a neat and organised work space for maximum productivity. Pen pots, mats, notepads and post-its are a great way to personalise your desk and keep things in order. There is also something nostalgic about buying new stationery, like the start of the new school year.
Having my to-do list, motivational quotes and reminders on my noticeboard above my desk has made me feel so much more organised. For example, if there is a project you are working on or a goal you are working towards, noticeboards can be used to visualise your tasks and keep you motivated.
9. Stress ball
Staying focused and not getting distracted are the hardest parts of working from home. You are no longer in an environment around other people where you can encourage one another to concentrate, so staying disciplined by yourself is really challenging. A bad habit of mine is going on my phone every five minutes, and I have found stress balls really useful. Every time I get the urge to refresh Twitter or Instagram, I pick up my stress ball instead and it has made me more productive.
10. Cups & mugs
Sometimes when I am in the zone, I realise hours have gone by and I haven’t had any food or water. Having a large water bottle on my desk reminds me to drink plenty of water, and filling it up when it is empty is a good opportunity for me to stretch my legs. Etsy have personalised mugs and cups, which are a great way to get you in work mode. Also check out Chilly’s Bottles and Oliver Bonas.