How To Create a Writing Area That Increases Efficiency
Create Your Own Space
Rather than moving my laptop from counter to table to couch, I finally designated a spot in the house that was just for work and writing. I found that not only did that help me be more efficient, it also allowed me to shut work down once I left that space. Then I could be Mom when I needed and Writer when I needed to without meshing both worlds and completely frying my brain. Now, anyone who visits the house knows that if I’m in my “office space,” I’m working.
You may not have a home office, but there is always a creative space that speaks to you. Whether it’s the local McDonald’s where you get free Wi-Fi, a special corner of the kitchen table or a card table on your back patio, designate a spot that is only for work.
Decide What Motivates You
When it comes to the bottom line, money is a big motivator. But what else motivates you to keep pecking away at the keys? Is there something that inspires creativity or motivation for you? For me, it’s an organized desk (when the rest of the house is in chaos), a UV light and a painted blue wall. These things make me WANT to go to work rather than avoid it. I also throw in a Dr. Pepper and a few favorite treats that stay in the office to encourage me to get busy.
Decorate your office/work space/writing area so that you actually like being there. Choose colors that soothe you and a few pictures to brighten up the space. Even the tiniest work area can be an escape if it’s a place you want to be.
Cut Out Distractions
The beauty of the job is that you work from home – the downside of the job is that you work from home. Distractions are plentiful when you aren’t in an actual physical office, and you have to cut those down in order to be truly efficient. When I found myself more interested in SpongeBob and Patrick’s adventures to dry land than the article I was writing, I knew it was time for a change.
Social media, phones and TV will kill your motivation when working. While you can’t cut out the Internet completely, you can give yourself a certain amount of time to browse the web AFTER your work is completed. I’ve jumped in on plenty of heated FB arguments (embarrassingly enough) that wasted hours of my time and left me feeling discouraged. Place your phone on a charger where you won’t see it buzz every five minutes. Any text or phone call you get can wait an hour until your work is done.
It also helps to set rules about your work space – for you and others. For example, if my office door is shut, my kids know they have to knock before they come in, and they aren’t likely to get my full attention until I’m done. If I’m in my office and I’m supposed to be working, I know that browsing the web for that elusive perfect purse will put me behind, so I set specific rules about when I can browse and when I can’t. Now, if I could only keep them …
Make It Your Own
What speaks to you and motivates you is totally different than what motivates the next writer. I love having post-it notes all around to write lists on. I have a few toys to entertain the four year old when he visits and I can’t distract him. I have a picture of my third child when he graduated from kindergarten that I love to look at. I have a small heater next to me because I’m always cold. My office is in a room full of books because I love to read. The point here is that is it MY space and it’s just how I like it. That makes me want to be here, and it makes me want to be productive. Much more than Dora and her explorer friends ever did.
What ideas do you have about how to create a writing area that makes you productive? Comment below and share your ideas!