I googled “why space matters” to find a meaningful quote to open this post and all the results were about outer space. Which might say more about my search history than anything else. But today, we’re discussing your empowered workspace, not colonizing Mars.
Here on earth, our space has an important role to play. Used correctly, it’s an opportunity to support us in becoming the people we want to be. And with so many people now well settled in a working-from-home reality, it may be time to revisit how you feel in your workspace… and then empower you in it. Here’s a roadmap to get you started:
Choose a power position. Where are you sitting in your workspace? Is your back to the door? If yes, that needs to change. A power position is defined by being able to see anyone coming and going from the space. Think of a queen in her castle. Get yourself situated somewhere that makes you feel regal and in control. Is there a window in your space? Can you see out of it? Wouldn’t that be nice? Bonus points if the natural light coming through it can illuminate your face when you’re on video calls. What else is in your line of vision? I used to face slightly askew closet doors that were disrupted – not catastrophically, but enough – by a flooring job. Not too empowering. Now I face a large window and that change alone has introduced many more feelings of expansiveness, of possibility, versus containment, and awkwardness.
Edit your things. As I write this, I am looking at a wee bit of clutter in my home office. And it feels like baggage. From last week. From last month. From last year. Is it just me, or does a clear desk actually make your mind feel clear too? Take five minutes. Or five days. Whatever it takes. Dispose of what’s not needed. Organize what is needed. Leave lots of free space behind. Straighten up and wipe down the surfaces. Now take a deep breath. Isn’t that so much better?
Promote focus. Let’s not forget the purpose of your workspace: working. You need a place to sit that is comfortable enough that you can stay a while and not so comfortable that you’re falling asleep. If you’re like me, consider a little nook for your phone that is not within arm’s reach. When you’re considering wall paint and other colours, think of yourself as an artist in a studio. For some, external inspiration is needed. For others, if the space is too loud, it could drown out the artist’s own ideas. What do you need to focus? Proceed accordingly.
Make it yours. One of the things I often thought while working in corporate offices was – ah, wouldn’t it be nice if I was wearing cozy socks and working next to fresh flowers and a sweet scented burning candle of my choosing? Well, look at me now! Candles? Plants? Socks? Check. Check. Check. What do you love to see around you? Bonus points if it’s stuff that wasn’t exactly encouraged where you used to physically work. My home office includes a Buddha statue, my kids’ artwork, petrified wood and a tree. Go wild. Make it yours.
Make it healthy. One of my favourite tips from the last few years was something I learned from a green living expert. I eventually had to unfollow because I felt attacked for purchasing anything remotely mainstream (my baggage not theirs), but before I did, I got a hot tip I have not forgotten: the best way to improve the air quality in your home is to open a window. Open a window! As often as you can, within reason (February temperatures notwithstanding). Bonus points for plants. And healthy snacks. And a space to stand or walk while you’re on calls. And anything else you can think of that empowers your health.
Consider metaphor. Now let’s talk about the symbolism in your space. Take a fresh look at it. What does it say to you? What is the overall vibe of your workspace? If there are books on the shelf, what are they? How are they organized? If things are hanging on the walls, what are they? Degrees and diplomas are a great example. I love the empowerment of displaying past accomplishments. Then again, maybe you dislike your degree and you want to store it in your crawl space. Do that then. How about other things, like photos, awards, artwork that inspires you? Is this the workspace of the person you are intentionally becoming? If not, what would make it so?
I would love to know what you’re doing with your workspace and how you’re using it to empower yourself. Comment below or DM me over here .
I’m cheering you on.
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