By Rob Young of Moo
It’s no secret that we love seeing the extraordinary products that many MOO-users create: from the small businesses, to the artists, the designers, the writers, the cupcake connoisseurs. In fact, we tend to get slightly jealous and go on week-long binges, trying to channel our inner talents into something as brilliant as the snaps (and snacks!) we get sent.
The thing we love second to that is seeing the workspaces where it all happens: writers’ nooks, the lab of a tech aficionado, the birthplace of a start-up, and the kitchen of a culinary whizz. Do you need the silence of an empty room? Or prefer the hustle and bustle of a shared office? Messy desk, or neat freak? The process is the most important part of creation, and if you’re not somewhere comfortable, it can be borderline impossible to get going.
As Ms. Woolf put it, every woman (and man) needs a room of their own: it’s the fundamental necessity for all creativity, inspiration and thought. Whether that’s a café, library, room in your house, or private office, we’ve compiled our favourites.
1. Make It Your Space
Lock the door, shut everyone else out (apart from any business partners, dogs, or cats), and ensure that it’s your space. Savour it for those creative moments; don’t use it as a lounge, or somewhere to eat lunch. It should be your private sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle of reality, mundane chores, and paying the bills.
2. Disconnect from Everything
Don’t just shut the door on the real world: hide yourself away from anything that could be a potential distraction. We’re talking mainly about the Internet, so if you can, try turning it off. Without Twitter, YouTube and emails to flick back and forth between, you can concentrate solely on the project in hand. If you do need Internet access, install a tempt-blocker app: they’ll let you access the sites you need, and block the sites you don’t.
3. Let Your Thoughts Breathe
Think whiteboards, post-it notes all around you: don’t just store your ideas up in your head. Get a flipchart, a whiteboard, chalkboard, anything at all, that you can prop up somewhere and splurge your mind out onto.
4. Get the Right Furniture
Possibly one of the most important things you need to consider is furniture. As you’re going to be at a desk for the majority of the day, buy the one you fall in love with. Invest in a good chair, that isn’t going to leave you crippled after four consecutive 18-hour days, and make sure you set up the monitors and keyboard of your computer appropriately. It’s dull, but necessary to keep you healthy and ache-free. Consider what else you might need: from creating a mini-library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, a filing cabinet, a work-table, or just a comfy chair to sit in while you ponder questions.
5. Go Feng-shui
Well, maybe not properly — we don’t expect you to hire any professionals, but you should think about where everything in the room’s going. Pick a room that has a decent view, position your desk near a window, and throw in (not literally though) a couple of plants and candles.
6. Think Lights + Colour = Action
Having a well-lit room is imperative, and you shouldn’t just be relying on artificial light. If you can, choose a room that has a large window, which attracts plenty of daylight. Go for natural lighting, instead of harsh glares, but ensure you’ve got plenty of desk lamps for when it starts getting dark.
7. Read, Listen, (Don’t) Watch
If you struggle to get started in the morning, try subscribing to a couple of blogs, pick up a book, or read a newspaper, to get you going. Beginning your day with a book can be the key to kickstarting inspiration. Go for music that inspires you, rather than whatever comes on the radio – there are plenty of platforms you can use to queue music and discover new artists. We warn against YouTube, though – it’s far too easy to get sucked in, and before you know it, your initially productive day has spiraled into watching cat videos for four hours.
8. Get Out of the House
Tried everything else, yet working in your house is still proving too difficult? Get to your nearest café or library. We’d recommend a library first, as you don’t need to buy coffee every half hour, you get free WiFi, every book you could ever need, and a quiet atmosphere. However, if you don’t like the quiet, and do need coffee on the hour, then cafés are perfect for bunking down in until you’ve got enough work done. Just leaving the house and going somewhere else can flick your brain into work mode, as well as breaking up your day.