Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DIY: Zen Office

I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time at work (anywhere from eight to eleven hours a day). Until recently, it never occurred to me that my mood and overall well-being at work could be so affected by the space I operated in.

I had given my desk very little thought since joining my company three years ago. My desk had become a catch-all for odd trinkets I accumulated at work and at tradeshows, and housed all of the picture frames and knickknacks I couldn't find room for in our apartment. It was cluttered and messy (two things that drive me crazy!), and I couldn't stand it anymore. My desk needed a "zen" makeover.

To do so, I went back to the basics. I focused on positive, uplifting and calming decorations and accents in neutral tones. It cost me next to nothing, and I now look forward to sitting in my zen-like office each day!

DIY: Zen Office

Go green. Having plants at your desk is vital for a calming atmosphere. Research shows plants reduce both stress and noise levels (crazy, right?), increase productivity and help improve air quality. Plus, they're great to look at and bring a little bit of the great outdoors inside. They're an absolute must for my work space.

The good thing about plants is that they're affordable. Local hardware and gardening stores usually have great deals on plants and potting soil (so does IKEA if you live near one). For the pots, I usually head to my nearest thrift store or garage sales for great deals.

Keep family and friends close. Photos are an absolute must at work. It's important to remember those you care about! I also find that pictures of vacations or favorite places help boost my productivity. It's important for me to have a reminder why I work so hard (for vacation days and time spent with those who matter most!)

Photo prints are incredibly inexpensive at places like Target and Walgreens. For frames, I like to check out the end caps at Target, IKEA and vintage stores.

Promote positive vibes. Positive vibes and attitude make all the difference between a good day and a bad day (or week, month, year etc.) Having positive reminders to keep your head up and not get too tied down with stress and negativity are vital to a good attitude.

The best part about these notes? Free! These are some of my favorite quotes from Pinterest that I printed out and tacked up on my walls with push pins. So easy.

Stay organized. I'm most productive when I'm at work, so in addition to working hard, I usually can find a few minutes here and there to schedule appointments, make weekend plans etc. To do that, I need an updated calendar with me at all times. It helps me stay organized and also gets me excited for things to come (i.e. lots of concerts, camping and birthdays!)

Target always seems to have adorable calendars for less than $10. Especially if you buy mid-year, you can get a cute little calendar for less than $5.

Keep healthy foods on hand. I eat two meals each day at work (breakfast and lunch). While I usually eat at my desk (I know that's bad!), I always try my best to eat healthy. Whether it's tea, berries, heart-healthy oatmeal or nuts, healthy foods help keep me on task and feeling good at work.

I usually go grocery shopping on Sundays, and make sure to always have Tazo Tea and Oat Fit oatmeal at my desk. Target nearly always has good deals on these items, as well as fresh berries.

Don't forget the details. When I have writer's block or come to a standstill with a project at work, having inspirational decor at my desk is a godsend. I change my desktop photo frequently depending on my mood (I'm currently still rocking my "May Feel" board), which helps increase my creativity and bring me additional inspiration.

The cost? Free!

Let there be light. Natural and staged light is so important for a good work space. Before the sunlight can illuminate our office each day through our nearly floor to ceiling windows (we're very lucky to have these), I use an office lamp to keep things bright. I've always been told that working in the dark is terrible for your eyes and can cause headaches, so making sure I always have good light to work in is key.

The lamp was less than $15 for the base and shade at IKEA. I'm lucky to have great natural light (and a view).

And with that, I'm off to work for the day. Have a lovely one, gems!

|| All photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. || 


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