Blue handbag, Brenda Macleod.
Bracelets (from L-R: cuff bracelet, Miansai; bangle and Swarovski-crystal T-bar cuff, both Kate Spade; textured thin bracelet, And Other Stories; Rio friendship bracelet, Monica Vinader (similar here and here), engraved bangle, Coordinates Collection.)
There are times in life when we realise we just don’t have our ish together. For me, that’s more often than not (I’m a tough critic), but we Millennials are all about continuous self-improvement, and self-improve I shall.
This is as true for my personal life (and, surprisingly, my fitness and health) as it is for my working life, and I reckon there are always little tweaks a person can make to become a little more productive (I talked about this briefly a while back here).
Anyway, here’s my updated list:
Get a bag that you can put everything in
Have any of you noticed Olivia Pope’s recent preference for the colourful handbag? Are you reading this first point thinking, “Who TF is Olivia Pope?” If so, please turn off your computer or hand-held device and walk away.
Just kidding… Kind of.
But I really do believe that a new structured tote for the days when your work requires you to leave the house (and the work space that you’ve so carefully put together) – such as this blue beauty from Brenda MacLeod – can have you channelling all of Ms. Pope’s awesomeness in a way that most motivational books can’t (except this one. This book is amazing.)
Sort out your work space
Because this is where the magic happens. Duh.
I have a very silly habit of piling a ton of magazines and old newspapers and utility bills onto my work desk to the point where it becomes impossible to actually do any work. Being the not-quite-but-very-much Type A human being that I am, I work around this by simply avoiding my work desk (my bed, sofa and living room floor have all been known to make great step-ins at a moment’s notice).
There are so many little tweaks you can make to your work space to make you WANT to get up early/stay up late and work:
Spice up your (life) work surface
I got this really affordable marble plastic cover for my desk from Amazon about a year ago and it honestly made such a difference to the look and feel of my work space. You don’t need to buy yourself some new furniture (if you don’t want / need to) but sometimes a slick of (plastic) paint is all it takes to make your work life feel brand new. Plus, it’s the perfect back drop for my flat lays when my laptop’s out of the way: Exhibit A.
Stack your paper…tidily
It seems Swedish stationery brands are the thing right now, because everywhere I turn (on Instagram) there’s a pretty flat lay with papers stacked neatly in rose gold paperclips and filed together in minimal wire trays and perspex storage boxes. You’ve seen the ones I mean, right?
My current favourite brands for this particular kind of office beauty are Kikki.K and Hay (both of which you can find in Selfridges, if you’re London based.)
Be brutal: throw it away
How many old birthday cards and magazines from 2014 and random letters do you have taking up precious space on your desk? Too many. As this amazing book by Greg McKeown suggests, think about how much money you would spend on an item right now if you didn’t already own it. If the answer is nothing, or significantly less than what it originally cost you, chuck it. I promise you, after the first few seconds of anxiety you’ll feel a million times better.
Get some shiny new toys
This works every. Single. Time. I reckon it’s because deep down, we are all still children who become obsessed with new things the moment we get them. Were you the kid who played with her dolls until the legs popped off and eyes went wonky? You’re probably still the same way, except your doll is maybe a new iPad and your toy cars are now slick pens, personalised notepaper and day planners.
They are for me, anyway… Hashtag blogger.
Are you stuck in a creative rut? Treat yo’self to some new magpie-friendly pens. Are you putting off finishing that article or pitch or research piece? (Me too, btw) Find a cool little gadget or app that will get you in the mood to create some great work. Mine’s the Wacom tablet. I’m telling you, when I first got it I burned the candle at both ends watching online Illustrator tutorials and playing about with pen strokes.
My logo, for example, was a pre-Wacom, pre-iPad Air version of this “playing” that I speak of. Should I forget this blogging thing and become a typographer or nah?
What else makes you more inspired to get stuff done?
Do you want to see a similar get-your-life-together post, but for something life fitness/food?
Black notebook, Moleskine (this one by Smythson is next on my list though).
Pens and bracelets, as before.