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5 part recipe for an idea inducing workspace

Your environment matters when it comes to dreaming up the next big idea. There’s a 5 part formula I think works well for putting together a working space that inspires.

Part 1: Get a natural light source

Wherever you choose to make your space be sure there is a window contained within your eyesight. Being able to look out at something, anything helps remind that there is some problem on the outside that needs your solution.

Part 2: Snag a set of matching baskets, or containers

Organization has extreme physical and mental benefits. The mental piece is the key here. Even if you aren’t as organized as you’d like to be, having a matching set of organizers can give just the inspiration you need to sort out your thoughts. With mental organization you can put your ideas in the right places. This mental organization will likely later manifest itself in physical form through your baskets and containers.

Part 3: Get an insanely comfortable place to sit and daydream

Let’s face it, while a table is useful and practical for most of the work we do, writing, working on a computer, sometimes you need to let all of that go and just sit. Allowing your mind to wander free. There’s nothing that inspires more daydreaming than a super comfy seat and something beautiful to stare at (inside the room or out).

Part 4: Create the feeling of spaciousness

This can come in many forms including…

  • Hanging items or shelves high on the wall: Get close to the ceiling. This gives height and therefore the feeling of headroom.

  • Opting for a working table over a working desk: The structure of a table is generally by nature open at the bottom, versus filled with drawers and made only to accommodate one person. Although there may only be you in the space, again think of the mental impact of a space that feels as big as your ideas.

  • Right sizing all furniture so that you can move with ease. (Tip: Pull your chair(s) out as if you’re sitting and working in the space. If you can walk around the room with ease, you have a fair amount of space to move around.

  • Limit the number of items in your space. Stay clutter free. Use a Like it, Love it, Throw it away concept.

Part 5: Find a light you love and would happily take a picture under.

What do taking pictures have to do with generating ideas, you ask? Nothing really, except bringing greater visibility to the strong opinion that Fluorescent lights are dream killers. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit overstated but that’s my take on that ferocious bright light. The test of a good light is a number of things, one of them being "would I take a picture under it and find it flattering?" Another is "how does the light make me feel?" Ambient lighting has that soft glow that is both picture worthy but also gives a sense of calm, allowing you to have a space that is relaxed and ready to shootout ideas.

Not only is it the light itself but also consider the light fixture and your personality. One example, I'm big on unconventional means of doing things and taking a minimalist approach in the work I do. With this, I’ve chose industrial fixtures. These resound with the "can do, maker" personality and style I want to bring to my work. That inspires creativity in the direction I want to take.

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