Marthe Hagen is a soulful and adventurous writer and imagemaker. She shares her wisdom, musings and philosophy along with her visual inspiration over at The Freedom Experiment. She collects dreams and would love it if you would share yours. You can follow her at @Marthehhagen.
I’m in the middle of a stressful time in my life and I really need to be comfortable and inspired to stay sane. Here are my 10 tips on how to have a lovely day even though you have to work tons. These are particularly great for winter working!
1. Light candles. Candles are great for giving you a cozy feel! They give a little light to the room and they can make any office look a little homier! I prefer vanilla scented candles, but if you are somewhere else than your own home, you might want to go for the non-scented ones. I try to light candles whenever I’m home. It just makes me happy!
2. Listen to french music. Right now, I am in love with Carla Bruni’s Quelqu’un M’a Dit. I can also recommend Feist’s La meme histoire!
3. Wear a blanket. This might be hard to pull off in your office, but if you’re lucky to work at home, I think a blanket is essential to be comfortable! I have to feel warm when I work, or I’ll just pay attention to the fact that I’m freezing and not my work.
4. Take pretty notes. Keep a lovely notebook close to you at all times. Write down your ideas, your plans and your thoughts to safeguard them while you work. I find that it keeps it easier for me to concentrate, as I know that I won’t forget the things that I want to do later. Makes sense? To make it nice and pretty, try using colors and drawings! Or what about making it a visual notebook of your non-work related thoughts during the day? Just make sure to keep it simple to avoid wasting too much of your precious work time!
5. Take a long lunch break. Do something motivating and interesting to help you focus on your work when you get back! I prefer eating something healthy and good, and then go for a browse in a bookstore nearby and look at the new books in your passion! Warning; this may take longer than you planned! But the point is; do what it takes to make your day lovely and productive!
6. Drink something hot. You might like coffee or tea, warm chocolate or something else entirely. But to make sure you have a lovely day while working, make sure it’s the best coffee/tea etc. available! Why drink heaps of bad coffee or cheap tea? It adds nothing to your day! Being able to really enjoy what you drink will increase your feeling of wellness and loveliness! I’m a tea person and right now I am in love with Kusmi Tea and my all time favorite is St. Petersburg and it’s really good!
7. Take a 10 minute blog break. Make a little treat for yourself; let’s say you work effectively for two hours and then you can reward yourself with a 10 minute blog break! Works at home, and if you’re at the office, make sure no one sees you! Visit decor8 or Daydream Lily. And if you want some productivity boost, visit zen habits: Take lots of breaks to get more done, Think simple now: The 4 hour workday or Study Hacks: Fixed Schedule Productivity
8. Use colors. I love using colors when I work, it helps me focus, concentrate and learn. I apply the same technique at work, I am generally more productive when there’s a visual aspect about it. There are so many ways of surrounding yourself with colors; colored paper, pens, pictures or clothes! Use your favorite color while writing notes, hang up a few photographs (personal or artistic) that you see every time you lift your head, or wear your favorite color nail polish (effectively brightens your day if you’re spending the day writing on a computer!).
9. Be positive. Have a positive attitude towards your work really helps when you have a lot to do & would rather be somewhere else. Even though you may not feel like working, just pretending to love what you do can make your day better! Just tell yourself to pretend like you find a task interesting or exciting for five minutes, and those five may turn into ten! You may even finish your task before you realize it! Maybe it wasn’t that bad after all? Anything to brighten your day!
10. Look forward. To finishing your this project, to the weekend, to your vacation. Anything you long for can help you get through with less stress and more happiness! Look forward to an hour of your favorite novel before bed. Or look forward to tomorrow. Starting the madness all over.
What are your strategies for getting through work when you have so much else you want to do?