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5 top tips for creating a productive workspace

If you're a busy freelancer and your office space is in need of a bit of TLC, it can have a big impact on your productivity. The last thing you want is to be searching for your mouse under a pile of paperwork, right? 

To help you get the new year off to the right start, we spoke to style expert and author Abigail Ahern (opens in new tab), to get her advice on how to create an ideal home office. Here are her top tips for transforming your home office, so you can focus on what matters: being creative.

01. Invest in a good monitor

monitor for home office

As a creative, having the best monitor (opens in new tab) to display your work in all its glory is vital. Curved screens, in particular, are not only aesthetically more appealing, they also wrap you up in the world you are working in, making your studio or home office feel totally immersive. 

"For me, my day job is obviously incredibly visual, so I like a big screen for designing products, creating mood boards (opens in new tab) and going through my latest imagery," says Ahern.

02. Create 'zones'

Although a dedicated workspace is helpful, spend too long staring at your screen and you'll start to go a little stir-crazy. A smart way to counteract this feeling is by creating different areas within your home office. 

"Comfortable seating and having different zones are super important for home offices," says Ahern. "No one likes to be sat at the desk all day, so have a separate nook where you can take calls, read through something, or just take five minutes."

Also read: The best office chairs (opens in new tab) or the best office chair for back pain

03. Decorate the walls

motivational wall art for home office

Motivational wall art can work wonders. Image credit: Dakota Corbin (opens in new tab)

You might not need much encouragement to follow this next tip: Get some artwork on the walls. Go for anything that makes you tick or inspires you, but Ahern's advice is to pick something motivational. "Being self-employed or working from home, it can sometimes be hard to keep on track," she explains. "I've got Superman facing me from my desk, so whenever the going gets tough, I can feel inspired to get back to it!"

04. De-clutter your space

It's not exciting, but setting up some proper storage and ensuring your workspace is neat and tidy is key to making sure you stay productive. "Keep your office space tidy: shut away clutter, and try to keep cables and wires to a minimum. In my studio, I added custom built-in cupboards to hide away the printer, scanner and files," says Ahern. 

05. Choose a fragrance

It might not be top of your list, but Ahern appeals to her sense of smell for added motivation. "Every room needs a scent to complete it. I burn a combination of essential oils in my studio.

"Fragrances can really influence our mood, so I opt for something invigorating in my work space, for example rosemary is credited with improving memory and promoting clear thinking, or peppermint is like a double shot of espresso – enlivening and motivating."

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.