3 Key Components to Creating the Perfect Work Space

I just completed my third full “junk, bunk, and trunk” move in 3 years.

We’re now settled into a splendid house in the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre area of Brussels.

My first order of business in the new house was to set up my home office.

So I targeted the largest room in the house with visions of creating an office fit for Queen Mathilde.

But as I was planning where my desk would go, I literally slipped on a piece of paper from the Embassy Housing Office with the following quote by Leonardo da Vinci printed across the top:

“Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it.”


After a minute of scratching my head, I stopped my regal plans and realized that I actually prefer creating in small, cozy spaces. So I opted for the smaller room and went to work.

I organized my pens, paper, documents, books and other office supplies. I then scattered the room with pictures, art, and mementos that fill me with joy.

I LOVE the final result.


I’ve worked in homes, offices, cubicles, shipping containers, palaces, coffee shops, call centers, cattle pastures, bars, and the streets (yes, I was a door-to-door canvasser).

With all those venues under my belt, I’ve identified 3 key components to creating the perfect work space:

1. It’s full of stuff you love

From pictures to scented candles to my favorite Native American art, I look around my office and see only things that I love to see.

If I don’t love it, it goes away.

2. It’s tidy

Don’t get me wrong, many a great mind has had a cluttered desk – like this great shot of Steve Jobs:

What’s important is that the space feels good to you. If you like stacks of paper around you and that feels good, then stack away.

For me, orderliness is next to godliness. So I like things neat, organized, and minimal.

3. It’s a distraction-free zone

In Stephen King’s fabulous book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, he spends almost an entire chapter on the importance of having a door to your writing space. You can write in the laundry room, just make sure there’s a door.

Distractions are productivity Kryptonite. When you’re in a cubicle or have children running about the house, it may be hard to keep the distractions at bay. But do what you can to quiet your office mates or carve out distraction-free times of the day.

So how is your work space treating you?

Whether you work from home or in an office, does it feel good?

Is it arranged in a way that makes you feel like creating?

If not, I challenge you to make your works pace a place where you love to be. Fill it full of stuff you love, make your version of tidy, and remove the distractions.

See what a difference your surroundings can make for your productivity, creativity and general happiness.

I’d love to know, what does your work space look like?

Post a comment below and share with a few mates.