Maybe it goes without saying that the space where you work on your craft should be a haven, a place of comfort to nurture your creative soul. On the other hand, maybe it isn’t said often enough. At any rate, it’s all too easy to get so accustomed to your environment that you lose awareness of what’s good and what’s bad. I know I’m guilty of sometimes ignoring my surroundings. As humans, we are good at adapting, but that’s not always a good thing.
Take a step back and consider the place you create. (Hopefully you did that in your analysis from my first post on your creative space.) When assessing the comfort of your space, consider these aspects:
- Lighting – See my last post for more details on this one.
- Smells (Freshly baked scents from the kitchen can be as disabling as nasty bathroom waftings, especially if they call your bum to leave your chair and mosey on in for a treat.)
- Noise (types of noises and volume of ambient sounds)
- Other distractions (These could be family members or pets as much as inanimate objects.)
Get rid of the things that impair your creative side. Consciously select things that encourage you to work on your craft.
Ergonomics refers to the scientific study of design that takes human well-being into account. It encompasses a broad field and includes furniture, fixtures, equipment and any other system with which people interact. The goal is to maximize productivity and health at the same time. I could go into detail about ideal body alignment with exact angles and dimensions, but for the sake of this series, I’m going to keep it simple. The best posture is one that is natural for your body at rest, not creating strain on any part. You should be comfortable in the short term and the long term.
A Delicate Balance
When it comes to comfort in the work place (and that applies to honing your craft at home as much as any “day job”), balance is key. You don’t want it too comfortable or you’ll be drawn to slack off or veg out. Your creative space should promote a relaxed mindset, but also direct you to your work. And a plush sofa probably won’t do that. (At this very moment I’m writing from the comfort of my couch, and I can feel the pull to stop writing…to put down the computer and succumb to the remote. *Moves to a spot that is less cozy.* Ahem.) Furniture does a lot to influence how we act in a space.
Also, be mindful of not only how you feel when you first sit down, but after you’ve been in the same chair for hours. Often a seat that initially felt comfortable and supportive can turn on you over time. Of course, no matter how ergonomic your chair is, your body wasn’t made to sit motionless all day long. Breaks and exercise are critical to keeping your body (and mind) fresh.