your workspace should be a space that works

In my mind, one of the most critical components for success is being in the right workspace. Whether you're a student needing a space to study; an artist needing a studio to paint; or a writer needing a space to write, your environment has to be in line with your needs.

A few years ago, I was working in a multi-functional space that served as my office, reception,
storage and an occasional faculty lounge. Located on the building's first floor there were two ceiling high windows that had been  covered up with foam board to protect the glass from wear and tear. So, like Tantalus who couldn't eat the fruit above his head or drink the water before him, I spent my days dreaming of sunshine that couldn't be seen. I was miserable. My office was over-crowded at times, unorganized, and lacked charm. I couldn't even keep plants alive in such a sad little place.

I personally need warm light (preferably natural but anything besides the awful overhead lamps that are found in most work spaces will do); occasional quiet and solitude; a place for my tea or coffee; pictures of my husband and son; and something green to make my workspace a space that works.

One of my challenges right now is I'm getting ready to start a doctoral program - exciting right? - and will need to find the physical and head space to do my work at home. My husband, a writer by trade, has always seemed to manage. But he was also happy spending years holed up in our various NYC apartments, writing in a little bit of real estate we called "the study" or working at the kitchen table.

What about you? What kind of work do you do and what kind of space - ideal space- do you need to be your most creative, efficient, and/or productive?

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