The style of your desk. Seems like a trivial thing, right? Your desk is where you go to work, so why does it matter what it looks like? Turns out, your work environment could have a significant impact on your work.

Studies show that some people when exposed to cluttered and messy work environments tend to have quicker problem-solving skills and come up with more creative solutions. On the other hand, some people feel overwhelmed and bogged down by clutter. There is no right or wrong answer. The importance of discovering which type of person you are lies in the value of optimizing your desk for your specific needs.

Creating an environment that will enhance your strengths and minimize your weaknesses can improve the quality of your work as well as your productivity levels over time. For example, a person who is easily overwhelmed may opt for a clean, bright, white space with candles (if appropriate) to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

A couple of my favorite minimalist desks:

While this could increase productivity and overall happiness in one person, it could seem boring and plain to someone else. Another person may need visual stimuli and vibrant colors and patterns to get their creative “juices” flowing.

A couple of my favorite “busy” desk spaces:

The first step in optimizing your desk style is exploring and discovering. Try different arrangements, layouts, color schemes, and lighting. Do you like being closed off or open to the environment around you? Is your creativity stimulated by empty canvases or “organized chaos”? Experimenting and gaging how you are affected by each change is a great way to create your ideal workspace.

Frida Kahlo preferred a colorful, chaotic art studio in which to create her masterpieces. Contrastly, to this day, Mark Zuckerberg does not have his own office. He prefers to work in an open, collaborative environment with his coworkers. The variance in the work environments of these brilliant minds is a testament to the value of expressing and embracing one’s uniqueness.

Personally, I like a desk that inspires me with it’s decor, but soothes me with it’s cleanliness. Since I’m an extremely visual person who sometimes get overwhelmed, this makes sense for me.

Where do you fall on the spectrum? Take a look at your workspace now and think about what changes you can make to not only increase your productivity and improve your work habits but also to improve your attitude and overall happiness in the long run.

Thanks for reading!