You likely know by now that I'm all about work spaces, focus, efficiency and simplicity, and that I sometimes share photos of my own changing spaces...
....but this week we are looking into someone else's space! .
Do you know how excited I was when I asked my dear friend, uber successful education consultant and owner of igniteyourS.H.I.N.E.®, LaVonna Roth, to share her behind-the-scenes work space with not just me - but - all of you too???
I knew LaVonna set up a new home office not so long ago and had seem and heard about it, but I needed to know more about her workspaces and habits! So I asked her a few questions!
Me: Your new-ish office space... describe how you feel in that space and why you set it up that way.
L: I'm very big on comfort, but also having a business-like setting, so I wanted it to be a clean, crisp, classy, yet have the comfort of snuggling up in there and reading a book or having some creative time. My desk is cleaned off and I have a couple of plants, a real one and fake one, and a couple of things that inspire me. Behind me, I have a credenza with bins. While the bins are to store things, at the end of the day if I need clean off my desk [I put things in the bins] so I can come in the morning and have a fresh feel. I also store my microphone, my light in there, my lume cube, and the stand my laptop goes on.
In the corner, it overlooks the window. That's where I start my mornings off with coffee and reading, and sometimes I do hypnotherapy or meditation of some kind. There's a fluffy beanbag, a huge one with pillows and blanket that bring me comfort. I so look forward to going there in the morning. It's the highlight of my day
In the other corner is where I have my easel where I do a lot of my thinking and brainstorming. I keep it to flip back and look at ideas.
Straight across from my desk is a picture of a lion, a huge lion, it's there to remind me that when I have doubt or i lack courage, a fear that sets in, because we all have that, it's a reminder for me to have strength. And below that is a fireplace that I have on and adds another layer of comfort.
I have a comfortable desk chair and a standup desk so I can adjust the height for presentations.
Me: You had another office but moved into a different room at home. Tell us about that.
L: When we moved into a smaller condo, my daughter had the other bedroom so I didn't really have a place to go to work, so I started going to WeWork. When CoVid hit, I couldn't go there anymore. But then when my daughter moved out, I took over her space. There is great value in being able to close the door and step away from distractions - things like - oh! I need to do those dishes! When the door is closed, I don't get interrupted because people know I'm in work-mode or think-mode.
Me: Every once in a while, you head off to a completely separate location to work. What value does this create for you? Why is this a must-do for you?
L: It allows me to step away from everything. I feel like it's a fresh start, a fresh perspective.There's research behind creativity and being somewhere fresh and new. It also allows me time for me. I usually go for a business retreat, but I do allow myself to do the things I need to do for me, like I'll read something I want or I watch a show,.The places I choose have to be in nature. Nature calms me, it inspires me. It's usually a walkable place so I can walk to somewhere like a restaurant. But sometimes do I just grab groceries and cook for myself.
It's a must-do for me because I know what comes from it. I remember being frustrated before the first time I went away. I said - I need to go away and create this framework so my sister came with me - it was when I wrote my first book. I was in a major crunch with the deadline - I think best last minute. We got a place out in the country, the downstairs of a house on a hill. It had a chicken coop, and the lady upstairs would drop fresh baked goods and fresh eggs in the morning. I was able to just pound things out and my sister would go through and edit it for me. That's when I was I realized that focus time for essential. I can work anytime I need to, until 2am or I can get up at 5am. Whatever I need
Me: Do you follow similar routines or structures when you're away or do you pre-plan?
L: I go with a list that's overzealous. I take all my books and things I want to do and never get through it. I have a long list - so next time what I'm going to change is that I'll prioritize the order. I'll make my wish list of what I intend to do and then start with the biggest priority before moving on to the next thing. Last time I didn't do that and I didn't finish things I wanted to finish. I don't pre-plan but I have projects that I want to work on. I don't like to structure my time to a T.
The danger for me is that I can be a squirrel - oh I need to do this, I need to wash the those dishes! I need to make a PD on this!
I also unplug My team knows this. Notifications get turned off and when I'm zoning in my team and family know that I may not respond to them right away.
When it comes to creativity - it's like writer's block - you need to be in the flow. I do my best work at the last minute which I don't necessarily like, but I do allow myself flexibility - if I need to wait until I feel creative - which is usually in the mornings - I'll walk or something else instead, but I do use up all my time.
Are you inspired to head off to the woods and get your work done now, or make your space more cozy? I know I am!
It is always insightful to hear about the work habits, routines and spaces of successful people! Thank you, LaVonna, for taking us all into your cozy workspace and for giving us a behind-the-scenes look into some of your work routines!
Want to learn more from LaVonna? Here are her links!
@LaVonnaRoth on Twitter