How much space do you really need?

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I recently visited Jane Austen’s house. I’m a massive fan of her books and loved having the chance to see how she lived and where she wrote some of her most well-known works.

One of the things I was most struck by was the size of her tiny writing desk – how did she write entire novels on something so small? I take up more room than that to write a shopping list…

Jane Austen's writing desk
Jane Austen’s writing desk

Physical space

My general set-up when I’m working involves a laptop, an A4 notebook and a mobile phone. Depending on the project, I might have other resources, notebooks and devices around me. I need a lot of room.

I find having physical things around me helps me to focus on my work.

It helped me when I was taking exams too – I found it much easier to revise from lots of pieces of paper with different colours, pictures and charts, than neatly ordered lists.

I know other people are the opposite, needing clear space and order around them in order to be at their most efficient. Maybe Jane Austen was one of these people.

Space to think

Whatever category you call into, I think everyone needs mental space. In our busy world, everyone can do with some time without emails, phone calls and other life distractions to sit, think and plan.

Jane Austen’s house did just that for me, and with a peaceful house and a beautiful garden, I can certainly see how Jane Austen had the mental space to write such clever and insightful novels.

Gardens at Jane Austen's house
The beautiful gardens around Jane Austen’s house

Although I wasn’t working there, I had some peace, quiet and time, which let all the things which have been swirling around in my head to fall down and settle. I feel much more productive as a result.

Make time for yourself

So, in amongst the deadlines, meetings, school assemblies, appointments and whatever else you have going on in your life, a bit of time to let your mind wander could make everything feel a little bit easier.

Who knows, you might stumble upon the idea for the next great novel….

What creates a great workspace for you – physically or mentally? If you need help to get your creative ideas off the ground, get in touch.

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