I was inspired to write this blog article after a discussion with a life coach friend of mine. We were sat having a coffee earlier in the week, discussing books that we read and things that we like around us when we work. The conversation then moved on to discussing what we have on our desks at home….

Therefore I thought this might be an interesting study to share with you – what surrounds me on my (rather messy) desk when I work and why it has a place there.

So first of all here is a picture of my desk this morning as I sit here and type on my laptop.

My desk - Susan Yeates!
My desk at home!

I’ll go through some of the important things one by one:

Laptop – this is where I work; this is my office. Whether I am actually sat at my desk at home or in a café or in the garden, this is where all of my writing, marketing and other work are done – a mobile office. One that gives me freedom to work from wherever I choose, even sometimes the sofa! This freedom, for me, is one of the main benefits of being self-employed. (Note: The background image on the laptop is of my little Brompton bike!)

2016-06-16 11.32.07Books – I love books! I have numerous bookshelves around the house and on my desk I usually have a pile of books that I am reading or about to read. This means that in between work I can spend 10 or 20 minutes picking up a book to inspire me again. Currently I am reading more about mindfulness meditation, Yoga Nidra and also creativity. I’ll pop the books I am currently reading as a little reading list at the bottom of this article.

Cutting Mats – you may notice the green cutting mats on the desk? This is because I am rather messy and this is purely to protect the surface of the desk. I also regularly carry out printmaking, drawing and other creative pursuits, so I need a space that is always prepared so that I can get to work quickly when that inspiration hits! Therefore my desk is a very flexible space.

2016-06-16 11.32.16Sketchbooks and Journals – An important part of my day is writing in my journal. I do this every morning over a coffee before I start work on anything. This helps me to re-arrange thoughts, find a writing flow and just note down any ideas as they come to me. Journaling is an important part of my creative process and this is recommended in Julia Cameron’s very famous book on creativity The Artist’s Way. She calls them artist’s pages. As well as my journal I have numerous sketchbooks, some large and some small for me to do drawings and rough sketches again whenever the inspiration arrives.

Pens and Pencils – A big pot of pens and pencils – fairly standard stuff for a desk. Need I say more?

A Glass of Water – I drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is really important to help your body stay healthy and your mind alert when working. I drink at least two litres of water a day and you will find numerous glasses of water dotted around my house as well as a water bottle in my handbag. I also like a cup of hot water with lemon first thing in the morning – to cleanse that liver before the naughty morning coffee hits it!

2016-06-16 11.32.26Art materials – I am also a printmaker and artist, so I usually have some of my latest projects sitting around half-finished. I am currently working on a few 5cm x 5cm wood engravings (which are convenient for working in a small space) so these are at the moment sat on my desk for me to pick them and up and do a little work here and there. Wood engraving requires quite a lot of concentration, so I like to do this type of printmaking in short bursts. For more info on wood engraving click here.

My mala beads – When I am writing, I take these off my wrist and sit them next to me as I work. These beads I bought when I did my 200hrs yoga teacher training in 2014. I use them for meditation and also they join me on the yoga mat, often sitting at the top of the mat as I practice.

2016-06-16 11.33.22My phone – you can’t see it in the picture above because I used it to take the picture but my iPhone is always sat next to me as I work. It obviously acts as a phone to take calls from clients, but is also handy for taking quick pictures, for streaming music (Classic FM is a firm favourite when working), for filming videos and for keeping up to date with my social media marketing. (Yes, that does essentially mean sitting on Facebook for part of my day!)

So that’s what is currently sat on my desk! What about you?


Reading list:

  • The Rough Guide to Mindfulness – Albert Tobler and Susann Herrmann
  • Yoga Nidra – Richard Miller
  • Mindfulness – A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World – Mark Williams and Danny Penman
  • Chakra Meditation – Swami Saradananda
  • The Ultimate Guide to Writing and Marketing a Bestselling Book – Dee Blick
  • Craft a Creative Business – Fiona Pullen
  • How to Be Creative – Liz Dean
What’s on my Desk?
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