I recently moved from Canada to the UK. After several months of temporary accommodation, I am now in the new house. Although we now live in a town, rather than out in the country, my office has a beautiful view of farmland. We are right on the edge of the Peak District. The town is in a valley, and our house is uphill looking over the town to the hills beyond.
I learned many years ago, from Jennifer Hoffman, that it’s a good idea to set your office up so that there’s something inspiring to look at in the direction you typically look when you are thinking. I’ve learned to balance the love of a view out the window with having my computer out of the glare.
What direction do you stare off in while you think?
What is in your line of sight when you do that?
Is it inspiring? Or distracting?
Could you rearrange things to make it a bit more inspiring? Maybe hang a beautiful piece of art on the wall; or move your desk so that you are looking out the window (if the view is nice); or just move the uninspiring things somewhere else in the room.
How about in your university office? You may have less control over the layout or the colour of the walls, but you may be able to bring in some art or a colourful rug.
What would make it a nicer place to write, even for short periods each day?
Writing is, after all, part of your work. As such, it should be possible to write in the office. If you are unhappy with your work life balance, having a clear separation of “life” and “work” may help.
Edited 17 August 2017.