If there’s one thing I can get behind, it’s comfort.
But being comfortable at work isn’t just a luxury to strive for - it directly affects productivity! Trying to keep my space clean and organized (trying being the operative word there) reduces my stress and helps to keep myself focused on the work. But there’s more to comfort than just keeping your space clean. So without further ado, here is a list of 10 things arguably nonessential to design but completely essential to me, in no particular order.
#1 - Music & Podcasts
One of my favorite ways to work is by putting on some headphones and tuning everything out. I always find it easier to focus when I’ve got some background noise going on. I use Spotify to find the perfect playlist - and am currently obsessed with this one for starting my day.
#2 - Sweaters
I am eternally cold. This has spawned an eternal love for sweaters. I have way too many sweaters. In our tiny apartment, with only one closet for storage, I have a large moving-size cardboard box with upwards of 20 sweaters.
My favorite kinds are the long drape-y cardigans that make you feel like you might’ve owned six cats in a past life. Mostly because that’s the goal in my current life too.
#3 - Nectar Screen Glasses
There’s nothing less comfy than laying in bed, headache raging, eyes burning inside of their sockets. This was me before I bought my Nectar glasses.
They’re blue-light blocking glasses, which I was skeptical of at first. But they really worked for me! The only downside is that they do cast a weird yellow hue on your face (not a problem for me since I have no coworkers) and that they have a slight magenta tint, so I can’t wear them when I’m color matching. Overall 9/10 would buy again.
#4 - La Croix
Arguably the most basic thing on this list. I have no shame.
And yes, Grapefruit is the best flavor.
#5 - Candles
What more can I say? I like good smells. I’ve always wanted a fancy Diptyque candle, but for now the ones at TJ Maxx and Ross will have to do. I found this Tabacco and Vanilla candle at TJ Maxx and I have decreed it our apartment’s signature scent.
My boyfriend does not care about this development in the least.
#6 - Lip Balm
Now that I’m editing this list together, I’m noticing a few of these picks are simply due to the fact that it is winter and there are six inches of snow outside (which I could gladly do without, thanks).
I hate having chapped lips, so I’ve experimented a lot with different brands in the last year or so. One of my favorites is Glossier’s coconut Balm Dotcom - it smells like real coconut. Not gross fake coconut.
#7 - Planners
I feel like day planners really have seen a rebrand in the past few years, especially with the rise of bullet journals (which have proved to be just too much work and involvement for me despite many attempts).
I recently found the Stil weekly planner - the holy grail of planners for the disorganized such as myself. It’s not dated, so feel free to plan LITERALLY NOTHING for weeks at a time and then hop right back in, totally guilt-free.
#8 - Plants
I am, without a doubt, at least 20% more productive when surrounded by plant friends. There’s just something extremely energizing to me about having plants in your company.
#9 - Sketchbooks + Magazines
One of the few legitimate essentials on this list. Every designer/artist/creative person should have a sketchbook. Now that everything is so digital with Illustrator and Photoshop and whatnot, sometimes it’s really refreshing to just pick up a pencil and draw what you’re thinking. I also like to keep magazine clippings that interest/inspire me in my book. And yes I did pick out the best page of my sketchbook, thanks for noticing.
#10 - Facial Spray
My aromatherapy and self care all-in-one. It feels so good in the morning when you've just woken up, and even better at 2:00 for the post-lunch sleepiness. This aloe, cucumber, and green tea one from Mario Badescu is probably my favorite. Their lavender and rose scented ones are great, too - and they come in little travel sizes so you can get that eternally moist Dua Lipa look anytime, anywhere.
Which is better than it sounds, I promise.