Experiments in Developing a

Super-Achiever Mentality

6 Ways To Create an EPIC Work Space That Actually Makes You WANT to Study (On a Budget, Too)

Do you ever feel this way when you sit down at your desk ready to work?

You've got a TON of things to do, homework, assignments and essays. 

So you go to your desk, plop yourself on the seat, only to be greeted by a dull white wall in front of you, a bit of wood from your desk and a boring lamp.

Bored bored bored.

And you TRY, but you're so unmotivated to work.

Well during that beloved last exam crunch season in June this really struck me as a problem I was having. I just really hated being in my work space.

Then I ran into Bri Emerys absolutely amazing office makeover! It literally made me want to jump through the screen and hijack the place. 

Something about her work space got me excited. 

The patterns (helloooo quite possibly most amazing fluffy zig zag rug in the world) and colours really popped and inspired me (whether it's the strong green from the plants or pastel pink chair).

So I really wanted to replicate that feeling of excitement for my own work space and give it some Bri magic. 

So here's my step by step guide on how I'll be sorting out my bland work space and transforming it into somewhere stimulating to work, and how you can too!

STEP 1: Create a colourful environment

Studies have shown that bright colours, particularly yellow, orange and red, have some pretty useful super powers. 

They're brilliant at stimulating and increasing our brain activity. And do we not need our brains when working? Of course, so anything that will give it a boost is good in my books.

But remember, the brighter the colour, the more excited it will make you feel. So go for colours that will really pack a punch!

Did you also know that colour inspires us to get our creative juices flowing, particularly when story writing, and helps us to evaluate and solve questions. It also encourages us to come up with new ideas (You can learn more about the power of colour here).

Does this sound like something you want to take advantage of yet then? 

I've found that the easiest way to incorporate this into our homes, and the cheapest, is actually by inserting colour in smaller ways, like with a super bright candle or some artwork. 

For art John Lewis is hands down the best place to search if you fancy a bright print for about a fiver. The yellow one below, not surprisingly, is my absolute favourite because it instantly has that 'OMG' factor through the colours used.


STEP 2: Update your stationary

So this idea is very similar to my point about using colour in our work spaces. In a nutshell it's this: use colour for your actual work too! 

You know how everyone tells you to write in colour when you're revising? Well actually this is a brilliant idea that you should use all year round.

Using colour makes your work a lot more compelling.

In fact, it's been proven that not only does writing in colour help students feel more motivated to do their work, but it also helps them retain the information in their memory for longer!

So be sure to stock up on coloured pens (I'm a Stabilo fine liners freak here!), pencils and highlighters and use them as often as you can. 

STEP 3: Get organised! 

If you're not a to-do lists kinda person, then now's the time to start!

Making sure that your work is organised and you know exactly what to do is a great way to stay focused on the task at hand and make sure you achieve something that day.

Getting a cork board to pin up all your important notes for the week is also a good way to keep organised. 

My one is currently full of letters that I need to sign, my keys, a driving lessons progress booklet (I have finally started learning!), and a quick note on a few upcoming events.

Bri has done a great job in demonstrating some budget ideas on storage. Such as making use of mugs, bowls and giant rocks! Take a look and feel free to steal these useful ideas too:


STEP 4: Use sound to stimulate you 

So recently I have become addicted to listening to my Rain Sounds app when working (it's so calming!). 

It makes me feel like i'm in a cozy room all wrapped up warm and safe, with the rain pitter-pattering outside. 

It's such a great way for me to distance myself from the chaos at home too and keep me focused on my work (my parents have recently started re-doing the bathroom. So I'm literally listening to the sound of hammers and saws ALL. DAY. LONG. without this app)!


STEP 5: Create vision boards 

Vision boards are a super way to keep yourself inspired each day and stay motivated. I've been doing this for months now and it works wonders at keeping me focused on my current goals. 

I, being the vision boards freak QUEEN, have basically got one mood board (using an old cord board) with pictures cut out from magazines (cutting out stuff in it self was fun. Don't judge) that visually represents what kind of life I'd like to have in the next 5 years. 

The left side represents my future home and style, the middle is for my career aspirations, and the right is all about me finally leaving the coach potato lifestyle for a healthier one instead (ehm, still working on that!). 

Then I have one WALL dedicated to my university ambitions, yep, it's my Cambridge shrine (if you don't know about this sadness yet then take a look at my about page ;) ). 

It's currently full of pictures, letters and course print outs for Oxbridge which I have blue tacked on (I may have a nightmare getting that off the walls though, whoops). 

It works wonders at motivating me though and keeping me positive.

So to create one:

  1. Grab a bunch of magazines and a cork board
  2. Cut out pictures and quotes that represent your ambitions
  3. Pin them on
  4. Finally, place your vision board in a place that you'll see everyday!

STEP 6: Work in good lighting 

The best light to work in is always natural light. 

So when you're choosing your work space try and go for somewhere that's close to the window, you'll feel much more refreshed when working during the day that way. 

When the sun has said it's daily goodbyes though, try opting for some artificial light bulbs that are very close to natural light.

Now I'd love to hear what you think:

What are your favourite pieces from Bri's new office? (I adore the bookends!)

What does your workspace look like at the moment? And do you think it's any good at stimulating you to work?

Images courtesy of Bri, whose office makeover you can see in full over here (be prepared to swoon!)

HEADS UP - I just want to let you know that a few of these links are affiliate ones! Which is essentially geek speak for saying that if you choose to click on these links and purchase something (firstly, thank you!), then I'll get a small commission to keep the site running. So if you fancy buying any of these and want to support the site then you can use these links. :)


It doesn't take superhuman powers or luck to succeed. You just need to DECIDE - and I'll show you the rest.

So, are you IN?

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  1. I love this post! This is really helpful as I start gathering things for my dorm this year. Last year I had some trouble wanting to stay at my desk (and the library is the last place you want to be during finals week!) These are some really great tips! Thanks for the inspiration :)


  2. this is a great post!
    well i'm more of a minimalist type of person so i love black white a lot
    but i do incorporate bright colours is smaller stuff like the pen holder or the wall decor!

    style frontier
    shop style frontier

  3. Great post!Thanks for sharing that,very useful!

  4. Ah sanam you and your ideas are awesome..... luv ya ��