I have two work spaces, both spaces are happy places for me. One in my bedroom, where I have my work station, surrounded by things that make me happy, memories from my travels and things I have made as well as photos of family. And then my piano where I spend up to 4 hours a day practicing with the exception of the two days I am at SAE. I like working in my bedroom, it is a calming and relaxing environment, which makes it easy to get work done.
The only hindrance is my cat Ziggy who insists on flopping down on top of my work and keyboard when he wants attention or to nap. Ziggy can be a pest, but if I give him a little bit of attention he soon mooches off and flops down on his favourite place on top of my dresser, and then I can get back to work.
Most of the work I do is done on my desk top computer so I do not require a huge amount of surface work space. My desk has to be organised and neat or I cannot work. Everything I need is easily accessible, either on the shelf, on the desk, or in my desk drawer, making it easy to work, I don’t have to keep searching for what I need or get up to collect something. When I work, and there is a mess surrounding me, I cannot concentrate.
Having dyspraxia creates a whole host of issues when it comes to learning. Time management is probably one of my biggest weaknesses. Because I am so aware of this I try to set up work schedules for myself so I can manage my time better when it comes to practicing the piano, my studies and making free time for myself which as vital. I don’t do well under pressure so creating a work schedule for myself reduces a lot of the issues and pressure that arise from not being able to manage my time very well. Fortunately however, playing the piano and all that practicing has taught me a huge amount of self discipline. It’s hard, musicians don’t have normal lives, because if you are not practicing, you are at piano lessons, and if you are not doing that, you are performing. It’s difficult watching your friends go to the movies and have fun while you are practicing scales for hours on end.
I am a very visual learner so I need to colour code things. I use different colours for the different categories I divide me work into, so my desk has lots of coloured pens and coloured highlighters propped into desk caddies. I use colour key codes for the subjects I create when I work. That way, when I see a particular colour I know it is referring to a specific subject. For example, if I have to analyse an advert and have to look for examples of visual impact and elegance I will assign the colour orange to visual impact, and green to elegance. That way, any word I write in green, or highlight in green will belong to elegance, and anything in orange will refer to visual impact. I find it easier to understand and learn things when I break my work down into simple colour coded categories.
When I watch movies I need to analyse I will either sit at my desk (I have a very comfy chair) and watch it on my computer, or I will relax in the oversized bean bag I have in my bedroom with my cat and watch a DVD on the television screen. To watch a movie I need to be comfy, and my beanbag is super comfy! If I have to make notes while watching a movie I will probably sit at my desk and watch it on my computer screen or kick the cat off my lap.
When I edit my photographs or vlogs it can be a lot of prolonged sitting. In summer I usually get up and go for a swim just to clear my head, but I probably don’t do as much physical exercise as I should. Most of the time I just go and play the piano, but that involves more sitting. Tinkering and trying to learn a piece of music or a song I like can be very relaxing and absorbing. Practicing the piano on the other hand is another thing all together that requires up to 3 and a half hours a day of continuous practice, and that is a lot of sitting on my bottom! When I look at how much sitting I do, it’s not good, and I do need to get more physical exercise. Definitely something I need to strive for!