Eps 17: How to create inspiring spaces to work and live

August 31, 2023

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Did you know that having inspiring spaces for your work and live can make you more productive, focused, creative and happy?

If your current work setup is making you question your sanity, making you feel less like the rockstar you are, then it’s time to reimagine and redesign your space.

What’s more you can extend this to your living spaces too and really start to question if your current routines, work and life flow, and systems are actually serving you in the best possible way.

Why cant you have a designer wardrobe space, your ultimate pantry and the most relaxing chill lounge space ever in your home?

After all you deserve a first class lifestyle and this podcast episodes shares how to go about getting one!

You’ll learn:

  • The importance of creating inspiring spaces to work and live
  • The power of designing your ideal work setup to be more productive and focused
  • How I organise my work week to focus on my two businesses
  • How to create first class experiences in your home and work life

Read the full podcast transcript

Ah, the joys of a peaceful workspace that I finally have after more than two years. In this episode of the Life Pilot Podcast, I’m just going to get really real with you about the importance of creating your own inspiring spaces to be able to create, work, and be focused from. And why you’re missing that and how you can get it.

Hi, I’m Natalie Sisson. And if you haven’t listened to this show before, then we are all about turning your dreams into reality.

I’m the co founder of LifePilot, a tool and methodology that helps you take your big picture vision and turn it into daily focused priorities so that you can reach your dreams sooner than you ever thought possible in a way that really aligns with how you want to show up in the world and across all areas of life. So check it out at lifepilot.co.

So I am really excited to be recording this episode from my new office space and I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting that is because I realized that I haven’t had my own office for the better part of two years.

So before we went into lockdown, we had actually really only just moved into our new house and I set up an office in the guest room and Josh set up an office in one of the other rooms.

And we both had our offices because we both had our own businesses and we decided to work from home and have the space that we wanted. And his office was vastly different to mine.

Mine was all like zen and gorgeous and, you know, like candles and essential oils with a Lovely standing desk that could all, you know, also go to sitting and I just made it a really beautiful space.

I had some gorgeous artwork up on the wall looked good in the background of videos I had all my equipment like my podcast mic and my ring light and I had all my inspirational books and it was just very uncluttered and Zen and inspiring to me.

I would walk in there in the morning and I just wanted to work like I just that was where some of my best best ever ideas came from, the $10K Club. The idea for Suck it up, Princess the book. So many Amazing things that came out of there.

Group coaching was so easy because I had my beautiful background, I had the quiet and space, I could look out the window up towards our paddock and our trees, I could hear the stream from there, the sun shone in, but not too much. I mean, it was just beautiful. And then, uh, and then along came Leo and, uh, Essentially, he, you know, that was his room.

I was just thinking back to he, he stayed in my wardrobe, which sounds really odd, but I have a small walk in wardrobe and it was a perfect little space for his bassinet for the first few months. And it was right near my bed and super close. And then once we felt it was time, he moved into his own bedroom.

And there goes my office and it was great because I was on maternity leave and I fully wanted to embrace being with Leo and then over time over the first sort of five months of him being a baby, it was all just delicious and wonderful and dreamy . Also just crazy and amazing and new. And then we started the Fraemohs Homes franchise.

So, as you do with a five month old, you take on an absolutely brand new business that neither you or your husband, husband to be at the time, know anything about in the construction industry.

And you just decide that sustainable, healthy, ecological, Scandinavian designed, solid timber homes are something that you want to back.

And put your effort behind and build into an awesome business and also just have a great challenge.

So anyway for the last two years. I have been working from our dining room table, which I have to admit is in a gorgeous spot.

It’s surrounded by you know nature big big huge floor to ceiling windows. Lots of sunlight really gorgeous in the living kitchen space, so super handy for snacks and herbal teas and coffees and all the things.

And then I would sometimes work from Josh’s office because I had a spare limber desk set up in there and I love limber desks, they’re a New Zealand company.

They’re a desk that goes from sitting, kneeling on the floor, right up to standing. They’re incredible. They’re designed for great posture, to keep you healthy.

And they’re kind of Scandinavian design with wood as well, so all sort of tied in really beautifully with what we were doing. And so I had that, but it never really felt like my space.

And Josh, love him and bless him. He’s a coder, he’s a developer, he’s somebody who’s collecting stuff, might I, might put in brackets hoarding.

Feels like he’s always hoarding just anything that he thinks he can probably create something with in the future for an idea that he has that I know he is going to implement because he’s so passionate about it.

It’s called Open Microfactory, this is in the future, I’m sure I’ll do an episode on it, but essentially it’s about helping people create in their own homes and in their own spaces, things that they can make and use.

So really making people self sufficient, especially as we sort of move forward in this world, having these small little centers where you can just create things either at home or with other people, use what you have and create things that are very useful and lasting.

So. Lots of ideas there and there’ll be some use of AI and all these cool things. But the point is you can imagine what being in an office with Josh is like where he just collects and hoards stuff and then doesn’t necessarily have any systems.

I don’t think, to do things with this stuff so it’s not an ideal environment for me, because I am very much an advocate of decluttering all the time and that less is more.

And that a minimalized environment that is clean and uncluttered and peaceful, is super productive, super healthy for you, and makes you feel like you’re winning from day one.

So I never really felt like that when I walked into Josh’s office, but I guess the irony of being a digital nomad for over like eight or nine years is that I can literally work from anywhere and I can be focused as heck.

So unlike other people who, you know, I have the best intentions but come up with the best excuses like, “Oh, the light is not so, or I don’t have the right desk, or the couch isn’t in the right place, or it’s not quiet enough, or it’s not big enough, or it’s not small enough, or it’s not dark enough or light enough”.

I’m just like, I can work from anywhere.

Give me an airport, give me a train, give me a plane seat. Uh, give me anything and I will just work from my laptop. And I’ve become very adept at it.

But it wasn’t until… We built our Fraemohs Homes show home on our land in the field in front of our house with this gorgeous view I will put a photo in the show notes, which will be at lifepilot. co forward slash 17 17

It wasn’t until we finished this fitted it out And I I did the final interior design with curtains and couches and plants and just beautiful calming colors that I was like Ah And I actually feel like that just breathing when I am in the show home because it is my dedicated office space and I didn’t realize how much I missed having my own space for the last two years.

So, first off, that’s what I want to share in this episode, the importance of having your own space, no matter if it is a closet, a shed, a corner of a room in your house, whether it is a makeshift garden shed, whether it is somebody else’s space down the road, whether it is a coworking space, whether it is renting out a room somewhere else just because you don’t have that space in your own place.

Do whatever it takes like I have tried things over the last few years. I did actually rent a little office in town, but it was not quiet enough for recording podcasts and videos. And essentially I was like, I wanted to be in town for the social aspect of it, but it just wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

I have worked in coworking spaces, which are great, but when it comes to private calls, I just didn’t feel quite right. And. To be honest, they’ve become fairly pricey because as a business model, it’s very hard to actually make them work unless you have cafes or event space there.

So I just didn’t really feel the need at a time when we were starting off this brand new business and had literally no funds in it.

And I had paused my other business. It wasn’t the time to be spending on. Rental income just because I didn’t feel I had enough space at home, which we certainly have.

But I think why I appreciate this so much more now and what I wasn’t realizing was even holding me back a little is that when you have two noisy dogs that are beautiful, but bark at every single visitor.

When you have a young toddler who can come in sort of any time and grab your attention, it is nothing short of a miracle to be able to come to the show home and record a podcast in peace and quiet, with focus, with my thoughts to myself, and knowing that there is zero interruptions that could happen.

Well, not zero. When are you never going to have zero? Uh, but very few interruptions that are going to happen. In fact, while recording this podcast, I have come out here in the evening. It’s not my evening to pop Leo in the bath and read him books. I absolutely love doing that, but it’s my night off. And so I was like, I’ve got energy.

I’ve got time. I’ve got lots of things that I want to share. So I’m going to go record my podcast. Hallelujah. It feels so good, friends. I am sitting on this lovely couch that I sourced on Marketplace. Got some cool cushions. The curtains are shut. The plant is looking healthy. I’ve got this awesome coffee table that extends up to a perfect desk height if you were sitting.

Inspired office space

I’ve got my laptop, I’ve got my podcast mic, and I’ve even bought in a tripod because I am going to start, finally, doing reels for social media and just getting into creating more video content to share bite sized inspiration with you about living your best life. And I can’t tell you how meaningful this is to me.

And I know this is a bit more of a personal episode, but I hope that you’re getting something out of this. Because essentially what I’m saying is I do feel that the quality of my work and some of the excuses, and I will label in that and be a hundred percent transparent with you.

Some of the excuses that I have been telling myself about why I’m not doing things like turning up on reels or doing videos or being consistent with batching my podcast is because I don’t feel like I have had the space, time, or environment to do it.

Now, as I just said at the beginning of my podcast, I can work from absolutely anywhere. But there’s working from anywhere, and then there’s good quality, deep work, focus work, and really focusing on what matters.

And I have to admit, that it is important to have your own space for this, no matter how small or where it is.

So this is really me encouraging you to do that. I’ve actually read a ton of studies that talk about how much happier, healthier, more productive and focused we are when we’re in an environment that motivates us.

There is nothing worse than coming into, you know, if you work in a job, there’s nothing worse than coming into an office that you don’t get to personalize.

We don’t get to put your things or photos, the lighting’s crap. You don’t have a window to look out of, or just, you know, light and space where there’s, you know, absolutely nothing inspiring at all. I imagine if you’ve been in that position, you feel demotivated, deflated, and not like doing your best work.

So this is huge. If you are in that situation for your business, for your job, you need to do something to change it up. And the beauty of, I guess, what the pandemic did bring us is remote working and flexi working.

And so many companies, I would, I would be so bold as to say, 70% of companies around the world feel like they have embraced remote working or flexi working.

So it’s up to you to negotiate and be able to either work from home more or work from a different space if you don’t like office, if you don’t like commuting anymore, if it’s not really floating your boat.

And all you have to turn around and say to your employer if you’re in a job is I will be 50% more focused, motivated, and productive if I can work from X location, right?

Any employer who hears that and you prove it to them is going to be like, sure, prove it to me. You’ve got a month, right? And if you own your own business, you owe it to yourself to invest in either a co working space, a private office. You can lease a private space. You can lease in somebody else’s house.

Like if you have a friend and they’ve got a lovely home and it’s in a great location that inspires you when you go there and have a spare room, ask them like, could I, could I rent this out? Could I just be here for two days a week? Come in, do my stuff, store my things here. I’ll keep it really tidy, whatever it is.

Can I do that? And I have a few things here. You’d be surprised. It’s like people. Yeah. Airbnb, their homes all the time. People rent out space, like people need money. They’re happy to look at other forms of income, or if they have the space and they’re loaded, well, then they’ll probably just appreciate you using it.

So look around and think about what is going to be a creative. inspiring space for you. And don’t get me wrong. You should still be, I think, going out to cafes to work sometimes, going to the parks for walk and talks, listening to podcasts while you’re on the go, while you’re driving, while you’re walking, getting inspired.

There’s different ways in which you get to work, but I am talking about the deep focus work when you want to be a hundred percent focused on what you’re doing to do the best that you possibly can. And that type of work isn’t done in a interruptible environment that’s full of noise, kids, pets, people, distractions, doorbells, couriers.

It’s just, you know, give yourself the grace, invest in yourself and create the space and the environment that you need to breathe and be your best self. Because my goodness. It is life changing.

And I am actually quite surprised that I’ve managed for the last two years to to ship the kind of work that I have to be focused on the things that I have, and to have gotten the results that I have been able to, but I am 100% sure that what you’re going to get from me going forward now that I have this show home office is going to be next level and so much more.

Well, focus productive and amazing from my perspective because I already feel more professional more Together like it’s so odd like but this is how an environment can inspire you to greatness.

So whatever way you can do this for yourself whatever little piece of a house or an apartment or an office you can carve out to make your own and set it up to be your own the better.

You don’t need the super fancy stuff. You can pick things up off Marketplace and Online, you know, sites and communities where people sell, Facebook groups.

It’s amazing what you can pick up that could dress the space that you’ve got. Make it look like a million dollars and it cost you 200 bucks. So no excuses there.

But really this is about gifting yourself a first class experience and I’ve talked about this a little bit on the podcast before.

One of the very first episodes I talked about living a first class life versus an economy life, hat tip to Denise Duffield Thomas who talks about this a lot in her Money Mindset Bootcamp And it’s a really good exercise to do, right?

So If I’m really being honest, I was in economy class, in terms of working space for the last two years, not saying that I don’t love the dining table because it is a gorgeous view and it’s a beautiful room, but it’s just more that, you know, I didn’t have the setup. I didn’t have a monitor. I didn’t have an ergonomic seating position.

I had constant interruptions. Aaron, our project manager at Fraemohs Homes, has been co working there with me, and it’s been lovely to have the company. But you know, it’s just, it’s not conducive to the kind of work we’re wanting to do. And now we have the show home and office.

Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays, he’s here, and we work together. One of us is at the standing desk, one of us is at the table. We also have a mini limber, so we can both be standing. We can talk to each other when we need. We’re focused. We have the screens to be able to both look at project plans, talk about things.

Desk setup in showhome

We go out and site visits together. We’re just way more cohesive. We’re much more of a unit and we can also have our own individual focus time with headphones on, etc. So it’s been a game changer on that front. Uh, and then Mondays and Wednesdays are my life pilot life coaching days. Me time, content creation, Recording, as you said, videos, focus, study, whatever it may be.

And I now get to come out of the house, walk on the beautiful little path that we just had created, look out at the gorgeous field, listen to the birds, see the sunshine, and then come into the space and gaze out into that view in complete happiness and have it all to myself. If I really want, I could be here on the weekends when I’m not.

With Josh and Leo, or friends, and having a great time, probably not gonna be. I leave my, I can leave my laptop in here securely and safely.

I can leave my podcasting and video equipment in the wardrobe, put it away out of sight, but it’s my space to change when I want on Monday and Wednesday.

And it’s my workspace for Fraemohs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and I can go between the living kitchen office area into the, what is the bedroom, but really is set up as kind of a lounge space.Podcast set up minimalist style

I just feel like I have two completely different workspaces that kind of focused, nice, sunny, you know, stand up desk kind of, yeah, we got the herbal teas there and music on.

Then I can come into this like zen, quiet, peaceful room with the curtains and the carpet and the couch and the cushions and the plants and the beautiful Breathe easy stain that I put on the walls and it’s just a whole different dynamic.

And so it actually allows me to literally split up my work and like, that’s Fraemohs. This is LifePilot. Um, heck, I could roll around on the carpet if I want.

I just, you know, I’m going to, we won’t even know what’s going to happen, what’s going to come out of this space.

It’s going to be amazing.

So this was really an episode to talk to you about where are you not living a first class life in your setup, especially when it comes to your work, to your purpose.

To the meaning that you’re putting behind things and to your creative spaces and how can you start redesigning that today to fit with your lifestyle and your work needs so that you feel like you’re in first class.

And this is, uh, not entirely unrelated, but seems a bit strange, but for example, in the house right now, another place where I feel I just have an economy class setup is my walk in wardrobe.

Uh, it’s, it’s like second rate, it’s, poorly designed, it’s fairly cheap. Set up that whoever created previous owners put in there. It’s not fit for the space it’s got like four drawers one of which broke the other day and the rest is all shelves and I hate I just hate seeing clutter. Uh, I don’t actually have that many clothes.

It’s the suitcase entrepreneur in me I’ve i’ve seemed to have accumulated things and I probably wear one 12th of the things that are in there.

There’s a whole lot of ultimate frisbee gear and sports gear and a lot of it’s just packed away and I I just want a complete overhaul.

And Josh for Christmas, gave me the gift of a makeover for my wardrobe, and that I get to spend money, that he’s paying for, which is really lovely of him, to redesign my wardrobe.

And so I went to our, our carpenter who’s amazing and does incredible kitchens and spaces, and I said, can you Do a wardrobe and he’s like, yeah, and so I’m getting a custom designed wardrobe, which is actually very simple I designed it up on a piece of paper.

He put it together in his fancy software and He showed it to me today and I’m like great.

It’s got lots of drawers. It’s got shoe drawers or shoe racks It’s got um a drawer for my jewellery of which I again don’t wear very often, because it’s not out on display.

It’s just not something that comes to mind, I have no space to put it, I’m going to have a mirror, I’m going to have proper lighting, I’m going to have the right cupboards for the right stuff, and it’s going to be beautiful.

And I’m really excited and that’s another example of a space where you walk into your wardrobe or you access your clothes Every single day.

So why not make it a fun beautiful experience?

I have a space to be able to, you know, do my hair if I feel like it and put on a bit of makeup and you are talking to one of the world’s minimalists here on all fronts, but Just having a space where things make sense and it’s tidy and it’s lovely and it’s organized Just makes my heart sing.

Like every time I go into that wardrobe right now I even took two massive units out of it because it just was so crammed and weird and not useful as space So I’m really excited to have my first ever designer wardrobe space.

That’s just an example of making, you know, your life a little bit better and you a whole lot happier.

And I’ve been really rethinking this around the home, every space actually right now. How do I make this better?

What small mini improvements that I can make for free or if I invest in to just make this easier?

And when you think about all the things that you do in your home, in your car, in your workspace every single day.

Just pause for a moment and take a look and go is this actually the best use of my time the best use of the space the most efficient way to do this?

Or have I just been doing it this way for so long that I’ve forgotten what efficiency looks like or what beauty looks like or what elegance or what flow feels like because there are so many places where this happens . So many.

Like, we just had a lovely WWOOFER from Slovenia stay with us. WWOOFER stands for a Willing Worker on an Organic Farm.

So essentially they come in and they do work on the land and in your house for you in return for free board and food. And we have incredible people come to stay with us.

And so I got Aida to basically go through our pantry and chuck out everything that was expired and redesign it.

Like, I think we had a pretty good thing going on in there, but I was like, you know what, you take it and you reimagine our pantry, for groupings of food and however we use it.

And she did a fabulous job, you know, baking stuff on one part, all the rices and lentils in another, uh, you know, Italian pastas over here, cans over there.

Nuts over here. It was brilliant. She cleaned it all out and then she did the next pantry with our crockery and things in it and it’s just nice sometimes to haveĀ  somebody else go through your stuff. Redesign it and reimagine it in a way that makes sense and the same happened in our garage which You know, every so often just gets a little bit out of control and we just redesigned it.

We put it into better cabinets, more, more useful ways of displaying the stuff that we use quite often, but now hidden away in cabinets, better organized, cleaner, way less clutter. Same thing with the wood pile for our furnace that heats out under floors and our radiators, just making sense of what you do every single day.

Like if I’m bringing in wood for this, how do we stack it best? Where should the paper go that we need to burn to start it? Where do the lighters sit? Just really simple things that you’re probably doing all the time.

Maybe you’re not having to light a fire every day in winter. But what are you doing every day that you could make so much better and more in flow with how you want to live your life?

Well, what are you overlooking that you, you know, are things out of reach that you use all the time? Or did you redesign your pantry so that the glasses and cups that you want to see all the time are right in front of your face when you open it?

Not all the things that you never use, but take up premium shelf space. This may seem like we’ve gone off track, but I think it’s very pertinent.

Essentially, what I’m saying is design your lifestyle the way you want it to be and design the things that you use in your life every single day and the things that make you happy or that you love doing.

Put them front and center. And re imagine how your setup is as you flow through your day, so that it puts you in a good mood, makes you happy, makes you more productive, makes you more motivated, makes you more inspired and gives you a great life.

That, that is the whole essence of this podcast today. I hope you have enjoyed listening to the Life Pilot podcast.

If you want to get the show notes for this, head across to lifepilot. co forward slash 17. That’s one seven. And, as announced last week. I am now a certified holistic life coach, and of course, your business coach, and always have been for the last 13 years of my life, and I am thrilled to be able to offer you a discovery call if you want to evolve your life.

Talk about these types of things. Get to the heart of your beliefs, some of those belief systems that are holding you back. Some of your thoughts and actions and behaviours. Let’s talk about habits and habits and mindset loops and Let’s talk about your business or your work or the meaning behind it. Let’s talk about your relationships.

Let’s talk about your communication Let’s talk about what’s holding you back Let’s jump on a discovery call and see if we could be a great fit to evolve your life to what you truly Want it to be so that you are living your very best life If that interests you, if you’re curious, it’s a complimentary 30 minute call.

Let’s chat. See if we’re a good fit. Head to lifepilot.co/coaching. I am actually really thrilled to be starting with my first life coaching clients as of this week. So the response has been awesome and I have limited spots because my lifestyle design, as you know, And as I just mentioned, Monday and Wednesdays, it’s my time for life pilot and life coaching.

So I have pretty limited spots because that’s how I want it to be for now. I want to ease into this. I want to work with super valuable, wonderful clients who are willing to put in the work to create the life that they love and, and just build this up slowly. So if it sounds like you’re a fit, if you’re looking for somebody to help you create real change at a level that is not just temporary but deep, meaningful change that you do the work on and I help guide you on, then hit me up, lifepilot.co/coaching.

Other than that really, truly think about the importance of a first class life and how you can design Any little thing that’s happening in your day to suit you better, motivate you, inspire you and give you what you need and desire. Thanks for listening.

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About the Author

Natalie Sisson

I'm a serial entrepreneur, besotted Mum, best-selling author, speaker, podcaster and lifestyle design enthusiast. I'm all about showing you how to live life to the full, on your own terms and by design.

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