Josiah’s Minimal Workspace in Melbourne, Australia

Josiah’s Minimal Workspace in Melbourne, Australia

“Always start the day with a good, healthy breakfast that you really enjoy, then make it a habit!”

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
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Name: Josiah Montassi

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Occupation: Part-time retail sales rep by day, Entrepreneur by night; Student at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

Room size: 4 m² (43 ft²)

Cost of the setup: $6K (~$8,6K AUD)

Social media: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube

Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself

Firstly, I’d like to say thank you for this opportunity to share my setup and story here on MakerStations.io

I’ve been working in retail for the last three years in Melbourne. Two years before that, I was a DJ working for an entertainment agency.

The biggest takeaway from working in these jobs was learning to communicate effectively with people.

In my free time, I run my own e-commerce store called HumbleStudent.co, where I sell minimalist artwork printed on canvas posters. It’s inspired by famous quotes and designed all by myself.

A minimal workspace
Josiah’s first version of his apartment battlestation received more than 140 comments on Reddit. Since then, he’s updated his workspace

I launched this brand when I started studying for my Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing at RMIT. It was a way to express what I was learning in my classes and also to have something to put on my résumé.

Humble Student has since expanded into a YouTube channel under a sister brand called Humble Radio.

Me and a good friend of mine have been uploading weekly lo-fi hip hop mixes for the last year and a half (we’re on Apple Music & Spotify also).

My current efforts are focused on an exciting NFT project I’m working on with my partner. It’s called Coin Plants. I’ve been involved with the crypto world since 2017.

A workspace overlooking Melbourne city’s skyline
This minimalist workspace is overlooking Melbourne city’s skyline

This NFT project of ours was a great opportunity to use what I’ve learnt about this emerging technology over the years.

We’ve partnered with the charity OneTreePlanted and aim to raise $50,000 for reforestation.

We’re also building a play-to-earn game where holders of Coin Plants will be able to yield “farm” cryptocurrency. It’s still all very early in development, but we’re really motivated to see it through.

Our awesome Discord community has been supporting us throughout the whole development process.

Take us through your setup

Item Model
Monitor Eve Spectrum 27″, 144Hz, 4K (ES07D03)
Monitor mount The Eve Spectrum Stand (ES07D04)
Monitor light bar Xiaomi Mi (BHR4838GL)
Laptop MacBook Pro 16″ (2021)
Headphones Audio-Technica ATH-G1WL
Keyboard Keychron K7 with Gateron’s brown switches
Mouse Logitech G304 and MX Master 3 for Mac
Chair IKEA Markus
Desk mat Kmart Desk Pad
Charging station Satechi Trio Wireless Charging Pad

When choosing the apartment I was moving into in 2021, I wanted to make sure it had a nice view that I could enjoy while working.

It’s a small one-bedroom place, so I had to be efficient with how I laid out my furniture.

A minimalist desk setup with a Keychron keyboard, a Logitech mouse and a cup of coffee
Josiah appreciates having some time to himself when working a morning shift. “I’ll normally get up an hour earlier than usual to just watch some YouTube on my Apple TV while having breakfast”, he says

At first, I positioned my desk up against the wall, with the windows to my left and the sofa behind me.

After a few weeks of consideration, I decided to rearrange everything and have my desk as the feature of the living room, right in front of the window, overlooking Melbourne City.

This turned out to be the right choice.

It made the lounge feel more open and inviting.

I recently made a few big changes to my setup that I’m really happy with. The keyboard, monitor and laptop all got upgraded, starting with the keyboard.

I’ve had a WASD Code mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches for the last five years, and it hasn’t failed me once.

An expensive keyboard but really solid. However, I decided it was time to go fully wireless in 2021.

So I preordered the Keychron K7 with Gateron’s brown switches from Kickstarter and have been loving it ever since.

Its 65% layout takes up a lot less desk real estate compared to my previous full-sized mechanical keyboard.

What’s your favourite item on your desk?

A lot has changed and evolved with my workstation over the years, but one item (apart from the desk itself) has remained unchanged.

It’s my terrarium.

I got it as a Christmas gift three years ago, and it has been a staple of my setup ever since.

A desk terrarium
“It’s held up really well without any maintenance, but I do need to give it a little trim and clean-up soon”

What apps or tools do you use to get things done?

I know there are thousands of apps for productivity, but I actually just use the default Apple apps to help me get things done.

Notes, Reminders, Calendar, Pages and Keynote have all been at the core of what I use to complete assignments, stay organised and collaborate in group projects.

My personal belief is to always use what you already have in front of you to its full potential before looking elsewhere to solve a problem.

Full disclaimer. Most of my daily devices are Apple products, so these apps work great for me to stay productive, especially with iCloud syncing, so I have all my work backed up as I make changes.

A tool I used a lot to get uni work done was my iPad Pro 11″ (1st Gen) with the Magic Keyboard & 2nd Gen Apple Pencil.

An iPad Pro 11″ with the Magic Keyboard and an Apple Pencil
“This combo is insanely fun to get work done on!”

My MacBook Pro is a powerhouse, but sometimes it’s overkill for light tasks like typing up these interview responses, for example. My MacBook Pro was also too expensive to fix if it got broken.

With all the walking around I did for different classes and lectures, accidentally breaking it was a pretty high possibility.

So the iPad Pro was a sort of insurance for myself, and it worked out great.

What books, blogs or podcasts recently caught your attention?

I watch a lot of YouTubers like Ali Abdaal, and I have a backlog of books that I really need to read.

I’m dyslexic.

So reading has always been a pretty slow way of absorbing information for me.

I tend to get a lot of my knowledge from audiobooks and productive YouTube videos.

I had a Blinkist subscription for a while, and the last audiobook I listened to was Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.

Any tips for other makers who want to improve their workspaces?

Invest in a good chair!

I’ve had my IKEA Markus for many years now, and it’s saved me from a world of back pain, especially while working/studying from home!

Home Office Chair for a Small Space
Find the best chair for your tiny home office with this easy guide.

I’ll admit that it definitely looks like it’s been used for years, but it still saves my back every day… when I’m not reclining in it being lazy.

It has excellent lumbar support, just the right amount of cushioning, an open mesh back for great airflow during summer and a comfy headrest for when you recline to watch some YouTube or a movie.

A night view of the minimalist desk setup
Josiah lives within walking distance of the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, Australia

I got it for about $200, but it has been worth every dollar.

There are lots of other great chairs out there too, but this one just ticked all the boxes for me.

I highly recommend avoiding anything under $100 brand new. They’re just not worth it.

Trust me, I’ve tried a lot of chairs!

For a few hundred bucks more, you can save yourself the nightmare of regular back pain.

It’s my number one tip to improve your setup. It might not be the most flashy upgrade, but your spine will thank you.

What does your typical day look like?

I’m really weird.

I hate getting up in the morning, but it’s also my favourite time of the day. On average, I usually get up anywhere between 9:30 to 10 am, despite my alarm being set for 9 am every morning.

Although I don’t like waking up early, I found that I’m most productive from around 11 am until about 4 pm.

Then my productivity starts to drop off.

Hario V60 coffee maker is available as a glass, metal, plastic, copper, or ceramic coffee dripper. The name comes from the dripper’s design — a V-shaped cone with a 60° angle
Hario V60 coffee maker is available as a glass, metal, plastic, copper, or ceramic coffee dripper. The name comes from the dripper’s design — a V-shaped cone with a 60° angle

I’ve always considered myself a night owl because it’s easy for me to stay up late and hard for me to get up in the morning, but I’m not that productive at night.

I’m currently working part-time from home as a phone sales rep which can start at either 10 am or 1 pm each day and finish at 9 pm or 6 pm.

There’s not much I need to do to prepare for my work.

I just turn on the computer, log in and put on my headset, then begin making sales calls.

My typical morning routine consists of making a bowl of quinoa topped with yoghurt and frozen raspberries. I’ve eaten this for breakfast almost every morning for the last three or four years now.

I think my mum just made it one day, and I liked it so much, that I never stopped eating it. Luckily quinoa is extremely healthy!

Alongside my bowl of quinoa, I’ll have a cup of black filter coffee that I make with freshly ground beans from my 1Zpresso hand grinder and Hario V60.

But most mornings, just straight black coffee will do the trick (as long as I have good quality beans on hand).

I deeply enjoy this meal for breakfast every day, so if I’m having a tough time finding the motivation to get out of bed, this gives me something to look forward to every morning.

The rest of my day is spent at my desk, either for work or my own projects.

Unless I have other things planned with friends or family, my desk is the epicentre of my apartment and for most things I do in my life.

Your tips for working from home?

Even though I have a retail job, due to the extremely long lockdowns in Melbourne, I’ve been working from home for about a year now.

In that time, I learned a few tricks to stay motivated and productive.

My number one tip that I have is to always start the day with a good, healthy breakfast that you really enjoy, then make it a habit!

15 Easy WFH breakfasts ready in up to 15 Mins
From Acai bowl and stuffed avo to ham & cheese roll-ups.

I tend to eat the same thing every morning, but you can make whatever you like.

Just try to avoid carbs and sugar.

You’ll be surprised how a good start to your morning can give you the motivation to get out of bed and have a productive day.

One other trick I learned working from home is rather obvious but very underrated.

Always spend at least ten minutes outside, no matter what.

I find myself getting stir crazy, and my productivity falls off a cliff when I don’t go outside for at least a few minutes every day.

Things are slowly going back to normal in my city, but during the lockdowns, I had to make a conscious effort to go outside even if there was no reason to.

The Apple Watch
Josiah’s daily devices are mainly made by Apple, including this Apple Watch S6 Titanium

I’m naturally very introverted, so you’d think being inside every day would be easy for me, but it’s not, and it can really take a heavy mental toll on you.

So if you have to work from home, it makes all the difference to just put things on pause once a day and get some fresh air.

We’re a reader-supported publication. This article might contain affiliate links. It means we may receive a commission if you click a link and buy a product that our maker has recommended. The interview was done independently.

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