A new use for old books ….
This week I reorganized two home offices; a client’s, and my own. He was a businessman who had recently stopped commuting, and I was catapulted into the 21st century with the gift of a new computer and monitor (so fast that it makes me feel like Laura Ingalls being asked to choose what type of coffee she wants at Starbucks. Some days I feel like it is typing the words before I have even thought of what I wanted to say).
Although we are in this world of portable media, some of us still need a place to sit and work in order to stay focused. I am one of those people, and, apparently, so was my client; I can’t travel from sofa to sunroom with a laptop, and actually get any work done. It took me years to understand the concept (discipline?) of working from home, and I know it could very easily be undone if I wandered around the house in my fuzzy pajamas, looking for the sunniest, softest, most comfortable place to type.
My client felt the same way; he wanted his job to stay in once place, and not share office time with his family unless it was absolutely necessary. But, he felt disorganized, and although his office had plenty of space, he felt the room was working against him instead of for him. So, this is what I discovered during this last week ….
If you have the luxury of working from home, then for goodness sake enjoy it, and make your space as efficient and practical as you can.
Your chair and desk should be comfortable, and your back, neck and head should not ache at the end of the day. This sounds obvious, but if something hurts, you need to figure out why. If you have a bad back, then a new, ergonomic chair may be better than the traditional squishy one, elevate your feet on a stool if you need to, and adjust the size and glare of the text on your monitor if it makes you squint all day.
Have what you need all the time within arms reach, and be flexible until it feels right. Jot down notes about what does and doesn’t work for you. (eg. If you have to get up every time you use the printer, and you use it often, then maybe it should be nearer).
Store away as much as possible, and consider the less obvious place for things; can you put your scanner and filing cabinet in the closet, or stack letterhead paper in a drawer?
Remove things you don’t need, or use very rarely, and keep personal items to a minimum. I know this seems contradictory to what I usually say, but if it is a dedicated office space, then it isn’t a place for excessive daydreaming. The idea is to keep it separate from your personal life.
Do have motivating things in your office. Whatever your field of work, surround yourself with things or words that inspire you about your career, or remind you of your goals.
One of my own changes this week was to put my monitor on two books, because the new one that was gifted to me (thank you, you know who you are) was too low for my old desk. The irony of the solution wasn’t lost on me; the books are from 1905, gorgeous, heavy and gold bound, but although I thumb through them every now and again, they usually sit with my favorite dishes in a glass cabinet. Moved to my office for a practical reason, I now get to look at these beautiful pieces of art every single day.
So, whether you are catapulted into a new world, or doing the happy dance because you don’t have to commute any more, make the most of it (and don’t wear fuzzy pajamas while you type – well, maybe just now and again……..)
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/