I just finished repainting and moving my office all around, and decided that now was the perfect time to rearrange the furniture for more efficient productivity, as well as perform a long overdue purge of all the “stuff” that’s been accumulating for the last several years.
I used to have my desk and my standing desk side by side, creating a massive ten foot work area. At first, I thought this was an awesome idea, but in reality it was an invitation for organizational disaster. At first, it worked really well, as I could easily switch between tasks and desks. But slowly, the standing desk became a huge “in box” as I would pile things up on it as I walked past it to get to the other desk. And then the piles overflowed and encroached on the work surface of my other desk too! Not good!
So now, I have my “in box” on top of a short bookcase right by the door. It’s a much smaller, well defined space, and will force me to process things instead of letting them pile up to ginormous proportions again.
The other thing I did was separate the two desks. They are still within arms distance of each other, but now the standing desk is ninety degrees to the left, and four feet behind my primary desk. This creates two well defined work areas for me. The standing desk will have my printer, scanner, and project materials on it. The primary desk, now has just my computer, keyboard, phone, and mouse, giving me back desktop surface for my coffee cup, Day Runner (yes, I still use paper at times, plus it makes for an awesome mobile capture tool for hand written notes, print outs, business cards, etc), as well the much needed work area to actually work.
I also embraced this opportunity to purge out “stuff”. It is absolutely amazing to me how much stuff accumulates when you’re actively purging on a weekly, if not even a daily, basis! I found seed packets in my desk drawers. I found a 6 month old flyer from the local grocery store. I found an army of dust bunnies behind an overflowing box full of old computer parts and cables. Seriously, why am I keeping the 4 gig IDE hard drive when I don’t even have a computer to put it in. And why is there a one gallon zip lock bag with twenty of those three foot telephone cords in it? I’m never going to need that many.
And all this stuff, while each item is small, and potentially useful, in aggregate they create junk and clutter. I am actively going through each item, and doing an honest evaluation of whether or not I really need to save it. And so far, most of the time, the answer is no, or I only need to save one, and not twenty of something.
While I still have more to purge this week, I have made an incredible dent and literally threw out several trash bags of “stuff” and scanned almost 100 sheets of paper (storing digital copies of things is so much more space efficient). I am actually looking forward to working at my desk again!