There can be many problems that come from focusing on your work but never focusing on HOW you work...
A couple of years ago, I was working with a client who was frustrated with a number of things around her house, and she especially wanted my help in re-thinking her master bedroom. As we talked things through and toured the house, we arrived in the room that bothered her the most...
Yes, there was some clutter. Yes, there was a lack of “pretty.” But the thing that smacked me in the face as I looked around the bedroom were the objects that were right next to her side of the bed.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Oh! Well, you know, I work from home just one or two days a week, and this set up just seemed to work for that....”
This woman was a successful professional woman---a successful professional woman who had placed a cheap card table and an ugly grey filing cabinet in her master bedroom.
Because a home workspace is usually all about getting the work done --professional or personal--we quickly shoehorn our home workspace into whatever open square footage is available and just get down to business. But taking a minute to focus on how we work can have far-reaching implications for our productivity and pleasure while working, so let's think through some very important questions:
How Do I Want To Work?: It is good to dream a little here. Picture what your workspace would be if there were no limitations. What environment, colors, and furnishings would inspire and nurture your creativity and productivity? If we are honest and allow ourselves to think big, that rickety card table and dusty old file cabinet won’t stand a chance.
How Do I Complete Tasks?: I once knew a writer whose printer was across the room from her computer, necessitating that she hook up a long cord each time she wanted a hard copy of what she was working on...and that was several times a day. It wasn’t until she looked at her “how” that she saw this for the time waster that it was. We all do things in the trenches that we wouldn’t do if we had a bird’s eye view. Step back from your daily tasks and scrutinize how your space is set up. Make sure it is especially easy to accomplish the things you do all the time.
How Do I Want My Work To Fit Into My Life?: We would never answer this question by saying, “Well, I would like my sleep and sex life to be negatively affected by my work!” but that is a likely outcome when you choose to house your office in your bedroom. Make sure that your choice of space serves your vision for your life overall.
Honor yourself and what you do for a living by making your home office all it can be--not an afterthought, but a well designed, well thought-out place that enables you to do your best work.