During my recent trip to Denver, I was walking down a street and saw this desk through the window. What struck me was that the person who sat at this desk had only one personal item pinned to the wall…this picture a child obviously drew. It made me wonder…

Who drew the picture and why did this person have it at their desk? Did their child draw it, or someone else’s child? Was it drawn at home or at school? Did the child just experience a train ride, hence the subject matter? Or Maybe they had just seen ‘The Sound of Music’ and liked the train scene?  There is no name on the picture, and the paper is a rather unusual size. Was this the original paper size or was this portion cut off and given away? Of all the pictures this person could have had on their work wall, why this one? And why no other personal items? 

Seeing this desk from the street made me think about all the things sitting on my desk. What do they mean to me and why are they on my desk? Do they serve a purpose? Do they hold special meaning? Or am I just too lazy to put them away? Is it time to declutter my desk area, or do I produce better when it is the way it is? You can tell a lot about people when you observe their work area. 

What does your work area look like? Is it a dedicated space or does it double as your kitchen table? Maybe it serves as a dining room when family arrive? Do you close the door when you are done working…do you even have a door? Do you share your desk with other co-workers? Or do you have a cubicle all to yourself? As employees we adjust our work habits to our environment and our environment adjusts to us. When people who talk on the phone alot sit near someone trying to concentrate tensions can run high. When we need quiet and only hear noise it can be very distracting. Some people work wearing headphones, others play music or watch tv to focus. Others work from a coffe shop or prefer to read and focus from a local park bench. 

Do you know yourself well enough to know how you work best? I hope so…it makes ‘work’ so much better when you can produce whatever it is you produce in a conducive environment. You may have to clean or organize or pile high the backlog of papers…whatever you need your workspace to be for you to create be sure to develop that work space. If your desk is a mess, let this blog post be your que to clean, wipe down and generally organize your space. Take ten minutes and set up your space just the way you want. You will be surprised how much better work can be when you like where you work.