My desk is my home inside my home
. I spend a lot of my time sitting at my desk writing mostly, and I have to be 100% comfortable. It’s actually the smallest nook that actually has some sort of use. I kind of love that little nook. It’s safe and cozy and I get my best work done there.
Now… as much as I love my own desk, I’m actually fascinated with other people’s. But, to be frank, I’m not interested in overly stylized, non-functional desks that you see in catalogs and magazines (and, well, Pinterest). I want to see where people actually work.
I asked four of my friends (Inslee
, and Fred
) in completely different industries to share their desks. I think there’s something really personal about each desk, and for that, I’m so thankful they were open enough to give us all a peek!
1. Plan a time to answer email and stick to it. Don’t let email control your day by replying every time something comes in our you’ll be tied to your inbox until midnight without doing any real work.
2. Clean up at the end of every day so you can start each new day with a clear head and a clear workspace.
3. Know when to quit. Trying to cram too many things into one day is the fastest way I get disorganized so I always plan a time to stop each day and try to stick to it (baring an illustration emergency, believe it or not, they exist).
Why it’s my favorite motivational quote: There are a few things that I repeatedly tell myself to calm down and stay focused. My favorite of which is “this too shall pass” which I learned in a yoga class at a moment when half the class was giving up and collapsing onto their mats. The teacher shouted that out to us and it totally saved me. I say this to myself all the time and it sets everything in perspective… Dealing with a tough client – this too shall pass…. Feeling like I can’t get my whole to do list accomplished – this too shall pass… Getting an amazing new client or opportunity – savor this moment carefully because, yep, this too shall pass!
Alison‘s Tips for Staying Organized
1. Though I also have a MacBook Pro, I do much of my design and planning on this desktop. I love to listen to music while I work, but my only requirement is that I know the lyrics. (If I don’t, I will be paying more attention to learning those than on my work!) Gus and Mr. Pinky, our cats, are my steadfast office companions!
2. I am an office supply nut and long-time lover of Black n’ Red notebooks. I could spend hours in Staples or a stationery store. I write exclusively in black ink (I hate blue ink–I don’t know why!). I prefer to use pencils in my planner, so I don’t have to cross something out. (I would much rather erase!) I believe in function over fad, meaning I don’t always rush out for the latest and greatest supplies. I stick to what works for me–even if that is simply printer paper on a clipboard.
Story behind my desk: I purchased this desk from Target four weeks after I graduated from Georgetown in 2007. It was my first “big girl” furniture purchase–made completely on my own without help from my folks. Truth be told, it worked beautifully in my shiny and new DC apartment, but it doesn’t quite fit the aesthetic of our loft in Providence. Since we’ll be building our first home soon, my husband and I have held off buying any new furniture so that we can outfit it to the nines. I have bold plans for what that desk will look like, but for now, this beauty works just fine.
1. Invest in a calendar and agenda. Keep them as organized and as up to date as possible!
2. Quote books can help you remain motivated. It’s how I de-stress and remember sayings and quotes I like. I write in it only with specific markers to keep it looking similar and flip through it depending on my mood!
Story behind my desk: I bought my desk from Walmart actually, which most people would never believe! I moved into my house and was forced to buy a few major pieces of furniture since our house was only partially furnished. Realizing quickly I would not be able to survive a summer, let along a school year, without a desk I started hunting. About a week later a big, bevy box arrived on my doorstep. Putting together a piece of furniture on your own is hard. Not only were the directions unclear, but my desk is different than most–it’s a corner desk so everything is shaped funny and oriented differently. I ended up putting it together wrong at times but forged through to finally see the project happily end. With only minor damages when all was said and done, it’s proudly finished and well equipped in my room. It’s study and blogging HQ and also serves as a place to hold clothes (sorry Mom!). Decked out in pink and green, I don’t think I would have it any other way!
1. Drop the OCD routine and cut yourself some slack
2. Give everything a “place”
3. Don’t procrastinate in putting said object back in that “place”
My favorite motivational quotation in its entirety:
“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress, how you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.” —Anonymous
I want to see your desks too! You can tweet/Instagram a picture (tag me so I can see– @collegeprepster). Or, even better, do a blog post with pictures, your favorite motivational quotations, what’s on your desk, and your best tips for staying organized– then leave a link back in a comment!