I’m in my office on a Saturday afternoon. Honestly, I don’t mind — I’m sort of sad that I’m not at home, where Gwyn apparently just put on her coat and hat and said goodbye to her father… just like mama did not half an hour before (aaaaawww.). But they’re having a good time with or without me — and I really have a lot to accomplish and I haven’t been able to get it done during the week. So I’d rather be here getting it done, than not getting it done — and be a happier partner and mother as a result of knowing I’ve handled my responsibilities. And working on a Saturday when no one is here (it’s a break weekend, so we’re closed) is one of the tactics I use to get shit done when shit needs doing.
Here are a few more.
Music. The benefit of working when we’re closed is that I can blast whatever I want out of the speakers I have attached to my macbook. Today’s playlist is pretty eclectic, and is making me very happy.
Multiple workspaces. I have an office designed for a Director, so I have the luxury of space. That means I have my traditional desk, but I also have a small conference table and a standing desk. And I use them interchangeably, depending on my mood or my task. Some days, some tasks, they just scream out for standing and thinking rather than sitting and writing. If I didn’t have these spaces, I know I’d be getting more creative — because I need the options if I’m going to be my most productive self. Before I had this office, I would go out and find an unused table in the public areas of the library when I needed to spread out and be isolated from my other concerns. I still sometimes go to a local coffee shop to write without interruptions. Sometimes I just go for a walk to think through a problem.
Folders. And sharpies and a label maker. In my digital working environment, I rely heavily on the OSX search functions — for mail and for documents. But in paper, which I still have a lot of, I can’t actually say out loud “find everything that says circulation in the document title” and have something happen. (I suspect my secretary would kill me if I tried. And she’d be un-convictable.) So every project has a folder, clearly labeled. It helps me put things in their place, to collect all useful documents and notes, and also lets me parcel out the work. Need to work on the grant? Grab the EIPF folders and put everything else away. I’m still a mess of disorganized paper, but it’s much better since I started doing this.
My whiteboard. I don’t know if I could do what I do without this capability — some days i just need to stand for 30 minutes with a rainbow of markers and figure out how things connect. There’s software to do similar things, but the ability to just put pens to surfaces and draw it out has incredible value for me.