Having recently started a new job, I’ve come into a real treat: a brand new workspace. A complete blank slate. It’s a rarity and a treat.
My first thought, of course, was to populate it with the tech and tools that I’ll need to get my work done. I started making a list when it dawned on me to stop, throw the list away and take an altogether different approach. Let experience dictate what I add. It’s been quite an eye-opening experience.
I started with the bare minimum: pens, some index cards, and a calendar. Big items like a computer and printer were supplied by my employer. Everything else I’ve added only when I’ve needed something.
First, I realized I needed my smartphone and a charging cable for it. Rather than schlep a charging cable back and forth every day between my home and office, I bought a cable to live at my desk. Next, once I knew for certain that wearing headphones was acceptable when working, I added a set of earbuds go my supplies. Nothing says, “Can’t talk, I’m working,” like a pair of headphones. Plus, I’m more productive and happy when listening to music.
(More on keeping wired earbuds under control.)
Next, I added software I wanted as I needed it. Unfortunately, there are strict policies on getting software approved for a corporate computer, so this process wasn’t instantaneous. Eventually, I received approval to to get all of the software I depend on, and they’re all browser-based cloud services. Namely:
Not only can I get to work with my preferred tools, all of my documents, preferences, etc. are in place.
It’s nice to start new and not have any software or equipment cluttering up my work. Instead of assuming I’ll need something, waiting until I actually need it has kept things to an appreciated minimum.
Of course, you don’t have to accept a new job to approach your office or workspace with a clean slate. Take a week or two and notice what you use and what you don’t. Write down what you need but don’t have, and finally observe what you have but never use. Then make adjustments. You just might end up with a tidier, more efficient and more productive work space.