Some people procrastinate by vegging out in front of Netflix. Me? I muck about with my desk.
I was talking with Justin on Stationery Adjacent about his impending house move. Geeks that we are - we got unreasonably involved with working out how best to set up his new home-office space. In a feat of imagination, Justin turned this conversation into a reason / justification / excuse to buy Apple's extraordinary XDR monitor. (A man after my own heart.)
We talked about the luxurious possibility of having two desks, one for digital work and another for the analogue. I began mentally moving my furniture, to make space for another desk.
My desk was swamped by IT and analogue tools. I work off a Mac mini, running two displays, mounted on a Jarvis monitor arm from Fully. I have multiple keyboards, but was working from my extended keyboard and mouse from Apple, in space grey. Attached to the Mac is a CalDigit Dock, three external SDD, headphones, a podcasting microphone, and a webcam.
My desk faces the glass doors onto my garden, I mean, why wouldn't it? Regrettably, I couldn't see this view, as it was blocked by one of the displays and the boom for the mic.
Instead of buying a new desk, I decided to look at how I was using the existing one. What IT could I remove?
Turns out - a lot.
- Keyboard and mouse swap. I'm now using the new magic keyboard without number pad and magic mouse.
- Displays. Just one. On its stand.
- The Mac, dock and drives now all live in a drawer (ventilated), beneath the monitor.
I went through the same decluttering process with my notebooks.
So - on my desk now, the only electronic items are my keyboard, mouse and mobile phone. The mic boom is mounted on the back corner, with the mic behind the monitor. All the functionality remains (albeit with one less screen) but everything is so much less cluttered. When I want to work analogue, I can put the keyboard and mouse beneath the monitor, pull out my notebooks and crack on.
Best thing - there is nothing between me and the view of outside. Now, in the heat of summer, the door is closed, but as things begin to cool off next month, I'll have the door wide-open, blurring the divide between inside and outside.
Apart from saving me the cost of another desk, this exercise has made me focus on how much of a distraction "stuff" is.
The less that is on my desk, the better.
I'm making the desk even clearer, freeing my inner-minimalist.
I have my blotter from Orbitkey, my MPU Yeti on a wooden coaster, Analog by Ugmonk and a pen holder from Dudek and a cable tidy from Quirky (sadly, no longer produced). In the Dudek are my fountain pen and pencil of the week. Everything else lives in a drawer, only to be pulled out when in use.
I'm hugely more productive when I'm focused - and a clear desk helps with that.
I'm going to apply it to the rest of my office.