I’d never seen moldy coffee before. But there it was. An innocent example showcasing the disrepair that place was when I arrived, and not to brag, but I cleaned that place up quite well. Between that, my time moving furniture, knolling, 5S methodology, and philosophizing on the psychological dependencies of clutter, I’m becoming better at cleaning up the crap… I mean, clutter. Let’s run through six ideas I came up with while cleaning my workbench.
I enjoy working the gig life because I get paid to travel, meet people, make friends, and see how people work. I can steal the ideas I like, shed the ideas I dislike, and adapt to more circumstances quicker. If I’m away from “Zeal,” my home office, for long hours on one gig, then I can figure out ways to make the time I do have here more productive, especially as I renovate the space.
During brainstorming for my current professional project, we threw around potential tools to use. Though we couldn’t implement one I’ve used before, that didn’t stop me from plugging in all of my tasks so I could brainstorm office renovation tasks on the go. After starting with just the office, “Zeal,” I realized I could apply the same process for the rest of my abode. Now I can envision Zeal as a full renovation lifecycle project.
I’m taking it lightly this month as I apply the formal foundational ITIL workflows I learn to my office renovation project. I have big plans for this space; that’s why it’s called “Zeal.” Within Zeal, I imagine taking on most any project with ease. Having the physical space is key. If I want to, say, completely alphabetize and catalog my CD collection, I need to be organized, unless I want duplicates, wasted time, and clutter.
Last week, I turned these casual updates for improving my home office, “Zeal,” into a minor Project Management case study. I started a Gantt chart, which isn’t interesting enough to display yet, and I began thinking about this renovation project from more of a technical viewpoint. This week’s goal was to set up a temporary shelf to tackle some clutter. Halfway through this activity, however, I identified a reclining pain point, preventing previously planned progress…
Cluttered items might lose their potential value because they can’t be properly used. Unorganized clutter caused a folding table in my office, “Zeal,” to lose its value as a temporary desk. A future phase of this office renovation project requires that table’s old space, and since one early idea I had for Better Zombie was to invite collaborators to jam on works such as artists to create short stories, now, Zeal has that collaboration space!
The renovation focus for my hyperfunctional office, dubbed “Zeal,” is about shining light on hindrances. This renovation project has enabled me to jump from “aha moments” to production quicker each week. Since each writing upload on this website relies on visual elements to punctuate my thoughts, lighting accidentally became a hindrance if I wanted to photograph something in my lightbox. Now I can quickly photograph a thought, then focus on writing, without trivial photographic distractions.
I’m refining this organizational theory for completing tasks. Inspired by highways, warehouse shipping/receiving, the human body, and other data processing systems, this workflow has only three sections: “incoming,” “processing,” and “outbound.” When all aspects are working correctly, things flow smoothly. Otherwise, if one aspect isn’t working correctly, things build up. I’ve been successfully using this system to tackle my own hoarding tendencies, so let’s explore the specifics of this component of my “Zeal” office renovation.
I’ve worked in some neat areas throughout my career. One coveted window desk overlooked downtown, another overlooked nature, and I’ve even had my own office. I’ve also set up thousands of workstations over the years, adjusting based on technology, ergonomics or preference, so I generally know what works well for me. Let’s walk through how I made strides this week toward turning my “Zeal” space into my ideal office, as inspiration for working on yours!
In recent weeks I’ve celebrated solving organizational situations within my office, “Zeal,” so let’s brainstorm possible resolutions to a conflict actively prevented progress in my organizational process. I grew up with the impression that notes and the paper they were written on were sacred, as though looking at a scrap piece of paper with some inconsequential ideas would recall memories, which has resulted in stacks of papers. Is the solution to simply recycle them all?