Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Year’s Revolution: Reboot Your Workspace.

I’m doing a series of rants called “New Year’s Revolution.” Not a resolution, but revolution… there’s an aspect of our lives as graphic designers that some of us should change to make this coming year better than ever…

The week before and after Christmas is usually the time when our lives have come to a complete stop. All the projects are supposed to be done and everyone is on some kind of break or vacation visiting relatives or having guests over. This is also the time when many companies become reclusive and evaluate what’s happened in the last 12 months and whether they need to change or stay the course. For one reason or another, we’ll have a lot of time on our hands with nothing to do.

What do we do with this extra time? Well, you could buy a few tutorial books and get up to speed with your most recent edition of Adobe Creative Suite?

Or you can do what my wife and business partner, Carol, and I have been rebooting our workspaces starting with my office and workshop in the basement. The red color of my office was getting on our nerves and might have been responsible for my lack of concentration from time to time – we searched for the closest shade of blue that we could get to perfection, (Who uses this color?) and took two weekends (two walls each) and brought a new sense of calm to the room. We also cleared almost everything away from the windows to allow more natural sunlight and space for us to stand there to enjoy the view.

We also made some tough decisions and threw out many things that we neither wanted nor needed any more. We had a handful of things that were broken that we intended to fix someday but never got around to it. We also removed a lot of obsolete hardware that we couldn’t use with our legacy server (more on that later…) and sorted out all of the hardware into different piles and categories before putting them in marked drawers so we can find them later. In the process we found a handful of things we thought we lost forever and would have to replace.

The results are stunning; we now have an office everyone wants to be in with the space so people can join me in this room. We have also expanded our workspace without putting on an edition or renting a storage shed.

I totally admit that this isn’t a project to be taken lightly; there were times I had to finish projects in a chaotic room with paper taped the floor and drop cloths over some of our furniture. It was chaotic but we still made it happen. After the chaos was gone we were left with a room with fresher, cleaner energy and a new flow to the rest of the house.

As a brief aside, I didn’t believe in “Fung Shui” until I actually rearranged my office and repainted the walls to a different color and I finally think there’s something to this ancient art.

If there’s something you want to do with your office, this is the time to do. There’s no better time to go to your local hardware stores and shop for paint since it might be the slowest time of the year and they have special deals or sales. After Christmas and New Year’s there are some of the best deals on furniture and office accessories.

Just be sure to get everything back together before the New Years rush when everyone heads back to work.

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