Express Yourself!

I started off writing this post with the idea that it was going to be about cleaning your desk (or work area, or locker, or bedroom, or…), making it the lovely zen space that will make you feel grounded every time you are there. Anyone who’s seen my cube (or house) knows I am not a minimalist, so this would be a big stretch for me, but it would be good for me, right?  RIGHT?

I looked at this article and this one, and started to feel sort of hopeless (your experience may be that you LOVE these articles, and if so, go for it!).  So, instead, this post is on thinking about making spaces that express your personality, wherever you are on the zen continuum.  Spaces can be cubicles (if you work in one), bicycles, rooms at home, inside of your backpack, whatever!  Spend 15 minutes letting your creativity flow a little, if that’s your thing, reducing clutter, if that’s your thing, or whatever approach you want.  Just take a look around with fresh eyes and see if there’s anything you want to shift or change or delete or add!  Here are some ideas…

–How to personalize your space (it’s old school, but OK)

–It’s all about the supplies!

–For what people do in real life, not what the internet exhorts us to do, look at the forums.  People report having these items in their work spaces:

  1. a snowman figure monitoring the thermostat, a Fulham Football Club flag, a live beta fish, a bright orange staple remover, a picture of Justin Timberlake (1.)
  2. An empty Smirnoff Ice bottle, an Ada Lovelace poster (you know about Ada’s Technical Books, yes?), lumps of ore (2.)
  3. An Oriental rug mouse pad, a solar-powered bobble head, a pillow that says “be nice or go away”, a live pug dog, a squishy stress tomato, a pink leather pencil holder (3.)

To each their own, it seems! I leave you with this thought-provoking photo of Al Gore‘s office.  Whatever you do in them after considering your own spaces, I hope you enjoy them!

More Reading About Work (and Other) Spaces:

–“Tiny desk” mini-concerts—why not have a music series at your desk, like “All Songs Considered” host Bob Boilen?

On My Desk—From Fargo, ND, a series of vignettes featuring the desks of people from all walks of life and work

Attentional Feng Shui—surprisingly compelling!

Photo credit– Me.  Back on the cleaning theme, this is the watch I’ve been wearing since I lived in Tokyo in 1983.  Baikin-kun means “Little Boy Bacteria”—he is a good bacteria, and he carries a scrubbing brush to kill the bad bacteria on the second hand (I know the word should be “bacterium” but it looks weird somehow).  His motto (in the yellow circle) is “Keep Clean”.    Not that wearing him for more than 30 years has reformed me or anything.


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