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Out of Sight, Out of Mind

October 8, 2013

A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of an organized desk. Recently I took that idea a step further. Now, at the end of the day when I put my work away, I put my desk away as well.Image

When I first moved into the apartment, I set up a temporary desk (a side table actually) in the bedroom. It stuck out a little and if I wanted to shut the door I had to move the desk. Friends suggested not having an office in my bedroom at all saying, “You’ll never get away from your work.”

For many people who work from home, it is hard to make the distinction between “work time” and “me time.” I’m one of them. It’s not uncommon for me to be working at 6AM on a Sunday. On the other hand, I’ve taken many a bike ride in the middle of a Wednesday. I once had a boss who said, “When you’re on, you’re on, and when you’re off, you’re off,” meaning that when you’re working you give 100%, and when you’re not working, you should be fully off, renewing your energy. I don’t always follow that advice. But I should.

Now I can.

closedLast week I installed a fold-down desk (really a fold-down table) from IKEA that fits perfectly in my “office.” I did this to save space, but it turns out, when the desk is folded down it’s like a sign telling me, “Office is Closed.” After only a week, I’ve embraced this signal, feeling like I can actually “shut down” mentally, and am no longer tempted to get one more thing done. And sure, while I’ve gained back space in the bedroom, with the desk in the folded down position it looks like an interesting art installation on the wall.

Many folks today set up their “offices” in Starbucks, Barnes and Noble or even on trains. We open our laptops and voila, instant office. And when we’re done, we fold up the laptops and in that instant it’s like we’ve closed the office. Just as crossing things off a list may make you feel accomplished, “closing up” shop for the day feels pretty good too.


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  1. Deborah Golden permalink

    What a great idea! If I “folded” my desk down 400 hundred things would drop, scatter and roll. I need to learn from the pro you are and get better organized. There are numerous items on my desk that don’t belong there; my daughter’s broken shoulder rest for her violin, nail polish (which color should I choose), a box of Dramamine left there from the last time I took a plane (at least 2 months ago), a padlock..and the list goes on. It is a rarity I can escape work on any given day, but it’s a nice thought. I need to follow your lead. It brings inner peace.

    • 400 things, too funny! I need to come over and lend you a hand… 🙂

      On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 11:25 AM, Felice Cohen

  2. MARK Schwartzbaum permalink

    Uou are so cute. When I read yiur stuff. I hear yiyr voice. I love this iblove u

  3. Folding up my office now! xoxo

  4. And here’s me thinking about finally setting up a proper space for a home “office” by using the majority of the area designated as a dining room. (believe me, my dining area isn’t a room; it’s a 5 foot by 8 foot space on an angle but conveniently located beside the kitchen for close access to coffee!) Up to now, I’ve been writing on my laptop on my bed. And you’re right, that isn’t good. Just yesterday I had a day off but checked my work emails 4 times!

    You always inspire, Felice!

    P.S. What happened with that cool shelving and desk setup from the small apartment? Didn’t you bring that over to your new place? I was impressed by that setup.

  5. edes gilbert permalink

    Well said…and a great idea for order in mind and environment.

    On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM, Felice Cohen

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