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21 July 2010

The Office | Lessons in Organization and Productivity

I was in my bosses office today (that would be Kem Meyer) for an impromptu meeting when I came to the stunning realization that the planets were in alignment and everything felt right in the universe.


It's simple...her office was laid out in such a way that productivity was almost mandatory. It reeked of organization and I had this strange urge to bust out my laptop and knock out multiple projects simultaneously.

So I thought I'd detail the office for you so that you can replicate it where it makes sense:
  1. The chair: The stuff you need to come and go: purse, backpack and most likely coat during the winter - all ready to grab on the way out.
  2. Resource Rack: Slightly out of the way - yet handy in case you need a quick quote for a blog post or you're bored and want to do some heavy research.
  3. Long-Term Organization: Color coded calendars for each summer month - detailing what projects will launch at what time. Wooden basket below holds things that are important but NOT urgent.
  4. Reality Check: A drawing of mom by one of the kiddos - keeps you humble and connected to your family. "Keep first things first." Right?
  5. AND Conference: Our biggest event of the year. It is placed higher than most things since it is not urgent, but yet not out of reach either. Conference is in November 2010.
  6. Inspiration: On the wall are scriptures, quotes, quips and sayings to help her maintain focus, productivity, boundaries, etc.
  7. The Work Station: Laptop for portability. Extra monitor for meetings and increased productivity. Binder/notepad on the left (partially hidden) with the bulk of notes, handouts and outlines for ongoing projects.
  8. Short-Term Organization: The outline for the day - including the items that Trump all others, items to be completed Today and items that are On Deck.
  9. Beverage: One has to remain hydrated when getting so much done.
  10. Most Recent Project: As you knock out pieces of larger projects, it helps to set them on the desk just to your right in plain view. This helps reinforce the fact that you are checking things off the list and being productive. The stapler is just there because she forgot to put it back in it's designated spot.
  11. Keys: Always keep your keys in plain view - this way they're easy to grab when leaving and you won't have to search for them in the case of a fire, tornado or when warned that there is a mad man in the building screaming "Less Clutter. Less Noise!"
Obviously some of this was meant to be funny. But that wasn't my motivation for this post. You see I aspire to this level of organization. I resonate with it and it just feels right. I know that if I don't have the majority of my "stuff" in order, my productivity goes out the window. In fact there are days when I spend an hour organizing my Inbox and hand writing a to do list before ever touching Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks or a browser for that matter.

It's like that whole "dress for success" thing. Or the "everything has it's place" thing. Or could it be the "cleanliness is next to godliness" thing?

I don't know - but it works.

The next time you're sitting in your messy office feeling overwhelmed, call up this post and try to replicate the zen, fung shui bliss going on here and you might find yourself solving world peace that afternoon.