When I sent the previous essay for Mary’s feedback, she sent me the following:
I will say that at least half of my problem solving involved environment. In this day and age, people can work just about anywhere but my project required a workable environment.
It’s one thing to sew up a few things from your kitchen table and quite another to do a major ongoing project. I spent some time finding a suitable place in my house (I wanted a place where I could just stop work, close the door, and walk away mentally and physically).
I really needed to have physical control so that the project didn’t control me…I then ordered storage equipment and a sewing table and rearranged my office to be multi-purpose.Mary’s email to me after reading the first draft of the Hat/Scarf case study.
Mary speaks to the importance of environment in successfully completing her project. Most notably the importance of having control over one’s working environment.
Many of us have minimal say over our working environment. We work in environments that attempt to encourage us to do certain things. Think open offices as a vehicle for “collaboration” – and multiple worker’s attempts to “control” this environment through
Working from home, as Mary points out, has its own hazards.
At home, i
Sometimes this bleed is desirable. I like being able to quickly write down an idea for the book or the blog.
Often, we need to focus on other activities and leave “work at work.” My partner, as supportive as he is, deserves my full attention. My disengagement because my head is thinking “about the book” or worrying about my next marketing campaign doesn’t help our relationship. Presence is one of
Admission: my home working environment, at this writing, does not separate work from other recreation at all. I have an office space I set up – but I find myself sitting on the living room couch. I tend to use my office for teleconferences when I need to close a door.
I’m re-thinking this approach as my partner begins to work from home more and as I find that this lack of separation between my work and everything else is not doing favors to my mental health.
There’s an interesting relationship between our activities and the environments we find ourselves in. The ease with which we do the things we are trying to do is impacted by the environments we find ourselves in.
Where we can, we should consider mindfully designing our environments to help our cause.
(This is more of a personal reminder. I’m not fond of saying “you should” when I haven’t – yet 🙂 )
What are your requirements for this space?
For Mary – it was enough room to organize her work and do the work + the ability to close the door (literally) when she was done for the day.
Thanks Mary for the reminder.