After three months in Mexico with a minimalist office setup, my home office feels suffocating. There is absolutely too much stuff (and too much paper), and I spend far too much time here when I would be happier in the studio. To be perfectly blunt, it feels like a major time suck.
It seems absolutely crazy not to love my office. It’s a big, beautiful space with plenty of light. A sit down desk for writing. A stand-up technology desk complete with oversize monitors. It’s not crowded by any means. There are lots of beautiful quilts on the wall. It’s everything I wanted when we built our home five years ago.
Of course, it would be nicer if my desk actually looked like that first photo every day. In reality, I’m not a “tidy office” person. Not by a long shot. Today, my desk is occupied by far too much stuff that is cluttering up my brain and making it difficult to work.
So… what was different in Chapala?
To start with, I didn’t want to change anything about the house during our first stay. That meant dealing with a truly minimalist office arrangement. The “officina” is tucked under the curved staircase. It’s a third of the size of my home office.
The most interesting part of the experiment was the lack of equipment and office supplies. For three solid months, I had no printer, no scanner, no label maker, no 10 key. Not even a tape dispenser or stapler. I worked on my (very old) laptop computer, and somehow managed just fine.
In case you are wondering, there was only one time (in three months) that I absolutely had to print and sign a document. I walked 3 blocks to the internet cafe and printed the document for a whopping two pesos.
I’ll be the first to say that my little office was not always tidy. As usual, I’m capable of creating piles – even without a printer. But… without a bunch of equipment to clutter the desk, I had plenty of room to set up the Silhouette Cameo for class samples and my personal experiments.
Less Office, Less Time in the Office
The big upside to my minimalist office experiment was this: I Spent Less Time in the Office. I got my work done. I taught a class. I kept up with the Email and the business. But I spent far less time in front of the computer – and far more time with my husband, my friends and my art.
So what’s with that? At least that’s what my brain is asking!
It hit me over the weekend that my home office is simply too comfortable. (Yes, it’s a big, huge time suck!)
It’s easy to hang out here because I like the space. I have plenty of distractions and plenty of toys. Not to mention an endless supply of papers to push around when I want to procrastinate. I think it’s time for a Minimalist Office to go with that Slimmed-down Studio.
Do you have a secret to keeping your office under control? I’d love to hear your ideas!