You know those ‘what’s in my handbag’ posts and articles? Well, I’ve always meant to write one, but never been organised enough. So, instead I thought I’d share something a little less portable, but even a little closer to my heart – a tour of my office desk.
I always find these little windows into people’s working lives fascinating. Snapshots into the inner sanctum of their lives – the struggle between the places that we spend so many hours in and the outward faces we present to the professional world. Especially when the desk doesn’t necessarily match the person.
When I worked in an office, I always kept my desk really rather plain and utilitarian – perhaps it was a reflection of me not knowing what to keep there, so I kept nothing. Oh, the odd pot plant that I was given in work might appear, or the miniature trophy I kept winning for colouring in competitions (yes, true story) but I never kept family photos, the screenshot was always a travel photo I took to remind myself of what I’d get to do when out of the office and I don’t think I even kept a fun mug there.
So when I launched myself as a freelancer, one of the first things I did was get a decent desk and chair, fully intending to decorate, and, well, not getting around to it for about a year and a half. Luckily I got so busy that I didn’t have time to hang pictures or drape fairy lights, but one afternoon I told myself off and gathered momentos that made me happy, ordered a few things to organise them and put aside a few hours to arrange them.
(Obviously the cat arranges herself, and meeps instructions.)
It was a really lovely moment to offically move in. (I already had a cupboard full of michevious mugs, never fear – I have them on rotation.)
If I’m being completely honest, my actual default working desk is simply a laptop, an iPhone, a moleskin notebook and a black pen (always a black ball point pen, don’t ask why, I don’t actually have a reason for it.) It means that I’m fully mobile – I can and have taken my office to every corner of the world – including unintentionally up a volcano and all the way to my brother’s kitchen table in New Zealand.
But, back in HQ, one of my favourite places to organise and obsfucate awaits – my office desk. I have the terrarium that I make years ago that I somehow haven’t killed, a kiwifruit pencil case that was kindly given to me (you know who you are!) because I’m nothing if not on brand, NZ art work, a little photoframe of our wedding day, all the brushed steel acoutrement and a bell to summon coffee. I mean request coffee.
I’ve come to really love my morning coffee there – turning on my favourite tunes, settling in to draft my daily to-do list and jotting down my 5 daily gratitudes – something I’ve really worked into a habit. It never fails to make me smile – and when I can’t do it in the morning, I’ll settle in last thing in the evening to write something in.
That’s a lot of words to simply say ‘welcome to a tour of my office desk’ but these things have to have a context to them. Right? Of course as a freelancer, sometimes my desk looks like this…
…more often than not my desk looks like this…
…and occasionally it looks like this.
(Ref the volcano “working” from New Zealand.)
So what does your office look like?