Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Well, the stars aligned themselves, I guess, and I was offered a suitable (for hours, salary and technology) job in the middle of the month. It was at my former client, and it is one of the better places I have ever worked, so I accepted.
As I got ready for my first day, I thought back to the four bags of stuff I carried out when all the consultants were dismissed back in October. I didn’t really need all that stuff at work, and I decided I would take a look at simplify.
What Do I Need At Work?
Pretty much the only things I need are supplied for me: a desk, a computer and a chair. Everything else is a personalization of a space that I occupy for many hours a day.
In order to simplify my personalization, I took a look at why I kept things at work.
When I left, I had four framed photos at work: a collage of my daughter, my cats, my husband and I, and a snapshot of my husband and daughter together. I took back the one I loved the most: the snapshot.
As a programmer, I collect reference books. When I left, I had four books. I decided to bring back the ones I had actually used while at work, so only two went back, both basic references on aspects of my environment I use little.
I had many little knick-knacks and toys that had been collected over the years, a desk lamp, a USB-powered fan, a file sorter, and a rotating carousel that housed three drawers. When I went back, I took the lamp, knowing that the light in the cubes is not always the greatest. I took the fan, knowing that temperatures were not always optimal. And I took the carousel, because it housed my basic needs (painkillers, hand creme and mints), plus had pictures on two sides.
As a consultant, I had always carried basic office supplies with me, because clients were notorious for not supplying them. As a left-handed person, I also am fairly particular about the type of pens I use. Poor pens mean ink smeared all over my hand and sleeve. When I went back, I pared down what I took: my pink highlighter (the one supplied is yellow), two pens, a good eraser, and my staple remover.
Two other items went back with me: a small bulletin board for cartoons and reminders, and my calendar. These were pretty much the same as when I had left, but I did remove many items from the bulletin board.
There is a bag of miscellaneous tools: sewing kit, various hygiene items, small mirror. This went back, but is less than what I had brought home. Some things have not gone back yet: my plants, because I was not going to be in the office consistently until after the first of the new year, and my lumbar support pad. The latter is simply because I keep forgetting it.
What Didn’t Go Back
Firstly, none of my food items went back. When I cleaned out my desk, I found packets of instant oatmeal, stale tea bags, and several snack packages of unknown date. I also removed the set of small tools, which I had never used, and gave them to my husband. All my chargers stayed home, too, since I have USB chargers for all devices I use at work: PDA, phone, iPod.
And in a fit of pique (after being laid off from my consulting job after 13 years…via email), I threw out everything that had my former company’s logo on it: mugs, nameplates, mouse pad, polo shirt. So none of that went back with me.
In the end, I went to my new job with one shopping bag, and my bulletin board. I probably wouldn’t have brought them in the first day, except the temperature was so high that I needed my fan. I feel better about my pared down desk.
Photo by Laure Wayaffe