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The Unbearable Office

Posted on September 6, 2019


Office Organization

Right Now with Kevin Teater

  • What I’m Listening to – Atlas: Body by Sleeping At Last
  • What I’m Reading – Asher’s Garden by Derek Pangelinan
  • What I’m Watching ­– “Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands” on YouTube by Google Nederland
  • What I’m Doing – I’m enjoying, just enjoying.

What does your workspace look like? Are there papers stacked upon papers upon… who knows what’s under there. Do you struggle to find important documents? Do you dread going to your office or feel unproductive once you are there? If you need to get something done with urgency, where do you go?

Office Organization
Boxes upon boxes upon boxes!

I avoided my office. It was a great little space too, a long narrow room with a desk, table, and nice windows to look out at the street. But it also had cardboard boxes stacked high along the wall. Papers sat on my desk awaiting action, filing, or… something. When I needed to work efficiently and effectively, I’d rather go to a coffee shop or my apartment’s community room, anywhere but my office.

Not anymore.

One of my Board members, Jenni Holman, is a professional organizer. She hated my office. She kept asking me how I got any work done in there. The truth is, I had gotten used to it. I didn’t realize how much the clutter in my room reflected or exacerbated the clutter in my mind. She made it her mission to set me free, to show me how much better it can be.

Because you need a pressure washer in your office.

We got together on a Sunday morning and went through my office like the Tasmanian Devil in Looney Toons. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” she warned me. We discovered files and papers I never knew existed. We purged and we sorted and we… got rid of my desk? Yes, we did that too. By the end of our time together that day, I was amazed at the workspace. But Jenni chimed in, “We’re not done yet. It’s almost there.”

I didn’t care that we weren’t done. I went into my office early the next day because I was so excited work in this new space. And you know what happened? My efficiency and focus increased exponentially.

Jenni and I got together one more time that week to put the finishing touches on my office. When we finished, we looked back at our pictures of the office in its… more primitive condition. “This is amazing!” I exclaimed. I now actually had an office where I could host meetings. I had a real workspace, and during our time together, I had developed the skills I needed to become more organized and stay more organized.

Tada! Everything has a place, including the clear thoughts my mind!

I encourage you to take some time to examine your work environment. How does being in this place make you feel? If you feel a little overwhelmed or cluttered, spend some time and bring a fresh organization to your office.

Perhaps that’s where the difficulty lies: time. I didn’t feel I had enough of it to dedicate to administrative organization. I needed help, and Jenni was there for me.

*If you are in Oregon or southwest Washington, consider reaching out to Jenni Holman at Leora Organization & Redesign, and let her transform your living and working environments as well! *


Today’s post is by Kevin Teater, the executive director of the Beaverton Downtown Association.

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