Getting Things Done: Office Workspace

Yesterday I decided that I needed to completely re-evaluate my office and home workspace.  My goal is to minimize clutter, get rid of the items I don’t need and make sure that I have easy access to the things I do need.

The most basic getting things done office workspace

In David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, he describes that the most basic workspace has a writing surface and place for an inbox.  This surface can be expanded to also contain a computer and anything else you need to be productive.

I came up with a list of items I need to be at my maximum efficiency while I work.  These items are:

  • Computer
  • Headphones
  • Writing surface
  • 3-tier inbox: in, reading and filing
  • Pen and Pencil holder
  • Mini note paper
  • Post-its
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Sharpener
  • Paper Clips
  • Binder clips
  • Stapler and staples
  • Paper punch
  • Sticky Tape
  • Rubber Bands
  • File Folders
  • Dustbin

My office workspace before I GTD’d it

My workspace was seriously jumbled, as you can see by the before photograph below:

My workspace at the office before I tidied it
My workspace at the office before I tidied it.

My office workspace after I GTD’d it

Here is an after photograph:

My Getting Things Done Office Workspace
My workspace at the office after I had tidied it

Spot the difference!  The printer is still on the desk, but it is hidden behind the laptop.  I moved the laptop to the left hand side and put the second screen in the center back.  I cleaned out the inbox, and repacked the stationery drawer.  I actually didn’t remove too much stuff, I simply reorganized the stuff that was there.  What I love is that I now have the whole right hand side as a writing surface.

I have easy access to my writing surface, inbox, pen holder and computer.  In the top drawer I have mini note paper, post-it’s, headphones, paper punch, stapler and staples.  I also ordered paper clips, binder clips, a sharpener and sticky tape from Takealot, it is due to arrive on Thursday next week.  Under the desk is a dustbin.

I need to bring rubber bands and file folders from home.

Next, I must set up an identical system at home and put together my “office in transit”.


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