Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Office in your bedroom? Don’t lose sleep over it

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Desk as bedside table

How to keep your office organized when it’s is in your bedroom

You are finally in bed after a long day. You cover yourself with a blanket; feel the warm comfort of your pillow beneath your head and the soft, cool sheets against your tired body. You begin to relax into a night of slumber when you are suddenly startled by the pinging sounds of your computer sending notifications about tomorrow’s busy day. You get up and turn down the volume and get back in bed. That’s when you notice the pile of papers strewn across your desk, in varying heights and reminding you of a slew of unfinished tasks, unpaid bills and projects still yet to be started. You shut your light out, hoping in darkness you will forget the site of all that you have left undone. All of a sudden you see the blinking of all your devices in random rhythms, your router, your modem, your phone.  Your room lights up with a blue blinking glow. You cover your face with a pillow and somehow manage to fall into an exhausted sleep.

In general, I don’t think a bedroom is a great place for your office. Your bedroom should be a place of respite, relaxation and most of all sleep. Yet sometimes, there is no choice. Space is at a premium. You share a home or an apartment and there is no other available space to work.

This doesn’t mean you should lose sleep when your office is in your bedroom. Here are some ways you can minimize those distractions without sacrificing your personal productivity.

  • Hide your desk. Space permitting, hide your desk behind a free-standing, decorative folding screen or room divider. You can buy them online or in most home decor stores. When it’s time to leave work, simply pull the screen around your desk.
  • Shut out and shut down. Turn off or block digital noise and distractions. If you can’t hide your electronic equipment, things like your modem, router, or fax/printer behind or under your desk, place a small piece of dark blue painter’s tape over the lights that blink. Painter’s tape will not harm your equipment and can be easily removed or re-placed. This is especially recommended if you use a guest room for your office. You don’t want your guests losing sleep from all the pings and blinking lights.
  • Re-purpose and reposition. If your room is configured for it, why not turn your desk into a combination bedside table-workspace. That way, you are no longer looking at the desk from your bed. You’ll need a lamp on your desk anyway, so why not make it your bedside lamp. You can also leave a little room nearest your bed for a book or notepad, a place to put your reading glasses, a small plant or decorative item, and a clock or device with an alarm.  In other words, all the things you would need nearby while you’re working.
  • Clear the decks. Surfaces are notorious clutter catchers. No matter what size the surface, they have a way of getting covered with things. Just like you have a home, everything in your home should have a home. Take the time each day to survey what you have on your desk or work surface and decide 1) Can I toss it? 2) Does it need to live on my desk? 3) where else could it live in my home?  Then toss it, move it or take it back to where it lives. No more homeless items!
  • Create vertical storage. Install simple bracket or wall-shelves above your desk area for less frequently used items, books, or reference materials. Use decorative boxes in like colors to contain surplus office supplies. Get these all off your desk and on to a shelf to free up space for working, creating and being more productive.
  • Equalize your workspace. Before leaving your desk for bed, take 60 seconds to put loose items in drawers, loose papers in a stack or contain them in a shallow box (e.g. an “in-box”). Review your calendar and most important to-dos for the next day. Then shut off your computer (or put it in “sleep mode”) along with all other unnecessary electronics. You’ll save money on your electric bill and may even get a few more Zs tonight.


5 Reasons why I LOVE/HATE technology

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I was dropping off boxes of items that are typically tough to recycle at my favorite recycling center, Universal Waste of Oakland, CA. Usually this is a stop, drop and go experience for me but today for some reason I decided to look around their “sale” area.  What I found inspired me to write this. I feel fortunate to live in a city that has a resource like Universal Waste that gives people and businesses an alternative to disposing this stuff in a landfill.

1. The Internet and specifically Google: Love it. I can’t imagine life without it. The other day I needed to explain something to someone who only spoke Spanish. I used an English- to-Spanish translator tool I found online and bingo, communication received and understood. ¿Qué más se puede decir?
2. Obsolete hardware, especially gaming devices, old computer monitors and cables: Hate it. I just came back from a local electronic waste-recycling warehouse that was filled with every kind of hardware imaginable. The waste produced by this stuff is overwhelming. The cell phone manufacturers are the worst. Every time they upgrade their phones, you need to buy a new charger cable.
3. Smart Phone: Love it. Here are two random reasons why:
Reason 1: I’m at the bank to make a deposit, realize I forgot to make a copy of a check, take a picture of it using Evernote and print it when I get home for my records.
Reason 2: Was shopping at my local grocery store when I see a type of olive oil I’m not familiar with. I “Google it,” read what it says about it and decide whether or not to buy it. I did and it was great!
4. People with smart phones: Hate them: Tried to cross a street yesterday and couldn’t get by because there were three people standing on the curb all looking at their smart phones instead of looking where they were going. Dumb.
5. Access to Technology: Love it and hate it. While a Twitter feed can ignite a people’s revolution, it’s created a bigger gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.’ I don’t see a lot of working poor walking around with ipads or ipods.  When they do need access to a computer, they generally can only get one at a local library, assuming budget cuts have not shut it down.

What are 5 reasons why you LOVE/HATE technology?

I’d like to tag Cheryl over at the Breakfast Blogging Club since she gave me this idea, as well as Quinn’s blog, These New Boots, Margaret’s New Leaf & Co. Blog and Kristine’s Entrepreneurial Mindset

By the way, if you’ve been tagged, then write a post with your list of 5 reasons why you LOVE/HATE technology. As a courtesy, link back to the person who tagged you, (in this case, me) and then tag 5 more people you’d like to see answer this question.  Till next time…