This past weekend I took a trip to Ikea and saw what I thought were opposing visions.
One – mock offices with endless shelves and storage space.
And two – a 235 square foot home, complete with a kitchen, dining area, full bath, entertaining space and sleeping quarters. All that, in a space less than 24 feet by ten.
The latter was very respectful of space and only focused on what was important. The former was a bastion of waste and distraction.
In a round-a-bout way it reminded me of a person who gets a business idea and immediately starts to work on the business card rather than the product.
For this person, the idea of a business is more important than the work needed to run a business.
In the same way, a person who wants to work from home might spend a week setting up an elaborate office with books, dictionaries, tape, glue, three-whole paper punches and more. And while heshe does that a real business person is busy getting stuff done with nothing but a laptop.
I was guilty of this in my late teenage years. I’d get an idea for an Internet business and suddenly be inspired to buy pencils and notebook paper to plot out a business plan. Here I was with a seemingly infinite supply of digital paper and lead, yet I still feel the need to splurge on “playing” business.
But this time at Ikea, I had a hard time rationalizing or justifying any purchase. Seems all I really need is a chair, a computer, and maybe a desk.
A lesson learned. Keep it simple. Play business or do business. Your choice.
I finally got a decent office chair today. FedEx man showed up with my new SteelCase Think chair. My lower back is happy. 🙂
I’ve actually erred on the side of delaying purchases. When I started, all I had was my laptop, card table, folding chair, phone, and a cheap metal 2-drawer filing cabinet.
Here’s the equipment I’ve amassed in my 5+ years of freelancing:
Phone/Ooma VOIP System
Matching Desk/Filing Cabinet/Bookshelves
I agree: Do business first. Then, as you prove yourself, get those things that are necessary to doing your job better and working more efficiently.
That’s a great list Ryan.
I did sit in a couple ergo chairs. That’s a purchase I will make too. For right now I go back and forth between working in a chair and a recliner – the recliner’s much easier on the back 🙂
I’ve gotten by without an all in one printer for some time. My usage is about 2-3 times a year. So my solution was to buy my gf one that she uses for family pictures and shutterfly, etc., and I use it as needed.
How does it go, nature abhores a vaccum? Regardless of the space you have you will fill it, be it tar paper shack or a mansion.
Great to hear from the Kaizen man himself. What does your office look like?
The most important piece in the office is the chair. It’s where one’s productivity starts, so it must be comfortable and work-conducive. I also agree that the office must be simple so it wouldn’t look cluttered.