Sharing: Your kindergarten teacher was wrong!

There are things you should share, admittedly. Cookies, for one thing, especially if you live near me. The TV remote. Doing the chores. But it’s worth your while to have your own work space that you don’t share with anybody. After all, who wants to get all set up and spread out on the dining room table, work for a couple of hours, pack it up long enough to eat a meal, and then spread out again? It lacks efficiency, to say the least.

I’m of the opinion that every freelancer should have their own workspace. Yes, I mean you! Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to rent office space, or buy a fancy desk or anything.* If you work out of your home, take over a corner or a closet. You need a table of some sort and a chair. I also advocate a filing cabinet — but it can be one of those plastic crates with folders, as long as you have a place to stick your paperwork. If you work primarily on a computer, stick it in there.

Now, here’s the important part: this is your office! Feel free to tell significant others, children, pets, the cable guy, your mother and anyone else interested that you are unavailable when you’re in your office. You’re working.

The mental distinction between my bedroom and my office is enough to help keep me on task when I’m supposed to be working. In the bedroom, I’m worrying about doing laundry and other household chores. Here, in my office, I’m focused on writing and getting paid.

*For the record, I love my desk — it’s a big piece of wood on top of two old filing cabinets I may or may not have stolen. Nothing fancy, but boy can I spread out!

5 Comments

  1. Mary Lewis   •  

    I whole heartedly agree. My space is a corner of my bedroom, but my desk and chair face the wall, not the bed. I have done my damnedest to make it feel like an office. When I am working, I am WORKING. :)

  2. Kathleen Frassrand   •  

    Having your own space is so very important!! Of course… getting anyone to actually leave me alone when I am IN my space is impossible. Sigh… Good thing I work well with distraction. :-)

    And.. I also agree that not EVERYTHING needs to be shared. I have always told my children that there are one or two items that are just theirs. They NEVER have to share it unless they want to. This (IMO) gives them the feeling of control and possession over a few things, and makes them much more likely to share everything else. Um… in theory…. LOL

  3. thursday   •     Author

    You’re so right! And don’t most kids have their own workspace at school — their desks that they don’t have to share either!

  4. Angie   •  

    I am in complete agreement. My cell phone does not come with me into my writing space, and everyone who knows me knows better than to interrupt me when I’m writing. I mean, you wouldn’t go pester someone every five minutes at the office if they worked outside the home; why should it be okay if their office happens to be in the home?

    That’s my opinion, anyway. 😉

  5. Jessica Dockter   •  

    I completely agree that you need your own work space, it can be very simple or complex but it needs to be what makes you comfortable & feel like yourself so that your mind can play & you can feel inspired in your very own place that will never change unless you want it too.

    My office is a small blonde desk that is about arms length from the side of my bed, I have the wall before me filled with precious things that I have collected throught my life, quotes, pictures, ect. I have a small antique lamp that came from a historical house I once lived in, the best smelling candle in the world & a coaster for the constantly changing drink I have next to me. I know most people say that you aren’t suppose to use your bedroom as an office but I love it, I feel comfortable, the cat can be comfortable & won’t bother me as much to come to bed when he is tired if I am in the room. O, & I have a great & comfortable computer chair that always pushes the rug around that is between my desk & the bed.

    Jessica Dockter

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