How Do You Know It Is Time To Start Clean?

Life is one giant circle.  Seeing life as a linear graph just does not work for me.  Here is why:

1) The calendar is a revolving set of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months.

2) The sun comes up and the sun goes down, everyday.

3) Businesses operate on a quarter system, meaning every 3 months, the same planning processes are restarted.

4) The hands on an old school analog watch, go in circles.

5) The earth is round and you can circle for years and never see the whole thing.

Very much like watches, days, quarters, and the earth, our careers are circular.  With each new challenge, we face it head-on, conquer it, and then move on to the next one, building our networks, skills, and experience with each cycle.  

It is the end of a cycle that most intrigues me.  At this point, you start to realize that the next cycle does not tickle your fancy like it did previously.

For some, the constant need for new and bigger challenges often dictates their next step.  It is almost too human of a need to be challenged and when that does not happen, human feels bruised.  Granted there are circumstances beyond our control, but when the circumstances beyond our control supercede the challenge, the human needs to start clean again. 

Starting clean means new environments, new systems, new people, new seeds, and even new watches, but you can’t alienate the old. Afterall, we are building upon the old.

The very thought of knowing when to start clean can be a fascinating challenge in itself, proving that starting clean, is the right thing. Be human, it is okay to start clean.

How do YOU know when it is time to start clean?  Please leave a comment, I am very interested in everyone’s view on this subject.


How Big Is Your Inbox?



As an Analyst, I like to track trivial things, such as how much toilet paper I use and how much gas my car consumes.  

One of the less personal and perhaps more company oriented metrics is the size of my Outlook inbox at work. In fact, you can see in early December when the IT department made me aware of the consequences of keeping a lot of mail in the inbox.

You can see that it continued to grow over the summer until I realized that the auto-archive process on the new computer was not running from April to August.  With only a few data points since, I hope to keep the inbox size on a downward slope.

So, what is the point?  The point is if you live in your inbox, you must monitor it’s size or else you may pay the consequences.

So, how big is your inbox?

Shedworking: One year on: Tokyo company’s ‘green garden office’ experiment

Almost exactly a year ago, we reported on Tokyo-based office supplies specialist Kokuyo who opened a rooftop terrace “garden office” at its HQ to reduce electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. So we were intrigued to see a roundup of how things had gone on the Nightly Business Report on PBS. Here’s one what a couple of employees said:

I arrive at work earlier in the day, when it’s cooler and when I’m doing creative work, I come outside. Indoors, I save for preparing documents and routine tasks.

Indoors, I get distracted by all the ringing phones and people yakking at me. It’s easier to focus out here.

The shifting sunlight, the breeze, it seems to turn a switch in your brain. The office is a highly stable, controlled environment. But altering those surroundings seems to trigger the creative part of our brains.

And just as important, the company claim that productivity has risen and carbon emissions have been halved.

Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by The Garden Room Company┬«, the UK’s premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.

As you all know, I find cubicles to be… let’s just say less than desirable. We are humans and, like any other species, should be outside. This post on Shedworking gives me hope that one day the out-dated cubicle will come into the 21st century and bridge the gap between the high walled cubicle and the wonderful outdoors.

Improving My Cube: Further Thoughts

Now that the bonsai plant has survived it’s first full week in my cube, I am taking inspiration from it to a new level.   While I can’t reupolster the fabric on the cubicle walls, nor can I reconfigure the layout, I can start adding as many tasteful decorative objects as I feel necessary.

Taking further inspiration from my recent post, Components of a Comfortable Office, and thinking more about what I would enjoy, here is a list of potential additions:

Objects that have crossed my mind are:

– desk lamp

– water fountain

– additional plants

– artwork, (watercolor or oil painting)

– Fluval Edge with desert-scape

– large, artistic clock

While most people would pick a theme and start decorating around that theme, I am eccentric, so the stranger the mix, the better.

I am contemplating leaving it up to the social media world by having an Improve My Cube suggestion contest.  Those who suggested the top item for the week would be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card or similar gift.

What do you all think?  Do you want to help me Improve My Cube?

update – I had a suggestion for a fish… which I like.  I was hoping to avoid large amounts of water, but that would also kill the water fountain, so I have to rethink the water and maintenance variables.  Fish is a great suggestion!  Anyone else? 




Improving My Cube: The New Bonsai Plant

Today, I bought a bonsai plant for my cubicle at work.  After writing Components of a Comfortable Office, I decided it was time to act and make my dreary tan and white cubicle at work a little nicer of a place to spend countless hours staring at my computer.

The first thing I did was clear the desktop of everything I haven’t touched in a week (filled the filing cabinet). I figure that if I do not need to find anything in the next month or two, I can just dump it all in the recycle/shred bin.

But then, the vast white space seemed a little too vast.  So, at “lunch,” I headed over to The Home Depot and purchased a bonsai plant (below) for $11.97.   I am a little skeptical as to how long it will live since there is no sunlight in my cube and the place is rather dry.

The $11.97 Bonsai Plant from The Home Depot

With the beginnings of a more comfortable cube in place, I will keep you posted as to how this develops.  I am thinking I need some dark cherry wood inserts, a zen garden, and a mock fireplace to really give it that custom look.

Components of a Comfortable Office

As I begin considering a home office remodel, I have been looking at pictures of offices.  If a picture appeals to me, I try and figure out why.

Here are some of the things I’ve noticed:

1) Dark hardwood desk and cabinetry.

2) Clutter Free (indicates sufficient storage)

3) No Visible Accessories (printers, staplers, etc are hidden)

4) One to two plants

5) Decorative lighting including spot lighting and general task lighting

6) Ergo Chair

7) Creative use of wall space either for art or accessories including pens, whiteboard, etc.

What features of your office do you find essential and/or creative?