What Is Your First Perspective of the Day?


drowning-in-messy-deskWhat is the first thing you see when you start your day?  What is the first site that helps you form what kind of day it is going to be for you that day?


Mine is a dog.  One of many, but I normally see a dog, followed by a cold nose nuzzle.  Either to gently let me know that they had a bit too much water before bed or it is too early please pull the covers back up.  I always start my day with a little nuzzle from a dog – which is a terrific way to start a day.


But when you get in your office or workspace – what is the first site you see?  No matter how warm and fuzzy I may be after starting my day with a loving nuzzle when I would walk in my office and sit at my desk if it was a mess my warm and fuzzies immediately changed.


This weekend we started our clearing kick and the first room was a terrific success.  The master bedrooms are officially clutter free and amazingly clean.  But I did a little change last week before we officially started – I started with my desk.  Since I spent as much time sitting in that one little spot as I do in my bedroom I thought I would take an hour and make some changes.


I realized that no matter how enthused I was about my day or my work my desk was not supporting those warm and fuzzy feelings.  It was piled with miscellaneous items and overflowing with haphazard items that made me feel confined, unbalanced and without direction.


This little area was screaming out for my attention.  It is my most important view throughout the day.  It is where I talk to my clients; compose LinkedIn profiles and resumes; plan meetings and get togethers and even take mental breaks.  It needed to be a space that I enjoyed and wanted to stay, not constantly fight the urge to run away from the confusion.


I took every thing off my desk – every thing.  Then I gave it a good cleaning.  I have a glass desktop so I got the glass cleaner and removed every single dogs smudge underneath and every wipe-erase marker note on top.  Clean!


Then I rearranged my monitor and computer.  I separated all the cords and reorganized them into a neat configuration rather than a tangled mess.   I moved the monitor to the other side of my desk so now when I look up I am facing the window rather than the doorway.  I would much rather look out and see the sunshine rather than the closed bathroom door.


Then I determined only what I needed on my desk and only what I wanted.  My little red binder now sits on my right; it holds my notepad and calendar.  Much easier to take notes and keep track of my to-do list since I am right handed.


Keyboard is a little off center toward the left, again supporting the window view, with the mouse next to it.  In front of that next to the monitor is a candle in the middle back of my desk.  I love scents and having it burn in front of me lends to me not forgetting to blow it out before I leave for the day.


On the other side of my monitor is an African violet my mom gave me.  I can now enjoy the beautiful blooms once I nurse it back to full bloom.  I also have a pretty little purple ceramic vase which hold only a few pens and pencils.  On the other back side of my desk are two candle holders which I really like and feel like they balance out the space.  Besides what I bring in to the office (drink or snacks) that is it for my desk.  It is clean, clear and honestly more relaxing.


When I get a call it is easy for me to find and reach a pen, open my little red binder, take notes and schedule appointments.  When the day is done, the pen is replaced, the binder is closed and the desk is a clean and fresh as I found it.


The first day I felt much more relaxed and refreshed – which is expected immediately after you make a positive change.  But after a couple days I realized another change – my dogs were more calm in my office, too.


I’ve implemented a bit of a change during office hours for the dogs – they are quarantined to the upstairs.  I found that they would know when I was immersed in a work project and would take that opportunity to go downstairs and find whatever trouble they could.  It was not a good way for me to end my work day.


The first couple of days they were a bit confused and not happy.  But after I implemented my clean desk policy I noticed that they all began finding spots within the office or just outside and would lay quietly and nap.  I think they picked up on my calm.


Now, let’s not go crazy and say that they are now perfect.  I was talking to a client the other day and Bandit decided he needed to go outside – now.  So he would sit on one side of my desk, then the other, and “talk” to me.  Giving a low rumble or whine.  I shot him a look but apparently this was one he was not familiar with as all of a sudden I heard my client laughing.  He asked what the noise was and I apologized that it was one of my dogs.  He said, “no problem – just glad it was an animal”.


The point is I changed the first thing I see when I start my work day and have seen an improvement mentally, physically and productivity-wise.


Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest difference.  We look so far out beyond us that we forget that it is the immediate vicinity that is holding us down the most.  Before you begin making big plans and changes take a moment to look right in front of you.  What is supporting you and what is holding you back?


What can you do to change your environment – just a little – to make it a place that you want to be ands supports you while bringing you some measure of peace, joy or contentment?


Once you fix the immediate then you are in a better frame of mind to begin moving beyond and tackling those big projects.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



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