I recently got a request for a tour of my home office. At first, I hesitated because I think it’s kind of boring to see those shows where famous people share their fabulous homes. Too many of their choices seem impractical and arbitrary. I’m certainly not famous and I don’t have a fabulous home, but all my home office choices are practical and intentional. So, if I can describe to you my home office from a helpful place, then I’d be happy to share.
The first thing I want to share with you is just how small my space is. There’s a lot going on, but it doesn’t feel cramped. If you’ve read my book, The Circulation Solution, then you will know about my target model for the home office. I want to demonstrate how I have followed this.
One of the things I emphasize about this model, is that it’s not about literally painting circles and staying inside them. It’s all about prioritizing your space. It starts with the bullseye. It is the most important spot in your home office. So, what goes there? NOTHING!
This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has heard my videos before. Your number one organizing tool is a clear work surface. This is the key to staying organized because a clear work surface empowers you to process.
Every storage solution within the target model should function to support this clear bullseye. To show you how this works, I’ll start with the outer circle candidates and work inward.
Ring four in my home office is for:
- back-up supplies
- promotional material
I’ve got that on two bottom shelves in my closet and in three sets of drawers against the wall.
Ring three in my home office is for:
- display items items within sight, but not within reach
I’ve mostly got reference and display items on the top two shelves in my closet. My photo project, projects on hold, and plant display also do not need to be within reach. These items are all located on the top of pieces of furniture against the wall.
Another third ring display area is my wall. You may recognize it from my videos. I drop my logo sign down for those and raise it back for my video calls. It’s Velcro-ed to a white board, which I can work on, between the Velcro strips.
Ring two in my home office is for:
- charging station
- drawing table
- other items used often, but easy to get up for
All of the above are things I need close, but not sit-down-close. I can mostly access my file cabinets without getting up. Most critically, the two-drawer file cabinet next to my desk offers an additional surface area for ring one items. In addition, my drawing table doubles as a stand-up workstation to give my back a break.
Ring one is the smallest ring, so keep the bare minimum you need at your fingertips all the time. This includes:
- running files
- minimal office supplies
Of course, the computer and phone are non-negotiable, but I don’t need a keyboard on my desk surface. This is located on a pullout draw under my desk instead. I keep the office supply categories on my desk small, with just one of each writing implement.
I keep a minimum of stationery, so writing those thank-you notes are as easy as possible. The most regularly used tools are in front of me while sitting. The secondary tools are in a tray to the right of me.
Running files, my task collector and project files are within sight and within reach. Time management and hydration are essential, so the timer and water are within reach. I actually prefer an analog clock to digital, so I keep it easily visible.
The bullseye is not a place where nothing ever goes. It is a place where nothing is ever stored. If you find yourself making an exception, look to the other rings until you find a better home. To be clear, your best home office won’t come from making exactly the same choices I made. It will come from how you prioritize your storage needs. Just make sure your choices all go to support the open bullseye!
So, what do you think of the target model for the home office? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!