Workspace daydreaming should be considered a pastime, as I often myself staring through the window and imagining my future office. After all, what kind of productivity-guru would I be if I wasn’t daydreaming about ways to be more productive?
My friend Shawn wrote a neat roundup of his ideal workspace a little while ago and I wanted to jump into the conversation. There’s much about Shawn’s ideological workspace which I would replicate, but I have a few differences which would help me stay focused and hopefully bring my goals to fruition.
My Ideal Workspace
- My ideal workspace would be about 750 square feet. This is plenty of room to pace while in deep thought, but not too much space so as to feel inefficient or wasteful. The ceiling would be 12 feet high with a vaulted ceiling — kind of a mono-pitch roof, higher towards the window and lower at the entrance.
- The exterior wall would be a floor to ceiling window. This window would overlook my backyard. Fortunately, my backyard would overlook a calm lake with a surrounding boreal forest and some mountains off in the distance. I would be pretty isolated from society and it would be a mile bike ride to the town I live in.
- Along both length-wise sides of the room would be floor-to-ceiling reclaimed wood bookshelves, piled full of historical books, financial books, old textbooks, Bibles, and classic rhetoric books. Navigating the topmost bookshelves would be done via a sliding/rolling ladder. I’ve always wanted to surround myself in the knowledge of the world, and these bookshelves would encompass a very wide variety of human discovery — both scientific and faith-based literature.
- The only piece of technology stationed within the bookshelves would be a 40 inch flatscreen television on an Ergotron arm, capable of facing any direction in the room. This television would showcase business and world news 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time the television would be tuned to a baseball game broadcast.
- The floor would be sealed concrete with area rugs underneath important spaces like the couch and lounge chair.
- Like Shawn, I’d like a fairly large desk, but a desk nonetheless. Perhaps 10 feet long and 3 1/2 feet deep. This would be a sit/stand desk and adjustable via a physical push button on the desk. The desk would also sit in the middle of the room, closer to the large window and away from the door. It would sit directionally away from the window to avoid eye strain.
- On the desk would be a 27” iMac, a wireless keyboard with keypad and a Magic Mouse. The only other object on the desk would be a sweet adding machine with plenty of printing tape ready to go. Microsoft Excel would be installed on that iMac, along with an internet browser, a writing app, Day One, and Lightroom. This room will be a place for discovery, imagination, and analysis.
- A Herman Miller Embody chair would sit next to the desk. I would have a white framed chair with the Blue Moon Balance fabric.
- Off to the side would be a classic scotch table with six to eight glasses. There would also be a wine fridge situated in one of the bookshelves for those times where I want to sip on some wine while reading a book. And lastly, I’d have my current coffee machine somewhere in those bookshelves as well. I’m a large fan of 8 oz. coffee cups with rubber sleeves. They are more comfortable to hold and don’t break as easily. Coffee would be the lifeblood of this room, so it would be of the most premium variety.
- Off to the right when you enter the room, a modern, minimal couch and matching chair, along with a simple coffee table would sit facing the door.
- In the corner of the workspace, positioned facing the window, would be a Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair with ottoman. Off to the side would be a small side-table where an iPad or magazine would sit.
- In the other corner would be a large globe. I would have to stand to spin the globe and to study it.
- In the corners of the room would be small, inconspicuous speakers playing classical music. Honestly, those speakers could play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony on repeat and I’d be happy. If I ever get sick of the 9th, the Piano Guys will do.
- Quite evidently, this room would need to be wired pretty efficiently. Power outlets would be positioned in the floor so as to avoid tripping on wires running to the desk, and outlets would be positioned behind the bookshelves for the few appliances along the wall. My iMac would also have a wired, fibre-optic internet connection.
- Lastly, and this is most odd, but my room would have a dress code. A collared shirt and khaki shorts will do, but I’d prefer a sport coat as much as possible and a suit on occasion. On the more casual end, my feet will be covered with warm slippers or with a pair of casual shoes, and on the formal end, with dress shoes. Relaxation and leisure will be confined to areas outside of my room, so when inside, I prefer to set the mood with a professional dress code.
This turned out to be far more descriptive than I expected. Having said that, I think this makes my goals pretty clear.
If possible, I foresee spending a large chunk of my retirement in this room. As my body begins to fade away and lose its strength, I want a room able to keep my mind strong and ready to provide advice, guidance, and whatever wisdom I can afford to my children and their children.
I want to write for this site in this room. I want to edit photographs. I want to discover other people’s art. I want to analyze statistics and do some stock trading in this room.
Most of all, I want this to be my office. When I’m in this room, it’s time to work, to imagine, to discover, and to learn. When it’s time for bed, or when it’s time to head out to visit family, my work and discovery will be left behind in this room. When I walk out the door, it’s time for leisure. When I walk through the door, it’s time to create, to work, and to analyze.
In fact, that would be the single goal of my room: to compartmentalize. I want to associate my room with progress. Inside this room — the only 750 square feet I can truly call my own — I imagine creating my life’s work. Whatever that work is.
And when it’s time to leave and visit my children, it’s time to leave the work behind in favour of absolute dedication to my family.
The more I think about it, the more I can’t imagine it any other way.