A neat cave of my own

Things are changing. I used to have a very regular schedule connected to weekly classes that allowed me to organize myself. It was Monday?  OK, so I had my MVHS evening classes – that was a regular slot for about 5 years – and one, two or three one-to-one clients during the day, who would sometimes cancel at short notice. My fixed schedule was laid down by company courses and the schools I taught at, and variable appointments with clients who needed more flexibility filled up the rest. Every day had a personality connected to the very different types of courses I would be teaching and people I would be seeing.  Before the summer break things were simple: It was Tuesday? My hard day. 10 hours for very different groups and four rides in the S-Bahn with a heavy trainer’s case. It was Wednesday? Ah, my fun day, some writing in the morning, then a nice one-to-one at my place, then over to Spotlight, and finally those nice people at Morphosys.

But my fixed schedule started to interfere with my other projects: writing, translation, compact courses out of town. I felt rushed and stressed out all the time, running around between companies,  and I just wanted to have a cave to think and do things properly. So I’ve reduced my teaching load to free up time for other things. Now my week feels very different. Fewer regular appointments, just a few “biggies” that need lots of preparation. Now I have to define my priorities and  organize my time and energy from the bottom up. I’m still doing several things at once and I’m starting to feel I need tools. Right now I have my Moleskin with loads of notes that I carry around all the time. I rely on my Outlook calender and my to-do-list. But it’s not enough. I’ve blocked off “thinking time”, but somehow time and thinking don’t work that way.

I like working from home because it feels like I’m not wasting any time or money. I’m alone during the day, so why leave the apartment to go to a second place? But what is really bugging me is that I don’t have a single wall that I can visualize my projects on. Don’t laugh, I use our refrigerator with cards and magnets when I start to feel I’m losing it. But the fridge is too small, and we gotta eat, you know? So anyway, I clearly need to get more organized. And maybe I need a new habitat, an outside office. Maybe I need a neat cave of my own.

If you’ve ever had to think about tools for getting organized and have decided to invest a major part of your income in office space I’d be very interested to hear from you.

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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