The Portable Desk

Many of us choose to work at a place other than a desk for a variety of reasons: travel, convenience, personal preference, necessity, etc. Fortunately, today more than ever efficient workstations can be set up almost anywhere. If you frequently find yourself working at a space other than a traditional desk or office, here are a few tips to ensure that you have everything you need:

Gather Your Supplies

Nothing is more frustrating than setting up a workstation only to discover you are missing something you desperately need. If you frequently work remotely, designate a separate bag that you keep stocked with all of your necessities, and then keep a list (e.g. on an index card) of the items you need to grab at the last minute.

Some of the common items most everyone needs:

    • Pen/pencil
    • Small notepad
    • Calendar (digital or paper)
    • To Do List (digital or paper)
    • Computer/Laptop
    • Phone

Depending on your job (student, salesman, consultant…), you may have some additional needs, such as:

    • File box or tote which contains relevant material
    • Contact list with phone numbers/emails (paper or digital)
    • Highlighter
    • Books/manuals/brochures
    • Product samples
    • Business cards
    • Affinity cards (e.g. airline membership cards) for making travel reservations
    • Thumb drive (always good to have a back-up)
    • Earbuds (with a microphone if you make calls)

Power Up

Having a computer isn’t very helpful if you can’t use it. To make sure your tools are productive, make sure you always have:

    • Power Cord (if you are frequently mobile, consider investing in a second power cord that you can store in your bag)
    • Chargers for devices (laptop, iPad, phone)
    • Adapters (e.g. for the car, foreign countries)
    • Wifi (if this is important to you, a wifi booster may be a worthwhile investment)
    • Cell Service (don’t set up where you only have 1 bar)

Manage Your Environment

Productivity is not only a function of tools, but also of environment (ever been next to someone talking full volume on a cell phone?) To stack the odds in your favor, seek to create an environment which has:

    • Privacy (don’t open sensitive documents in close proximity to others)
    • Sufficient lighting
    • Noise control (if you need quiet and can’t find it, consider noise cancellation earphones or earbuds or a white noise app)
    • Comfortable climate (hard to work if you are freezing/roasting)
    • Comfortable seating
    • Space to spread out (especially if you use paperwork)

* * * * *

Now more than ever there are countless options for where and how to work. By deciding in advance what makes YOU efficient, and ensuring you have it with you, you can craft a productive workspace that fits you and your lifestyle.

What do you always make sure to bring with you when working remotely?

Submitted by Professional Organizer Seana Turner, founder and President of The Seana Method.

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