SolutionLiz Cormack

Space Issues

SolutionLiz Cormack

Productivity is an issue I struggle with on a regular basis. I know I'm not alone in this issue, but I do think everyone deals with productivity in a different way. Some people I know just need the right amount of caffeine to get everything done in a minute - some need a fire under their butts, like a deadline or tangible reward. Some are very easily distracted, so eliminating those distractions puts them right on the path to completing a project or task. I need my space.

It doesn't just come down to the temperature of the room or the size of the desk I'm working on -- the atmosphere, design and overall style of the workspace can be an enormous roadblock to my ability to pump out anything useful. And this is an issue, because I don't have the freedom to repaint the walls of my cubicle or put plants, corkboards and lamps at the corner of the desk reserved for me at my internship.

The important distinction, especially in creative work, is that a lack of productivity is not a lack of ideas. My mind has been active this summer, and as I push through my over-worked lifestyle I've found that I'm not short of ideas or inspiration, just short on the discipline to actually execute them. I realize I need the inspiration to DO, not just inspiration to collect.

After identifying the roadblocks to my ability to generate content and actually get to work, I've narrowed down the search to my workspace, and the way I've been using it to my disadvantage. An effective workspace doesn't just help employees generate ideas, it helps them execute them.

I'm not sure if there's any hope for me at the office, but I'm in the process of perfecting my workspace at home. Here's one good tip from Behance:

Save completed to-do lists Behance's 99% Blog highlights the importance of surrounding yourself with progress and using THAT as inspiration. I'm such a list person - I write out all my to-do lists, check each item off as it's completed, and write out every plan I've ever had. But I always toss them when they're no longer relevant, and while throwing them away is always a good feeling, starting a fresh new to-do list is daunting. What if you looked up at the wall and saw before you evidence of the last 10 times you destroyed an epic to-do list? That is inspirational.

Graduated with a B.A. in Communication Design from Emerson College. Studied Product Design in Startup Insitute Boston's inaugural class. Marketing Manager at The Tap Lab, a mobile gaming startup focused on location & augmented reality. Founder of Colab Boston, an AIGA Design for Good partner. Raised overseas, uncomfortable with familiarity, lover of live music, skiing, Bourbon Ales, black coffee and weird food. Current favorite topics: The Internet of Things, serious games, data visualization and epic burgers.