Before I went to Africa in 2002, I had been working as an entrepreneur for about two years. During the first year, I worked at a $50 plywood desk in a corner of my bedroom that was too small and threatened to fall apart whenever I set anything on it. It did the job for a while, but as I spent more and more time sitting there, it quickly got old.
I finally broke down and decided to upgrade. I went to Office Depot and spent nearly $500, a huge sum of money for me at the time, on what I decided to call The Ark.
The Ark, recreated above thanks to a public domain image, was my Command Center. My actual Ark was dismantled when I went overseas, but that's pretty much what it looked like. When you go from a $50 desk that threatens to fall apart at any moment to a desk like that, you feel pretty powerful.
You also get a lot more done.
If you’re going to take over the world, or do pretty much anything worthwhile, you’ll need a Command Center of your own. This Command Center—you can call it a workspace, if you want to be traditional—must enable you to do all the work you need to do to accomplish your goals.
Ideally, a Command Center that suits your own unique abilities will foster your productivity and facilitate a good working environment. You can save money in lots of ways, but don’t skimp too much on a workspace that helps you work well.
Looking through the Office Max and Staples websites, where you can find a decent selection of Command Centers, here are a few that I like:
I chose a selection of different sizes to accommodate varying work spaces. Ideally, you won't shop for a desk like that online -- it's a lot better to do this kind of shopping in person whenever possible.
Other Weapons of Mass Construction
Many good workspaces are not technology centric. I do my best writing with a pen on a legal pad, so be sure to have plenty of pens and paper around even if you usually prefer the computer.
Another important element of your Command Center can be a series of project boards that you can hang up. These project boards – bulletin, dry erase, calendar system, choose your favorite or use them all– exist to keep you focused on what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you’re like me, you have a lot of things going at once, so use several different boards. Put the projects up and start working on them task-by-task.
Here are a few other things you may want for your Command Center:
What if your goals call for constant work on the road?
- A nice chair
- Inbox for your GTD system
- Nearby coffee maker that is as simple or as fancy as you like
- Nice lamp
- Cell phone charger
- Dual monitor system
- Laser printer
- Wireless router
Simply put, if you’re working on the road, you need a Mobile Command Center. To be honest, I find this challenging. As much as I travel, I wouldn’t rely on a mobile model exclusively. I do travel with a laptop, a SmartPhone, and my Moleskin journal… but beyond that, I haven’t worried too much about setting up my show on the road. I once heard of a guy who carried two laptops and a printer with him wherever he went, but that just sounds stressful to me. Lots of other people do this well, though, so maybe you should check with them
What about artists and other non-business types?
You still need a Command Center. You need a space to create or do whatever it is you do. It doesn’t need to be a whole office—a corner is fine. A coffee shop may work for some people, although as I mentioned above, a stationary space is usually better in the long run. Writers and artists of all kinds are just in need of their own space as anyone else.
Your Command Center is your ultimate workspace. It’s where you will plan and accomplish great things. Are you completely satisfied with your working environment? If so, great! You’re ahead of most of the rest of us.
If you’re not satisfied, think about what you need to upgrade. Make a plan to get your own Ark, or whatever you need to make a space of your own. Make it a priority, and as you work on taking over the world—or at least changing it for the better—your Command Center will reward you.
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