Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The benefits of a minimised writing space

Clear thinking is a crucial prerequisite to the work of translators and writers, as is the implementation of bespoke measures towards it. Joshua Becker argues that minimising our writing space will help maximize our potential because we thereby free up our minds and consequently think more clearly.

The opportunity of a minimised writing space

He suggests a 6-step process that we can apply to enjoy the opportunity of a minimised writing space. It includes clearing out cabinets and drawers; reducing the number of books; simplifying walls and bulletin boards, etc. Check out the whole list in his article “The Possibilities of a Decluttered Writing Space”.

We can implement a whole host of steps that will help us think more clearly

You can create a more focused writing space simply by tossing out clutter. From my own experience I can confirm that minimising my office space has indeed been empowering: I’ve created a distraction-free setting in which I can work with enhanced focus.

My family is aware that, if the need should arise, I would be happy to move my office to the smallest room in our property. Giving up my larger office space would be an easy thing for me to do as, following the implementation of a number of minimisation measures, I don’t keep much stuff in it any more.

Office space minimisation measures

Measures to minimise office space which I implemented in recent years have included, for example:

- I’ve reduced the number of books on my shelves by parting with any books that I know I will probably never use again (while keeping all dictionaries, even outdated ones, and most reference works).

- I switched from paper to electronic bank statements as soon as this option became available. Interestingly, both my German bank and my British bank started offering this facility at about the same time!

- I’ve scanned all articles of the ITI Bulletin which I consider useful or beautiful (to me, at least) and therefore worth keeping. I’ve stored the scans on various external hard drives and binned any physical copies (exception: magazines containing articles written by myself).

- I’ve created a clear desktop by keeping only what I consider as essentials. These days my desktop only includes: my computer screen, keyboard, mouse, and landline office phone; paper dictionaries if needed; a booklet with motivational, serenity-stimulating words; and (usually) a cup of green tea.

As writers and translators we can implement a whole host of steps that will help us think more clearly. Minimising or decluttering our writing spaces is one of them.