When I first moved in with my husband, we lived in a small house and shared an office. I thought this was great. Our desks were side by side and loved the idea of parallel productivity, except it wasn’t.
As much as I enjoyed being near him, I found it quite challenging to tune him out and concentrate on my own things. Now I recognize that my tendency to focus on everyone else around me distracts me. What made it even worse, was that he had no trouble staying focused.
When we eventually moved and I had my own office I found I am much more productive and creative. I needed a room of my own and I didn’t even know it.
I have helped a number of my clients create a space in their home just for them. It is always with women, most of whom are also moms. No matter the size of the house or the household, women can neglect to create a space for themselves as their focus is so often meeting the needs of everyone else.
It’s amazing they are able to get as much done as they do considering important papers and systems are often scrunched into corners of various rooms, drawers, piles, which can make getting things done even more challenging than they may already be.
Invariably, once my client and I look around together, an obvious place gets revealed that could be claimed. Sometimes it’s an extra room used for storage or a room of a child who has long since moved out of the house. Sometimes a solid corner of a kitchen will do if designed well.
With one client, we analyzed the spaces and explored various options. She and I realized that although a room upstairs would work, it was simply too far away from the hub of the house and would remain unused. As a single mother of three young children, she needed to be more centrally located, which is true of many mothers. We took over the dining room and created ‘mom’s command central’. She didn’t need a formal dining room; she needed a place to be organized, get things done and stay connected. We placed the large desk right in the middle of the room, files along one side and projects on the other. A small desk against the wall allowed a child to sit and do homework as needed.
She immediately went from feeling completely overwhelmed to becoming powerful, in-control and ready to be the boss again.
Creating her own space changed everything.