The blog

Previous article

Next article

28 Nov

One slanted angled hook less

Datum: 2023-11-28 07:28
Various tools including a square, a tape measure, and pliers are organized on a pegboard.

Recent­ly, I have pon­dered the struc­tur­al aspect that deals with phys­i­cal struc­ture.

Ques­tions such as Where is the best place for this par­tic­u­lar tool?”, How can I sim­pli­fy the per­for­mance of this task by adjust­ing some­thing in the phys­i­cal?” and How do I shape my phys­i­cal work envi­ron­ment so that I am least dis­tract­ed?”, have been on my mind and I have been exper­i­ment­ing with them.

The small that makes big consequences

Sure, apps, syncs, and dig­i­tal solu­tions are all great, but we are also great­ly affect­ed by how the phys­i­cal space in our day-to-day work is.

For me, it’s not just about the big solu­tions about what kind of office envi­ron­ment we should have — land­scape or cell office, for exam­ple. What affects me just as much are the small details that, at first glance, may seem to be mere triv­i­al­i­ties not worth putting ener­gy into.

It may be that I con­stant­ly have to look in one place too many for the right kind of tape, or that I always acci­den­tal­ly knock into some­thing when I’m try­ing to get out some­thing else, or that some­thing is con­stant­ly in the way on the floor, or that I keep putting off doing some­thing because what I need to car­ry then is so ungain­ly (I hate lugging).

Hang­ing up is great, but hang­ing straight is greater

Let me give you an exam­ple, cer­tain­ly from my home do­main, but still an anal­o­gy for a cor­re­spond­ing sit­u­a­tion at work.

Above my wood work­ing bench, I have my tools hang­ing on the wall. I have placed them ac­cord­ing to how of­ten I use them. Those tools I use most fre­quent­ly hang right in front of me where I usu­al­ly stand so I have them close and eas­i­ly acces­si­ble. The less I use a tool, the fur­ther away from me it hangs on the wall.

Right in front, pre­cise­ly in my line of sight when I look up, an an­gled hook with an in­te­grat­ed water lev­el hangs. I use it a lot. When I was hang­ing it up, I just hung it on a screw in the wall.

But the tool was­n’t sym­met­ri­cal, which made it hang at an an­gle. It both­ered me. You may think this is a pe­ti­ty, but it’s not. Every time I looked up to think, I would see the slant­ed tool, think about it hang­ing slant­ed, and be dis­tract­ed. I lost fo­cus on what I was do­ing for the mo­ment and it took me, though a short one, a mo­ment to get back on track. I lost wood­work­ing time for noth­ing.

Also, when I want­ed to use the larg­er an­gled hook hang­ing next to it, the slant­ed an­gled hook was in the way so I would ac­ci­den­tal­ly knock it and it would start swing­ing and then some­times fall. Irri­tat­ing.

The so­lu­tion was, of course, sim­ple as these phys­i­cal so­lu­tions of­ten are. I drove in a dis­creet peg that the an­gled hook leans against”, so it now hangs straight. Less dis­trac­tion, less ir­ri­ta­tion, more wood­work­ing time.

And what does this cor­re­late to for you?

If you want, also think about what seem­ing­ly triv­i­al things dis­tract and ir­ri­tate you at work on a day-to-day basis. What could you change in the phys­i­cal that quick­ly and eas­i­ly solves the problem?

(Yes, it is def­i­nite­ly the small, small details that do it.)

Want regular tips on how to enhance structure at work?

Santa Claus is in his woodworking shop, intently reading a list in his hand.

If you want more tips on how to create good structure at work, there are many ways to get that from me - in podcasts, videos, books, talks and other formats.

Yes, I want more tips!