This is the office I share with my supervisor Missy, and on certain days, another intern Luke. Not only does this space becomes cramped with people, but the office is also packed full of projects and ideas. On the large bookshelf on the west side of the room sits piles of plans, that only Missy is able to navigate. On Missy’s desks and tables are more piles, they surround her. On the wall is a map, with various flyers and pictures of completed projects posted over it. Larger boards with other projects are on the ground, and more project boards can be found on the floor or on easels in the hallway leading up to Missy’s office.
The space is a bit chaotic, and there seems to not be enough space for everything. I notice that these characteristics are reflected in the activity in the office. I observe Missy moving from task to task throughout the day, allowing more time to some than to others, and sometimes her time being cut short from persistent phone calls, and people coming into the office. Papers are shuffled around, and we are often out of the office attending meetings.
This way of working surprised me. Reflecting on how I often work on academic work, I notice a difference in approach. For school assignments, I work on one project until it is finished, then begin the next project. I realize that this work pattern arises naturally out of the homework timeline, and works well for me at school. But in this office, I realize I move task to task, and often have to pause on my progress for the day. I’ve begun to appreciate daily schedules to help me navigate through multiple tasks throughout the day. I see project end dates as a goal to slowly work towards, rather than a start date.