Source: Office Design Gallery
The idea I like the best is the IL CONTE OFFICE (scroll to the bottom of Office Design Gallery’s web page). Why?
- Because the environment is mostly white, and does not have pictures of people, or clutter, directly in front of the work stations.
- I think the fake tree branches provide a sense of separation. They are not vegetable barbed wire by any means, but still, there is a sense of separation providing autonomy of thought in these work spaces.
- Desks are big.
- IL CONTE just looks like an office that is “mind like water” friendly.
- 3 Tray in-box. The surface of the desks are so clean, it seems like a 3 tray in-box would have to appear from out of the wall, or pop up from the surface of the desk. But, it definitely needs the in-box.
- Project folder infrastructure. The 3 drawer floating sideboard might be enough to store project folders in, but I doubt it.
- Monitor arm to get the iMacs up in the air so that 100% of the desk space can be used for arranging cards.
Why look at all these desks and offices?
In economics a distinction is made between “search goods” and “experience goods“. Search goods are products or services that you can observe characteristics that you need before purchase. For example, medicines. You know the milligrams of each medicine you need, so you can buy a generic that is equivalent to a prescription drug.
At the other extreme are experience goods where the characteristics of value are difficult or impossible to observe before purchase. Experience goods split wants from needs. Especially in new technology areas, at first people can only tell you what they want, not what they need. After people go over the learning curve with a new product category, they can articulate what they need. But, not until.
Example experience good: Jamba Juice.
One day while my wife and I were in Jamba Juice and Beth was in front of me in line to order. She was taking a long time deciding what fruit-mulch drink to choose. I heard myself say “Honey, these are experience goods, you can’t compute the best one to choose. Just start at the upper left hand corner and work you way down each time you come!” Beth was not offended, and we still enjoy discussing how to choose experience goods, from the top left or bottom right of the list.
Offices are experience goods. Desks are experience goods. GTD is an experience good. Each GTD sub-component is an experience good. You have to try each of these, try satisfying a want, in order to gather the information on what your true needs are. Wants are stepping stones to needs.
Economics also talks about “credence goods” where it is difficult for consumers to ascertain the impact of the good. Lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc. all tend to be credence goods.
Is GTD a credence good?
I don’t think so. Since starting GTD I’ve *felt* my productivity increase, then plateau as I figure out how to plug leaks in my system, and then rise once the leaks are plugged. After the initial rise-plateau-rise pattern, I’ve plateaued as I experimented by swapping out components (Evernote for paper reference filing).
I’ve also felt my level of stress reduce. Of course what I did with that was to take on more work so that my level of stress rose back up to historic levels. But at least I was getting a bunch more done for the stress!
Here are the tiny-poll results to date on the ways GTD improves productivity for other restartGTDers: