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The Workspace: Volume 01

A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind, an empty desk…

- Michael Scott

Rule number 1: “You determine you environment and your environment determines you”

To do your job to the best of your ability, everything around you must be optimised for your performance. You must eat, drink and sleep well to ensure you can stay physically mentally in the game. Concentration is a must. Integral to your ability to perform a job, is having a space to perform. 

This blog-post begins a series I hope to continue for the rest of my career: The Workspace. 

This is a comprehensive overview and assessment of where I am working, both physically and digitally, and is designed to evaluate how well the workspace is contributing to my job and performance. 

The Workspace provides an evaluation on four accounts:

  1. Efficiency

  2. Function

  3. Containment

  4. Maintenance

The idea is keep me accountable for keeping the place I work conductive to my own productivity, but also to keep a track-record of the development of my own workspace over my career, hopefully in a positive direction. 

This will be published on a quarterly basis, at least for the time-being. Now it’s on the internet, I have to commit to this. 

This is the Workspace as of May 29th 2024. 


The location of the workspace is my room within my flat, that is as much as I am willing to provide geographically. I work between my private bedroom and communal kitchen. In my bedroom, work is typically performed on the desk at the end of my bed, where I have two 22” monitors set-up, with Mac-mini, keyboard and Wacom tablet and pen. The latter three items are rarely used now, as I almost always work from a 14” MacBook Pro with M2 Pro chip, a portable powerhouse. 

Stored in my room in a camera-bag is the main bulk of my work equipment, chiefly a Canon 5D mkii with Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens, a GoPro and Rode Lavaliere microphones. Currently, my work involves a lot of photography, filming and editing work, so I generally keep storage on two CF cards: a 64GB and a 32GB, as well as 258GB mini-SD for the GoPro. The 64GB CF card also has Magic Lantern firmware installed, and is optimised for improved video-performance for the Canon 5D, which I typically work from for filming and photography. The 32GB CF card is used for photography, as it’s typically less taxing for data storage. For more storage and back-ups, I work from three Samsung 860 EVOs with 1TB of memory each. 

On the digital-front, I keep a log of all my work, contacts and expenses on Google Sheets, and use a 200GB Drive subscription to keep digital backups and share final files with clients.


The ability to efficiently work is key. The objective is to work smarter and not harder. Therefore, a workspace that encourages efficient workflows is paramount to an optimised performance. 

The efficiency of the workspace is primarily underpinned by the organisation of the workspace. My workspace is currently organised as such: 

On my desk, two desktop monitors, a Mac-mini, keyboard and Wacom tablet with pen. To connect to multiple screens, I use a dongle with various USB-A, USB-C, Ethernet and HDMI attachments. Though finnicky at times, this allows me to use one port on the computer for one screen, and the dongle port for another. I usually hold this down with tape, because slight movements can loosen connections. 

Above the desk are two shelves with books, largely relevant to my career, but also to provide guidance. More often than not they make me look educated and well-read, but they also help in times I need a bit of guidance, especially the ones written by agencies, as the workflows they layout have proven very useful for my career development so far. 

Underneath my desk are items I rarely use, but still require storage. These being five more monitors, monitor arms, a series of old lenses for Canon and a bag containing a T-bar stand, white backdrop and keylight. These are rarely used, but proven to be incredibly useful for shoots in the past. There are also colour gels cut into circles to use over my lens, from a previous job where I experimented with colour.

Behind me are a stack of shelves built using an Argos kit. It’s the second shelf that is important for work, holding my camera cage for stable footage and a box of wires. This has about every cable under the sun, from SATA to USB-C, and is just a series of wires I’ve accrued over the years. It always proves incredibly useful, but quite honestly is a mess. On the top shelves are my three 860 EVO 1TB harddrives, which are required for backups and for revisiting old work and projects, should I require it. 

As far as digital organisation, everything I need immediately accessible (current work, admin documents etc.) is kept locally on my laptop. For any work, files are organised in folders to keep pathways as simple as possible when looking for a file. 

As mentioned before, Google Drive allows for digital storage, but as I only pay for 200GB, it isn’t used as a digital time-capsule. Work on the Drive is typically relating to sharing with clients and internal admin docs I use the Google Office suite for. For very important work, I often keep a zipped backup as a WeTransfer link for the length of the project, in case of severe emergency. 

The question is, how does this hold-up for the efficiency of my work? At this current moment, my scale is small as I’m still just starting out. While organisation is still as important as it will ever be, the scale at which I require to stay organised is minimal. However, I am currently largely happy with the setup. Generally speaking, this allows me to find files with ease and not have to dig through hidden boxes and folders to find the piece I am looking for. 

Workflows have definitely benefited from this and it has not yet left me in any crisis mode. When I go out on jobs, it is easy for me to prepare for mistakes or troubles. I generally keep two of the important items, digital storage items etc. 

The setup also allows me to keep adaptable at this stage. A few weeks ago, working on a somewhat complicated edit where I had to take comments from various sources, the two-monitor set-up proved a dream and allowed me to quickly adapt to the situation without hindering the workflow. 

In this way, I am happy with the efficiency of the workspace at this time. 

My only complaint would be regarding the box of wires. As I say, the thing is a mess, and I’ve already struggled to find important wires whenever I needed them, particularly SATA cables for doing backups and accessing old data. 

The method I have, while it works, could be better, but it’s really just a case of hashing out more money for more data. Given the current status of work at the moment, these moves are done with hesitation as I look to continue building a more sustainable way of working and living, however I know these will soon be a priority. 

As for steps I wish to improve on in the future, there isn’t a whole lot while the work-scale remains small, other than maybe work out a system to keep wires in-tact and more easily accessible. I know they are more often than not there, but having a system established will definitely help out when I need them. 


The most defining feature of the workspace is the work that is done within that space. The workspace is designed to optimise that work and ensure the worker can do it to the best of their ability. 

To understand how effective the workspace is in this regard, we need to know what functions are being performed. 

Primarily, at this moment, I am working with video-editing, motion graphics, filming and photography, as well as writing these blogs. Given the nature of filming and photography being done entirely outside of the workspace (at least for now), the workspace is principally used for editing and motion-graphics. 

As mentioned previously, my desk is setup with two desktop monitors. These have proven especially useful when required, certainly with some of the more recent edits I’ve had to do. Working with transcript documents and comments through to dictate my editing, attaching these monitors to my MacBook has proven great for the editing process, allowing me to easily read feedback and prompts instead of sifting through tabs for every edit. 

As for performance, my equipment at the moment handles Premiere Pro with real ease, and rarely struggles to perform with the edits I make. As far as that goes, the function seems to be good enough for the time being. 

Where the issues rise, however, are in the cases of motion-graphics editing and long-format rendering. Anyone who uses Adobe After Effects knows how hefty the application can play on computer memory. For small edits that are thrown into a video-edit, i.e. small 2-D graphics and overlays, there are almost zero problems. With larger animation projects, however, performance can be slow. This is especially an issue when I’m running a series of applications alongside. That being said, at the scale I work currently, this is often more of nuisance than a severe hinderance, and is just something that would be a welcome improvement rather than a necessary one. 

Rendering is only an issue on longer-form content with multiple edits and effects running, which often requires I leave the computer idle while these renders are being performed. That being said, these often run without issue. A bigger issue with this is WiFi, and the uploading of files. 

Working with clients, showcasing the work almost always requires an internet connection. Mine works, but it’s not the most reliable. 

These issues, however, are a case of hardware and costs. Being where I am in my career, these are things to build on as my career progresses, and so I’m not looking for immediate change currently as realistically there are no issues that break the functions within the workspace. It’s certainly better than in the past. I remember making an hour long edit on an old MacBook Pro with an intel processor, waiting for the moment the computer would just burst into flames and leave nothing more than a black charcoal mark on my desk. 

Another issue symptomatic of this is storage, which has already been addressed. 

All to say, function of the Workspace is all good at this stage of my career, and it seems at the stage of what I’m doing for my work, there are no issues that stop me from doing work, but again this is early days currently.


Containment relates to two main factors, how centralised do I keep the Workspace, and how well do I keep it separate from other aspects of my life. 

Addressing the second one first, living and working from home do not lend themselves to a largely positive outcome. Though I save on commuting costs and time, the Workspace and the so-called “Living Space” blend and frequently interfere with eachother. This clearly is an issue, and can cause the mindset to become a real struggle with what I do. Working in my room or near the lounge lends itself to being easily distracted. Going out is an option, however that more often than not brings on financial incursions. 

Being in a mindset to save money currently, this makes working from home somewhat of a necessary evil. Perhaps my discipline needs to be improved, but at the same time I feel it’s an acceptable concession at this point that containment cannot be as good as maybe I want it. 

This being said, when deadlines require the commitment, I find very little issue with distraction and a failure of mindset, but that is more down to the pressures of the job, therefore not relevant to the assessment of containment of the Workspace.

This is also an issue of working from the same technology I use for leisure. Though I tackle this through folders dedicated to work. 

Much like function, these are issues that can largely be addressed by financial means. But for the time being, I’ll admit I can probably allow for more discipline in this area in keeping things more together. 

As far as keeping a centralised Workspace where all work remains, physically I feel there are plenty of positives. This largely relates to the aforementioned organisation of my space, which as well as allowing for efficiency, also means I can separate work items from personal items.

As far as digital, it’s a bit of a mess. I manage my work digitally via three or four platforms., for client-facing and files to review; WeTransfer, for files to send to clients; Google-Drive, which keeps some administrative documents and also sharing with clients; locally, where I keep backups and current required files. This, honestly, is a mess, and is definitely one of the key areas I need to address in the Workspace. 

One thought I’ve had is the idle Mac mini I own. As a decent piece of hardware with 1TB of storage, this would prove great as a backup storage centre, and could be streamlined by just keeping cloud storage applications on it, where work can be directly sent to those applications. All that it would require is discipline on my end to keep maintaining this. 

Speaking of which: 


All these criteria can only remain pertinent so long as everything is maintained in order. When things go wrong, how are they rectified? What systems are in place to keep the space from falling apart? 

Currently, I am horrific at this part. Maintenance is currently on a case-by case basis. 

Don’t get my wrong, I don’t live and work in squalor. If this has proven anything it’s that there are methods and reasoning to the Workspace layout. When there is a mess, I clean it up and I endeavour to keep my Workspace as tidy and as organised as possible. 

However, the systems kept in place don’t yet allow me to keep up with consistently maintaining the space. This is definitely something to be worked on, especially as my work and scale grow. 

Back-ups should be done regularly, ensuring failsafes. Files need to be organised and kept organised, ensuring there’s no spillage between files and the Workspace stays contained. 

While I do pride myself in keeping this up generally speaking, it does fall short at times, which can prove a hinderance in all aspects of how I work and how the Workspace operates. 

All to say, maintenance is definitely an area for improvement, and that comes down to myself and my discipline in creating and sticking to systems. 


As of now, I’m largely happy with the workspace. I believe that, given where I currently am in my career, everything is for the most part allowing me to perform my job to the best of my abilities. However, there are improvements to be made at this moment, especially if I want to grow and develop my career in the ways I plan to. 

Below are three goals to correct ready for the next Workspace review: 

  1. Regular check-ups and systems need to be in-place to ensure files are correctly organised and back-ups are kept in tact, ready for the worst-case scenario - God forbid that occurs. 

  2. Using idle equipment to the benefit of efficiency and function. As I said, there are a few items that could be better used and implemented into my workflow, and I think finding the space to use them would prove a great help to my workload as I continue to grow and develop

  3. Just as much is ensuring containment of the Workspace through digital platforms. Now I have more Google Storage, there is a perfect opportunity to build a digital space where admin-tasks and better client-communications can be maintained. 

I’m in no place right now to be looking at improving the equipment I use, as I am more than well-equipped for the work I conduct and am able to perform all necessary tasks with it. Yes, sometimes there are challenges, but it’s better to look at them as a career-positive than a hinderance. 

Whether I keep this up, fulfil my aims and the Workspace showcases a positive development in my career, I suppose you’ll have to look out for the next Volume… 


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