College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York

  Harry Thorne,
  WAC Coordinator
  Office: Building 2S Rm 227
  Email WAC

Writing Across the Curriculum/
Writing in the Disciplines
for Students

 Don’t Worry Too Much About Prepping
 Your Workspace

There’s no single right way to get your desk ready for work. It doesn’t really matter if you like your workspace piled with notes and research, or if you prefer a clear desk. What’s key is spending a few moments getting your workspace prepared for how you like to write.

Teachers always used to tell me in school that I should write on a clean desk. The clean desk made me feel kind of crazy and imprisoned, but the ritual of getting my workspace ready for writing was useful. Taking five minutes or so to do something that you associate with writing is a physical signal to your brain that work is about to start. That can make transitioning into writing—an important skill for productivity—so much easier.

The problem with the clean desk obsession is that a lot of people get so hung up on the clean desk that they never quite make it to the writing stage! If that’s the case for you, just push your mess off to one side or put it on the floor. In general, getting ready to write seems to inspire lots of people to clean and organize things. Resist the urge to over-clean your workspace—if it is clean enough to type or write, get rolling. And certainly resist the urge to clean the oven instead of writing, unless you have a family of rodents camped out in there.

Next: Find the Right Noise (or Silence) ->