Productivity: Face Lift

christopher hoppers office

Clutter. Have any? Maybe it’s the kitchen-black-hole-of-death drawer that’s crammed full of stuff. Maybe it’s the one room in the house you never show on “the tour” when guests come over. But if you’re like me, somewhere in your life, there’s total physical chaos.

Recently my office got a makeover. For those that might remember, I had painted it blue with a black city skyline 360-degrees. It was cool. Then I added my collection of street signs–placement care of those that tuned in during a live broadcast of the event. A table, some chairs. And inevitably, stacks of papers, collectables, gifts, supplies, and an old sandwich.

And then my thread of OCD kicked in.

Inspired by The Lightman Group’s make-believe office from the show Lie To Me, and Apple, I decided to throw nearly everything out, store the rest, and repaint: antique white on 3 walls, royal blue on the ceiling, and a light grey on the back wall.

In less than 4 days, my office went from chaos to clean. And so did my brain.

Many times our lack of productivity is directly tied to our environments. And I found that if both my head and my office were in chaos, work became frustrating. So one of them had to change. My mind always has been and always will be in a state of creative chaos. That’s how I’m wired. No changing there. So my office had to give way.

The result is that I love sitting in this clean space. I can breathe. I can think.

Sure, large canvas prints of my family are on order to fill up some of the vast amount of negative space. And I’ve added one of my antique model sailboats to the top of the bookcase. But that’s it.

Not only do I enjoy my office much more, but it’s caused me to adopt a new habit as well, which I’ll cover in the next post.

So which space do you need to give a face lift to? Go on, we want to know! ch:

[A big thanks to Will Farr for the recycled chairs!]

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  • Margaret

    As a creative-brained homeschool mom, I live this stuff. De-cluttering is like time management for me – it doesn’t necessarily come ‘naturally’. I set reminders to work at it consistently and re-visit in a larger way periodically. A cluttered, stale environment brings so much stress to everyone! That’s a nice, productive space you’ve got going there.

    (By the way, my boy CJ is completely stoked that you’re writing your next book, by the way. He has plowed through all of yours and Wayne’s. They have been awesome for his spirit!)

    • Margaret

      Oh, so that’s the Family Room I’m working on, which is where most of our school happens. Very busy room. Your post was a timely encouragement, because I was really getting stuck!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Awesome: go get it girl!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Thanks for your kind words on the books; a big hello to CJ!

      De-cluttering doesn’t come naturally to me either. More power to us!

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  • Tj

    we have decided to give our whole house a face lift.we wasn’t to life in a house that represents us and not someone else stuff.by a true blessing we are able to finally do so, and our old stuff showed to be a blessings for others, de-cluttering is finding me again, the chance to change things and most of all to have my mind free so i can focus and refocus on jesus, after all clutter on the outside is just the same as on the inside

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Boy that’s a great point! I felt a spiritual breakthrough when I got my office clean! Awesome!

  • Julie

    I just started decluttering in the beginning of the week. With my 5 yr. old autistic son I feel like I am constantly picking up but never getting anywhere. I have decided to take one space at a time – one day at a time. I am finally making some progress and getting things gathered to do my taxes as well!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Jenny feels the same way with our kids and the rooms. Recently she designated two rooms as “hers” and the rest as play rooms; this little change has helped to keep her (and me) sane. Do it up girl! Keep going!

  • http://dreamingprincess.wordpress.com Beth

    Its funny, how clutter can sneak up on you. I already have 2 places in my house that need to be de-cluttered. After moving my grandma a couple years ago, I vowed never to let my place get that cluttered. Seriously, moving her was a nightmare. I have to say she had over 500 boxes she did not want to part with. Everything has its season, something are good to keep, but there are things in all of our lives that we can let go of to make room for more important things.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      That’s a great point (and something I plan on covering in my next post).

  • Megan Jackson

    As great as the new office looks, I will miss the old one. It was just so… you. But! At the same time, the family photographs on the wall will make that place just as much you, and probably allow for you to smile and relax a whole lot more. You can stare at your beautiful children without having to worry about the chaos they may cause in your brain if they were really there.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Very true. And yes, my sanity is more important than artistic chaos.

      So where’s your chaos?

  • http://sjdeal.blogspot.com Shane Deal

    You. painted. over. the. city-scape. :-O I loved that thing…

    And you are SO not the only guy with clutter issues.

    But the city, that’s just kind of sad.

    -Shane

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Oh, sorry bro! Yeah. It had to go. :(

      Glad I’m not the only male. Fact is, I just don’t think we admit it easily.

  • http://www.joelberthet.com Joel

    Love the new look, it is clean and really brightens up the office. I suppose 3rd times a charm. You didn’t think I would forget the first paint job which made me question your sexuality, did you? :)

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Oh Lord. Can we please not go there? I mean–what? I don’t know what you’re talking about sir…

  • http://janalynvoigt.com Janalyn Voigt

    My office so needs this kind of treatment. Is your new habit clearing your desk?

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Ooo you’ll just have to wait and see!

  • Christian Fahey

    Dude! I’m revamping my own creative spaces (which suck) and prolly ditching about 90% of library. So liberating. Good post. Thax.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Glad to be of assistance. Though I can’t imagine you without a library. But I guess you do have one in your head!

  • http://www.iansmindandsoul.blogspot.com Ian

    Which space do I need to give a face lift to? No, no, no – I can’t think clearly if the space around me is too organized. I need clutter, something around me that I can push to the back of my mind and use a a launch pad for my frontal endeavors. :)

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Ha awesome. Bless those endeavors!

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  • Billy Jepma

    Awesome new office! Looks really nice, I had a ‘sigh’ when I saw those pics. So clean and organized. Me likey. :) My Mom and I are the same way, our kitchen island is always covered in newspapers, mail, and pretty much anything. They’ll be days where I’ll be spasming out and clean the whole kitchen. :) My Mom loves that. Great post dude! :)
    P.S. Loved the Lie to Me example, love that show. :)

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Thanks dude! (Miss you by the way! It’s been too long). Yeah, you’ll like the new look if you like Lie To Me. How awesome is that show? Speaking of your kitchen, I need to see the new one!

    • Billy Jepma

      It has been waayy to long hasn’t it. That show is awesome, parents love it too. You do need to see the new one, :) Much love dude, miss ya guys!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      We’re always a season behind because we watch on NetFlix, so don’t spoil it for me!