June 06, 2015

Workspace (June 2015 Edition)

This is a guest post that I’ve written for which I’m going to share with you here as well.

Who are you and what do you do for a living?

My name is Rodrigo and I am the co-founder of Codegestalt. I design and program user interfaces for a living and write about minimalism and coding on my blog. If I’m not sitting in front of a computer I usually read books, listen to music or experiment with new recipes in the kitchen.

Can you tell me something about your desk setup?

I used to be a big fan of external displays and my last setup was using an external 27” Apple Cinema Display and was loaded with a lot of different gadgets. After working on the road in Japan for three months my “setup mindset” underwent a radical transformation. Nowadays I prefer to keep my essential belongings to a minimum. If I just throw everything into my backpack I know that all my essential tools are there with me. I measure the necessity of my setup by asking following question: “If my house was on fire right now and I could only grab my backpack would that be enough?” If the answer to this question is yes then I can slowly ged rid of all the other stuff that’s NOT in my backpack. This is a great exercise to start decluttering your workspace from gadgets you don’t really need.

I used to be terrible obsessive about all the gadgets that I owned until I realised that I’m perfectly fine with just my laptop and a set of earbuds.

Always try to reduce your setup until you’ve arrived at the bare essential.

Main Workspace

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

At the moment I am really happy with the state of things, so no. :)

Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?

Yes, I switch my workspaces quite regularly during the day. Usually I have different “modi operanti” and switching physical locations helps me to get into a specific state of mind. Here’s a short compilation:

  • My main desk if I’m working on projects and writing.
  • If I need to sketch a lot of stuff I move to the big table in the living room that lets me easily spread out all of my sketches.
  • If I’m in heavy coding mode I usually put on my headphones and then proceed to sit in my IKEA Sherlock-Holmes-Ear-Chair where I can code for hours on end.
  • For boring administrative stuff I use the standing mode on my main desk for a change.
  • And If I need inspiration or have been procrastinating on a project and need to get things working I usually head down to the public cafe. That way I can easily force myself to get shit done. And the possibility to run into friends is always a nice change.

Living Room

Do you have a favourite item on your desk?

Not in particular. But if I have to name something it would be my curated selection of books. But most of them are just there because there’s no Kindle version. And in the end I couldn’t be bothered to drag them around with me to be honest.

What are you doing to stay focused?

  1. Bulletproof Coffee / Yerba Mate Tea
  2. Guided meditation in the morning
  3. Also, I’ve been experimenting with microdosing a certain chemical component in the past. But l’ll leave it at just that.


Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?

I used to own a physical Pomodoro Timer which has now been replaced by Software. Also there’s a quote from the book “The one Thing” which I recently read that reads:

What’s the ONE THING I can do such by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

What was your latest self improvement experiment?

Loosing weight I guess. I tried the 4-Hour Body “Slow-carb” diet in the past, but with litte success. After I discovered Bulletproof coffee (don’t fall for the Mycotoxins / MCT Oil scam and just use Coconut Butter instead) and combined it with the slow carb diet. Thanks to my dietary changes I have experienced an amazing body change, loosing 11 pounds (still going strong) and an additional increase to my energy levels. I’m now in the process to completely cut the carbs and switch to a Ketogenic diet.

Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?

I have high hopes that I will be able to get rid of everything except my Laptop, Kindle, earbuds and Backpack and replace my desk with a sandy beach somewhere.


  • Retina Macbook Pro 13” Late 2013
  • Klean Kanteen
  • Moleskine Sketchbook
  • Kindle + Books
  • iPhone 5
  • Herman Miller Aeron Chair
  • Height-Adjustable Desk
  • Leica D-LUX 6
  • ISKAR backpack