My work area has a comfortable chair, a nice desk, a computer, a large monitor, a phone, etc. It is easy for me to get stuck at my desk and not want to go to other parts of the house because everything I need is right there. However, when I just stay in my office, I miss out on some of advantages of the other parts of the house.
In fact, sometimes the tools that make me feel so productive actually get in the way of what I’m trying to do because they are distractions. Trying to sit and think while I’m sitting right next to my computer is kind of like the teenager trying to do Algebra in front of the T.V. My email is right there along with all of my other online tools.
Reading is the same way. I’ll get more out of a book reading it on the couch, recliner or somewhere else than I will in my office chair. I’m not saying it is impossible for me to do any reading in my office–it just isn’t usually the most productive place for me to read a book. Here are some of the things I’m trying to do to help create better places for specific activities:
- I’ve moved a number of my books to a bookshelf in another part of the house where there is a quiet place to read in the evening.
- I’m working on rearranging my office so I have a workspace that isn’t shared with my computer workspace. Something along the lines of a library table where I can spread out books and other materials.
- I’ve moved most of my magazines to the living room. When they are at my work desk they create a distraction from work and study. When they are in the living room they serve their purpose better.
The question is, not only are you doing the right things, but are you doing them in the right place? How have you changed your space to make it better support different activities?
Originally published April 12, 2007.