"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Friday, July 03, 2015

work spaces

I took a vacation day yesterday to do school work.

That's a first.

In several years of being in school part-time
while working full-time,
I've carefully hoarded vacation days for
that glorious between-semesters Down Time.

But ... this is the final push ...
I'll be finished in August ... 
and I've gotta get it done.

So I'm spreading out a week's worth of vacation days to
Get. It. Done.

I've discovered a change in the way my brain works.

I'm not sure if it's all the time-saving technology (which makes it actually harder to avoid distractions) ... or just that I have too much on my plate these days.

I do.
There's a lot on there, honestly,
and I love all of it.

I'm sooooo looking forward to being done school,
even though I will miss learning,
and haven't ruled out continuing on.

At any rate - it's harder to stay ultra-focused lately for a significant length of time.

I know that I need an outside view.
Learned that a long time ago, and Birkman confirmed it.
I would weep in a windowless cubicle.
At work, my desk is placed squarely in front of a window.

So my solution - for the focusing thing - has become setting timers and moving work spaces. It's surprisingly effective.

I start here, in my L'viv corner, so named because when I set it up as an experiment several months ago, The Boy said it reminded him of a L'viv cafe. From it, I can stare into the backyard while typing and thinking - that's what I do.

The Boy gets a little creeped out by my vacant stare, I think.

Louie hangs out there all the time, keeping an eye on things.

As soon as the snow melts, I'm outside on the shady back deck. I have to adjust the laptop screen a little, because of the glare, and if there's a breeze, papers blow away. But I could - and do - stay out there for hours.

(On Wednesday this week, a bird pooped right on my MacBook. Still didn't go inside.)

In the winter - or super early morning - or for a change of space - I work in my favourite chair. It's by the front window. Has a perfectly-placed space for coffee on one side, and a piano stool for extra papers on the other side.

It's cozy.

But this - THIS is my latest work space, and I spent hours here yesterday.

It's opposite the L'viv corner. That's the extra leaf from the dining room table on there, and it's solid as can be. I can even set a coffee on there, and work away while slowly walking. It's remarkable how much I can focus while my legs are moving.

Is this a side-effect of being a multi-tasking society?
We struggle now with single-tasking?
It's working,
and I'm now trying to figure out
how I can get a (free) treadmill
into my (not-big-enough) office at work. 

Louie's a little overwhelmed by all the beeping timers and the moving to different spaces, but he never says it out loud. Just sits in his corner with a facial expression that can mean anything.

He's the Mona Lisa of stuffed sheep.


Linda Lou McG said...

I read in a exercise magazine that that the brain works better during physical activity. Maybe the treadmill thing will catch on. I need a good pair of well cushioned running shoes and then I can start walking again. I used to walk to and from the hospital when Sarah was first in. I needed the processing time I think. I too have to change work areas often to accomplish anything some days. I think i will get out my stuffed bear and let him encourage me on the days I find it difficult. Louie has the right idea.

old_black said...

"...In the winter - or super early morning - or for a change of space - I work in my favourite chair. It's by the front window. Has a perfectly-placed space for coffee on one side, and a piano stool for extra papers on the other side."

I love this spot - exactly the sort of features I look for. That chair looks very comfortable, and of course, the coffee cup placement is the most important aspect of a good sitting space. The window providing light over the left shoulder and the lamp proving light from the right would also be essential for my aging eyes. Not sure if what I'd do there would ever be classified as "work" though - my school days are over.

Patti said...

Linda Lou McG - I've seen "walking desks" that accomplish the same thing - they cost a freaking fortune. My dining table extra leaf does just fine. And yeah - the shoes matter.

old_black - This chair isn't ONLY for work. I read for fun in this chair too, and blog, and play sudoku. I'm in it right now ... :)