Is comfort the key to productivity?

By Katharine Swan On Thursday, June 02, 2011 At 4:19 PM

icon
iconI recently started getting The Writer on my Nook. At $3.50 a month, and a lot of interesting articles, it seemed like a worthwhile expense.  Besides, I enjoy the electronic issue so much more than I ever liked magazines!

Anyway, one of the articles that I found interesting in the July 2011 issue was "He's No Slouch," by Daniel Asa Rose, about how much more productive he is when he is comfortable.  An excerpt:

Something miraculous happened when I took my laptop to bed... The writing flowed. As my breathing relaxed and deepened, something unlocked inside me...

(I tried to find the article on the website, but apparently they don't make their articles available there to non-subscribers, so you'll have to check it out at the newsstand if you are interested in reading the full article.)

Reading this article got me to thinking.  I've been bemoaning my lack of productivity for a year or more.  Is it possible that this period of unproductivness might coincide with giving up my favorite writing spot?  About a year ago, when we got our youngest cat, Ivan, Cleo (my fat female cat) started hanging out in the rocker next to my desk.  It was a good place for her: near to me while I worked, easily defensible if Ivan tried to harass her (which he does, frequently, even now).

Unfortunately, it was a good place for me, too, before she took it over.  I estimate I used to spend about half my day writing in my rocker.  I'm not a big fan of writing at my desk — a couple of hours is about all I get before I start getting so uncomfortable I can't stand it anymore.  I've always known that I write better if I change my location (and position) frequently: desk, rocker, couch, bed, coffee shop.  When I'm up late working and I want to power through some work so that I can get to bed, I usually choose either my rocker or the couch, knowing that I won't be able to concentrate as well if I'm at my desk.

Although I have since gotten a more comfortable desk chair and a foot rest to go beneath my desk, I still am most comfortable when my laptop is on my lap.  And unfortunately, the couch isn't comfortable enough to contain me for long.  Right now, in fact, my lower back is starting to get a bit achy, so I've shifted my weight onto one hip, propped my laptop on one leg and my elbow on a pillow, and put my other foot on the couch with my knee sticking straight up in the air.  Yes, it's comfortable, and yes, I can work this way.

But I want my rocker back.

The only question is...  Do I want it back badly enough to deny this face?

Writer's companion

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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