I need to remember not to underestimate the power of convenience.
Last week, the power chord of my MacBook finally died. I had to rely on my iMac, which was at the other corner of the house. It made me realize that I had an inconvenient electronic setup, and so, I reorganized.
Now my iMac, and my desk, are in the living room, next to the window. The recliner looks towards the window, and the sofa is oriented North. Not huge, but now I make better use of space, and better use of the windows.
By now I have a replacement power source for my MacBook, but since I have a desk in the room, I’m using the laptop there, instead of sprawled on the sofa. I have a nice view:
A consequence of using the laptop on my desk is that I’m mixing tasks less. I had developed a habit of using the laptop on the sofa while I listened to music or watched TV. That was not bad in itself, but I ended spending more time doing all these tasks than I should.
Now that I sit at the desk to use the computer, I’m using it less, and with more focus. The same is true of my music listening and TV or DVD watching. A net gain, if you ask me.
Something similar happened at work. My office was next to the “Think Tank”, an area with sofas, a sink, a microwave oven and a water cooler, designed to be a gather and rest area for us programmers. By company policy, there is a vending machine with free sodas, and another, not free, with sweets. The higher ups expect only positive returns from all that sugar.
During the frequent periods of stress, I had gotten in the habit of taking sweets or sodas once a day. Sugar is bad for my Crohn’s, but no healthy snacks are available anywhere near.
A month ago, we went through a move, and my new office is far from the Think Tank. In the last round of stressful days, I’ve noticed I have no desire to get sodas or sweets. This is better than Pavlovian conditioning.
Note to self: always try the easiest solutions first, they are often the best.