Have you noticed that some spaces are way easier to work in than others?

Sometimes I’m extremely productive here at my house during the day. I have a second monitor here (isn’t it great Alex??), I have a nice window to look out, all my books and old printed-out articles are here, etc. etc. However, most of the time, I simply can’t get anything done at my house (until the sun goes down, anyway) and have to go somewhere else to do things. It’s way too easy to distract myself at my house. Maybe I should iron my pile of shirts, or go see what food I have, or maybe I should go buy milk, or water my garden, or or or… So, sometimes, to get any work done, I have to admit to myself that it is not happening at my house.

There’s a couple of places that I particularly like to go. Today I went to a coffeeshop/deli called the Royal. This is nice because it has both indoor and outdoor seating, so if it’s beautiful outside and I can’t stand to be inside, then I can go out and work in the sun. (I may have gotten a little sunburned today.) Also they have a half-sandwich-half-salad combo for like $6. One of their salads has arugula and sharp white cheddar and bacon and it’s super good, and they always have interesting sandwich specials (today’s was delicious: turkey on some kind of fig bread). Also they have really good cookies for fifty cents. Also maybe they tend to have really attractive clientele?

Treehouse Lounge at UCSD
Treehouse Lounge at UCSD

Another one of my favorites is the Treehouse Lounge at UCSD. I love everything about this space. It is quiet, airy, open, and relaxing. The lighting is fantastic, both during the day when the glass walls let in natural light filtered by the surrounding grove of eucalyptus trees and the openwork walls of the balcony outside. It has a printer for when you really don’t want to read that article on a screen. It’s located on campus fairly close to a bunch of interesting things for when you need to get up and walk around (the general store, several restaurants, the bookstore, etc.). The one downside to this space is the relative lack of available power outlets for plugging in my laptop – there’s one surge protector over in the corner, but no plugs over by the seats where I usually sit. I have a feeling, however, that a substantial portion of my dissertation will be written here, because a substantial portion of my proposal was written here. Maybe it will show up in the dedication of my dissertation. 

 What do you figure it is about spaces that impacts the productivity that happens in them?


4 thoughts on “Spaces

  1. Honestly I think it has something to do with being comfortable. You’re comfortable at home, so you don’t feel as great a need to get things done. You could just do whatever, because nobody would question you for doing this instead of that. Outside of home though, you have less to do because you know less about where you are so you can focus a bit better. And having two screen s is the best thing.

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