musical chairs…

IMG_0651Working from home affords for a fair amount of flexibility. I don’t just mean the obvious stuff like being able to take my kid to school and being around when packages are delivered or taking long lunch breaks. All of those, along with pants or no pants flexibility are great. But the thing that’s really on the forefront of my mind today is that I can work from anywhere I like. For many of my co-workers that means traveling the world with their laptop and working wherever the wifi is strong. And that’s amazing. But for me I find working wherever I happen to stop for a few minutes here at home a source of  endless curiosity. I don’t mean wherever I am in Portland – BBQ joint, nail salon, the local co-working space, or a coffee shop. I mean at home.

So as I work through my day here’s a list of places I stop to work and why I work there.

  • Curled up on my side in bed squinting at the phone without my contacts in or glasses on typing with thumbs at my co-workers. I needed to impart some basic information and I wanted to do so right away before moving to the laptop.
  • Sitting in bed, lights off, glasses on, computer in my lap, hoping to squeeze in a solid hour of work before my teen realized I was awake and asked for something.
  • At my standing table with my new chalkboard vase filled with fresh mint. Working here is awesome, particularly in the morning with the cool breeze drifting in bringing with it the tweets and trills of bird chatter. Never mind the sound of traffic. And the fact that my cats both mightily object to me standing here since they can’t get into my lap or in front of my keyboard so there may be a constant stream of meows that may as well be sailor-like swearing.
  • The sofa. I’m not gonna lie, this one sucks me in. Turn on the tv for background noise, line up my coffee, water, and my other water on the arm of the couch. This is when the laptop desk comes into play. Where I take all my team chat calls. Where I catch up on slack or email for hours. Time goes away when I work from the sofa. One moment it’s 10am and the next thing you know it’s after 3 and there’s an alarm blaring at me reminding me to pick my kid up from school. The sofa is the time eater but also salvation on a busy day when I need to worry about nothing else in the world.
  • The school desks. These two little cuties are also new additions to the Kaos workspace. They might be permanent, they might be temporary. It all depends if they’re needed elsewhere but aside from just being cute as a button and making me nostalgic for a one room schoolhouse I never attended they’re an awesome place to perch for 15 minutes to an hour. Great for google hangouts when I only want to make myself presentable from the t-shirt up or I want to make sure the cats aren’t climbing all over me. Also a favorite spot for teen homework time and afternoon snacks.
  • The desk. Just the desk. Tried and true the desk is something no office, home or otherwise, would seem complete without. Does that mean I use it often? No. Does that mean I need to have it? Kind of yes. At least for heavy spreadsheet days when I’d go cross-eyed without my external monitor. And also the three months out of the year K isn’t in school because. Because it’s tucked into the corner of my room it’s often the only place during summer vacation I can hide away and harness enough concentration to get everything done. And with the teen’s summer vacation starting in less than two weeks it might be time for me to think about investing in a comfy desk chair.

For the majority of the day I tend to drift back and forth between the standing table and sofa. Sometimes because I feel like I’ve been in one place too long. Sometimes because something needs focus so I need to sit and concentrate. But over the past two weekends we’ve put a bit of hard work into an unruly backyard and by the end of this week, after the arrival of my new patio table and the reappearance of sunshine banishing today’s drizzly clouds, I’ll have another lovely place to work the day away. Hopefully it will help to quell some of summer’s distractions and give me a nice place to sip iced coffee in the fresh air while I answer a seemingly never-ending stream of email.

Those of you who work from home, do you work in one space or many? Where are your go-to spots for concentration?

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