balancing life and blog

Over at the Glittering Muse, David Thomas has a thought-provoking entry on the toll that blogging takes on the body. Since July, when I chose to ramp-up my blogging intensity, I’ve noticed some new tweaks and creaks in my body.

But this added time at the computer has also prompted me to make some long-needed changes to my workspace. For months now – since I traded in my desktop for a laptop – I’ve been working without an external monitor. I love my laptop screen so I’m in no rush to get another monitor. What I have done is raise my laptop up using a nifty little desk stand and installed a keyboard tray underneath my desk. Just these two simple changes have made a huge difference in how I feel at the end of the day.

I have also become very aware of the need to take regular breaks throughout the day. Whenever I notice myself getting stiff or stuck, I’ll get up from my desk and walk around or stretch out on the exercise ball I have in the corner. I try to walk to lunch every day, either the 15-minutes it takes to get home, the 10-minutes it takes to get over to Whole Foods, or the 2-minutes it takes to get to the Grateful Bagel. Just being outside and moving my body is a great help.

Another trick I’ve learned is to periodically adjust my chair. I’ll change the height or tilt it forward a bit. With these changes, I am able to spread the load out, so to speak, over different muscle groups in my body.

And then there’s the more nebulous aspect of life balance. Fortunately for me, on most days I don’t have the option of sitting at my computer all day. I have private clients, either in person or on the phone, I teach, or I have meetings. All of these activities give me a break from the computer and a chance for my body and mind to reset and get ready for further adventures in the blogosphere.

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      2 Responses to “balancing life and blog”

      1. David Thomas on October 2nd, 2006 4:21 pm

        Hey Ed, these are useful suggestions to the blogitis I get regularly. I need to look at another chair. That’s an easy solution, But eye strain is another problem with no easy solution.

        Setting limits is a good system of self-control, but it’s so easy to break the rules.

        My 17 year old cat usually bugs me for attention after I sit at the computer for an hour, as if he knows I need a break. That can be my self cue to just “step away from the computer”!

        D

      2. Edward Mills on October 3rd, 2006 8:52 pm

        Hi David

        Try setting up your workstation so that you have easy access to a distant view through a window. Every so often, I do it when I’m searching for the right words to say, look out at a spot far away. My workstation is set up so that by turning my chair just a bit I can lean back and gaze out to the Myacamas mountain range that sits on the border between Sonoma and Napa County. It helps my eyes and, usually, my creativity!

        Ed

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