Vera and I spent a long time -- years, really -- looking for the right combination of elements before we finally bought the farm. (Even over a year-and-a-half later, it’s still funny to say that.) One challenge was finding a reasonable-sized non-mansion (good for just the two of us) that was situated on enough land to have plenty of pasture space for multiple horses.
The house we ended up with is a good size, with an extra guest bedroom and one other room we designated early on as my home office. That’s where we set up the desktop computer (and accessories), lined the walls with bookcases and filled them up, and provided good lighting so I could spend many hours a day scribbling away in there.
Thing is, I mostly work on my laptop. And thus almost always I would sit in the living room on the couch, at the kitchen table, or perhaps outside on the back porch if it weren’t too hot. Which means the office wasn’t really being used all that much. The space we’d designating for working was just sitting there -- it wasn’t a work space, it was just space.
Meanwhile working was filling all the other spaces.
It only took me a day of actually working in there, though, to realize how liberating it felt to go back out into the living room and, say, read a little, watch a little teevee, or just have a snack and chill -- especially when the evening came and I wasn’t really working anymore. I didn’t feel the pull to check emails or do any of the other work-like things it’s hard not to do when my job (in the form of the laptop) is sitting right in front of you.
I mean, even the laptop will shut down, going to “sleep” when not in use. Why shouldn't I?
Anyone who has ever worked at home well knows the challenge of not allowing your “workday” grow and grow, taking over practically all of your waking hours. It’s great not to have to “punch in,” but it’s not good at all never to feel as though you’re getting to “punch out.” Such is a phenomenon you sometimes hear the full-time online grinders addressing -- that is, the need to draw a clear line between playing and not-playing (with “play” meaning “work” for them).
Gonna stick with this routine for a while and see how it works. Or plays.