Low hanging productivity – improving your workspace

Tl;dr – Simple changes to workspaces like a big screen can make a big difference.

This week I spent a few days away from my usual desk.  I have been house sitting.  I didn’t think too much of it; I tend to carry with me a portable lifestyle.  My laptop, some power blocks for my phone, and various supplies that make for easy “office”-ing around the place.  I usually don’t carry a charger with me because when I know I will be gone a while I will take it with me.

I have always liked a portable office.  The ability to stop, and continue later at ease was always important to me.  However recently I moved into a new place and set up a desk.  I figured I would tryX where X is workspaces (a post for the future).  I never set up a workspace for the reason of it not being portable.  The interesting thing that has surprised me this week is that I miss my big screen (which was a gift – I might have never bought myself a big screen).

For whatever reason, the ability to view more space at once makes me more productive.  Combined with Linux’s natural tendencies to have several desktop environments with simple switching.  My laptop screen is about 19in.  Which is plenty.  The new screen is about 1.5x that.  I never thought it would be useful, it took me years to do it.  If it broke today, I would be willing to spend up to $900 to get it back (which is more than six times the price of a new screen).  Right now I wonder how productive I might be with a 3rd screen… Or a 4th.  (or a 3D virtual reality work environment with screenspace limited by my eyeballs not my screen resolution…)

I feel like (along with other habits) I am probably working at 120% of what I was working before.  A fair chunk of which I owe to the extra screenspace.

Questions for today:

  1. What part do you remember adding to your workspace to help you be more productive.
  2. What’s the coolest most awesome or productive workspace that you have seen in action?  How hard would that be to get for yourself?
  3. How can you make your current workspace a tiny bit more productive in anticipation for things you have to do tomorrow?

Meta:  This took 45mins to write.

Cross posted to lesswrong: lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/ntu

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