Separating contexts.

Oh, Lord.

It’s been a while since my last blog post. I feel this need to explain everything that’s happened since then, which in turn makes it harder to write another post. So I’m not going to do that. I’ll fill things in as I go. A lot has happened, though.

Right now, I want to explore something that’s been bothering me. What I do all day.

I do lots of things in a day. Lots of very different things. I write code, I socialize, I design software, I read, I watch various things, I eat food. I like doing lots of different things. I like the way it breaks up my day. I like to find the state of flow, but I don’t like to stay there for too long, or at the end of the day I feel wasted.

The problem is this: as far as my body’s concerned, I’m doing the same thing all day. I sit in a chair looking at a screen. That’s all I do. This disturbs me to a great extent.

And it’s one reason I’m moving to Massachussets this year. I’ll have a chance to be close to the land again, to garden and walk in the woods and not look at a screen all day. But I’ll also probably be working remotely with people on software a lot. Which means I’ll be tied even more to a screen. Good plan.

A treadmill desk would be a start. That would let me keep moving. It would still be a single context, though, that I’d have trouble shifting out of.

The trouble is that everything I want to do is in the same context. This one box. It’s my toy, my office, my newspaper, and my friends. I’m tempted to buy separate computers for each context and put them in different places. Or I would be if I could afford it.

Have you tried any strategies to separate the contexts in which you use your computer? Drop me a comment; I’d love to hear about it.

2 Responses to “Separating contexts.”

  1. Tom says:

    I have two offices, only separated by 100 yards or so, but so different in purpose. One has all the computer stuff, paper wall to wall, and the Comfortable Chair. That is 1/2 of the work. The other is a metal building where computer connection is nearly hopeless, no signals penetrate. No computer at all! Precarious chairs, I don’t sit much. It is a work environment for building, testing, cleaning up the many messes. This winter it is near to half my time in each space, but it is the contrast that keeps it interesting.

  2. Erin says:

    I think I need a treadmill desk. I get up and read things on the computer. Then I get in the car and sit there for my 45 minute drive to work, where I sit at the computer in my office and read things. Then I sit at lots of other computers in the building in case people want to ask me questions. Sometimes I run around a little and play video games with teens, but other times, I sit and watch movies with them or sit and talk with them. Then I get in my car and drive 45 minutes home, where I pick up my laptop or put on a DVD or pick up a book and sit and stare at a box or a page. I need to get out more. Maybe when you are here we can go for a walk.