Still Standing…

Not my actual desk--although mine's almost as ghetto.

If my regular readers haven’t noticed, I’ve added a new link category, called “Writer’s Tools.” These are websites and calculators that I have found useful for researching my books. I don’t know if anyone else is this anal-retentive, but I plotted a very precise timeline for my book, and the days of the week are correct to the year when the book is set. For instance, I wanted Kalyn’s birthday to be on a Friday in 2009, so I chose May 22. I know she was born on a Saturday (which is correct for 1993). I was able to figure all of that out using the Windows calendar, but there’s only so far back and forward it will go; the calendar calculators I’ve linked to are not limited. 

It’s been a little over a week now since I created my standing desk at work; you may be wondering if I’m still doing it, and if so, how’s it going? Yes, I still have it, and it’s actually going quite well. I have no back pain anymore and the pain in my feet (namely my heels) has greatly reduced; when I wear my tennis shoes, I have almost no foot pain at all.

I actually don’t like sitting down very much anymore–at least not at work. Sitting down makes me feel anxious; I feel like I need to stand. Which is a very good thing; two weeks ago, I was the exact opposite: standing made me feel anxious and I wanted to sit all the time.

I feel that I have a bit more energy than I used to have–which seems counter-intuitive; you would think I would be more tired. But, as I said last week, an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

I have also gotten a record amount of work done this week. I totally reorganized the files on my computer, making them much easier to use. And I did a back-up, which was very reassuring when I got a virus on my computer Wednesday evening (luckily I was able to get it off, but if I had to wipe the computer, I wouldn’t have lost very much).

I also organized all the document samples, notes, court rules, case research, etc. that we had in the office into folders so I can actually find it now. I filled up two trash cans with old papers that were out of date, duplicate, or that we otherwise didn’t need to keep. I also finished cataloging every file in storage (that was a 9 month, 35 box project), so if I need to find a file, I just turn to my trusty Excel spreadsheet and search; I will know its exact location in a few seconds. And I caught up all my regular filing (I do still have two boxes full of random papers which need to be filed somewhere in those 35 boxes in storage). This place is really looking whipped into shape, and I feel I owe it to standing up; I am much less inclined to putter around on the web when it means standing up.

Blogger Shimon Rura corroborates the idea of increased productivity; he says he concentrates better and gets more done when he’s standing (he actually uses a walking desk; his blog has instructions on how to build your own).

One thing I haven’t tried doing, though, is writing. I’m not exactly sure how much writing I can do standing up. While I’ve been getting a lot done at work, a lot of that is because I don’t want to stand in front of my computer for a long period of time–which translates into less time wasted online. Standing still is not something I (or anyone else) want to do for very long; I like moving around my space and doing a variety of things (like filing!). Although maybe if I went to a standing desk at home, I’d intersperse writing with other things that need doing–like cleaning the house. I am more peaceful–and better able to work on creative projects–when my environment is tidy. [Insert cliche about “circle of life has no end” here.]

But maybe I wouldn’t have a problem writing while standing up; all of my blog posts for the last week have been done standing up. And I certainly haven’t been scrimping on the content.

Edited to add: May 12, 2011 – Still doing this after a month. I have a bum left hip (I think it’s the result of a riding accident), and it sometimes bothers me a bit, but not so much I want to give up my standing desk (I’d much rather go to a chiropractor instead; I think an adjustment would fix it).

Here are more statistics on why you shouldn’t sit all day: Sitting is Killing You.

Edited (again) to add: There is a follow-up to this post here.

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