They say that butt-in-chair is the best method for getting your writing work done.
Since I write for a living, I can honestly tell you that yeah, butt-in-chair is a non-negotiable requirement for getting my work done. That goes for client work and writing for my own business.
However, after years of it, my body was paying the price.
I heard how a stand-up desk could mitigate the physical wear-and-tear of working on a computer all day. Last year I ended up buying an Ervo stand-up desk through their Kickstarter campaign. It finally arrived a few weeks ago.
(Honestly, I have only been able to manage about 20 minutes or so at a time before I need to sit back down. Oh my GOSH I need to get back to working out regularly!)
Ever since I got this desk, the drawbacks of sitting all day and the benefits of standing up while you work seem to appear in everything I read.
Nathan Barry talks about how standing up to write helps him focus on the task at hand.
A SaaS client of mine kept talking about “stand up meetings” in Slack.
I keep coming across articles about how “sitting is the new smoking.”
Because many of you are also spending inordinate amounts of time in front of a computer screen, I thought you’d benefit from what I’ve learned …
Standing Up While Working at Your Computer Keeps You More Focused
I knew this subconsciously from experience, but it didn’t really click until I read about it in Nathan Barry’s book Authority. When you stand up while working on your computer, you’re a lot less likely to start surfing Facebook. Or shopping on Amazon. Or doing whatever it is you do that takes you away from the task at hand.
There are a lot of reasons why this could be:
- The physical discomfort of standing makes you hurry to finish important tasks.
- Your outlook and mindset change when you stand — in other words, standing up triggers your brain that it’s work time.
- Standing up is healthier than sitting — and when you feel healthier, you’re mentally sharper.
Draugiem Group put this to the test at their startup incubator and discovered that standing boosted productivity by 10%.
When Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center School of Public Health put stand-up desks through their paces, they discovered that productivity increased over time, and ultimately resulted in a 53% boost.
A lot of companies are catching on to this and offering stand-up desk options to their employees. Google is one of them.
Research and stats are great and all, but actually experiencing the productivity boost for myself has made me a believer. When I’m at my stand-up desk, I am so much more focused.
Standing Up During Meetings Actually Shortens the Length of Those Meetings
I’ve been noticing the “stand-up meetings” trend more and more in the startup world. The long and short of it is, everyone stands for the team meeting because it keeps the meeting shorter.
Once again, there is anecdotal evidence that this is true, but there are also studies that back it up.
- Neal Taparia, CEO of Imagine Easy Solutions, cut down his meeting time by 25% by running his meetings standing up.
- Researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that standing up for meetings can cut meeting time down by 34%.
Stand-up meetings aren’t cure-alls, though, and you still need to make an effort to keep the meeting flowing smoothly. Blossom recommends using a Kanban board (task board) to provide context for the meeting and keep everyone on track.
In my experience, when I take a phone call with a client while I’m on my feet, I do feel more energized about what we’re discussing and less likely to make mindless small-talk.
Standing Up for Standing Up
As a person who makes her living as a writer, putting my “butt in the chair” is critical to my success. But I’m finding that it’s more about focusing on the work than actually sitting in front of a computer screen.
I recorded this video at the end of my first week using the Ervo stand-up desk. So far, so good!
What about you? How are you improving your productivity in your daily work-life?
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