Categories | Gear | Getting Things Done | GTD Toolbox | Implementation
“What tools should I use for GTD?” That question usually comes up early when someone begins implementing GTD. And in our tech-focused world, they usually mean, “Which software is the best?” But it’s also important to ask which tools will help us stay physically motivated.
An obvious but rarely noticed tool may be my key to ultimate productivity.
At David Allen Company, we consider many things when setting up a workspace. I recently reconstructed my workspace in a way that has stepped up my energy and focus to a whole new level. I made this improvement by switching to a stand-up desk. This is an amazing tool that has helped me to be more productive and ergonomically correct; a win for my company and for me.
The benefits of a stand up desk have really surprised me.
I didn’t realize that the reason it felt so hard to sit at my desk during the day was because I am naturally inclined to move a lot. I have energy coursing through my body every minute of the day and found it increasingly difficult to stay focused for a long amount of time without getting up to move. I was blaming my lack of focus on a need for social interaction, because I’d get up to mingle or grab a cup of tea. But it was actually something much simpler.
Many people are comfortable when they are sedentary, or prefer a comfortable chair while working. However, we can’t assume that this works for everyone. It took someone else in our office – OK, the someone is my sister – requesting a stand up desk, on a suggestion from her GTD coach, for me to see the light on this issue. When I saw her working on her feet I realized that she was embodying a free physical space, which allowed her to move easily from her inbox, to her files, to her shelves and back to her computer. When I started using a stand-up desk, not only did it inspire a more efficient movement in workflow, but it was a huge relief to know that there was a way for me to feel energized while doing my work, and not locked into one position all day.
Since I have gotten my stand-up desk, I have noticed the following benefits:
• I am much more inclined to work through a solid block of time without needing an interruption for my energy to explode.
• When I do need to sit, I can do so in smaller increments and stretch my legs out which eliminates the need for me to interrupt my work to stretch or take walks (although I still love taking walks on my break).
• I no longer feel the tightness in my legs when I walk out of the office at the end of the day, nor do I dread sitting down again for my commute home.
• I feel the release of a “constricted” mindset, which inspires creativity and freedom in my work.
• I have quicker access to my surrounding workspace.
For those of you who have become fans of yoga, Pilates or stretch classes on your lunch breaks, please consider that movement can exist throughout your entire day. And for those who don’t participate in those classes, it might make sense for you to take a look at how you can keep your energy fluid and vibrant. Do not be discouraged if you work in an office that has not offered this option; you might be surprised at the reaction you get when you explain what effects it might have on your efficiency. Remember that your mind is constantly processing data, but your body is also taking in a constant flow of information and energy. Make sure you are taking care of both.