Get Out of Your Cave

Get out of the office, your den, your cave, and go work in public. You’ll enjoy it.

This is hardly an epic realization and more a self reflection. I recently went ‘mobile’ again with a purchase of a 13″ MBP and I am no longer tied to my desktop at home. And there is something to be said about working out in the open.

Before this purchase, I always worked at home. The definition of me working on the go consisted of pen and paper, sketchbooks and post it notes. I saw home and office as the place to do the production work, the general public as a place to ideate and communicate.

But I recently got the MBP, with the goal to break out of my cave. I knew I was traveling more and wanted a production machine with me. I also knew I had to break out of the confines of the office and my desk at home.

But Why?

As nerds we become slaves to our caves. We become comfortable there and while we communicate with our like minded fiends via Twitter, Skype, and countless other social media outlets, we lose sight of the world around us. We become comfortable in our routine and it becomes increasingly difficult to break out of it.

So How Then?

Breaking out of the cave isn’t easy. Today I am following the cliche path of sipping a small cup of tea at Starbucks for the sole reason of being out in the open. And do you know what I have learned? Apart from my 13″ screen being smaller than my desktop, I can still work.

I wouldn’t want to produce 10 hour days in Illustrator on this, but I can write, read, and create all the deliverables I need as a designer. More than that, I have been able to people watch again. I have been in contact with new people, if only in a ancillary manner. And it feels good, even for a UX designer who gets frustrated with people. More surprising, I felt I had fewer distractions. No TV and kitchen, I focus more on the work at hand. It seems counterintuitive that being in the open has fewer distractions than being home, but it is true.

So get up, get moving, and get out in the open. To many of you, you already do this and I am truly jealous that it has taken me so long to appreciate this. But if you work only in your office, your studio, and your home, take your laptop, your iPad, your netbook and move to a coffee shop, a bench, or just the lobby of the building and do your work. It feels good to stretch your legs, and better when you get back to your desk later that day or week.

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