Episode 77 – Stagnant at the Desk

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Once in a while I must talk about desks on this podcast, as one of the listeners (Scott Mathews) reminded me early on in the show.

This week brought some reminders as I heard my child use the desk as an excuse for not meeting friends.

A desk can be an anchor from which to perform our work, but isn’t intended to keep us anchored down and prevent us from exploring options that help us expand our capabilities.

Desks can be moved, and we can move from them if that is what is needed.

Check out this episode and others at https://pod.co/move-your-desk

Episode 77 Show Notes

Episode 77 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 77. Stagnant at the Desk Things podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your guest today? I asked my son if he met any new friends at school, and he said No, just desk sitting. And I said, What? What do you mean? Aren’t you given a chance to talk to each other or to play games together or do anything together? And he said again, No. Just desk sitting. And he’s given this answer a few times throughout the day, and I know that he alluded to this a week or so ago. Before in school. It was the naps he was mentally bent out of shape about, and now it is the desks, and I can understand a desk can be a tool that enables you to offer up your best work, or it can inhibit you. And I, of course, have mentioned desk frequently on this podcast. They become part of our lives at a young age, not typically this young in my past life. I substituted Ah lot, and I don’t remember kindergartners ever having individual old fashioned little desks. There’s usually a table they shared, and they’d go in and out of working at different stations around the room. So I’m not sure if this is something that’s been put in place for co vid or something else but the type of desk. We have matters and the placement of the desk can matter and the room the desk is in and the location of that room in relation to other rooms and even in connection to other buildings. And I have mentioned before. Some of us are slaves to our desks, like those that have stayed working in toxic buildings when they’ve had other options, while others, like my son and many cube farm dwellers, feel chained to their desks by an authority that they’ve chosen to follow. I think it’s interesting that this little three hour a day experience my child is having is similar to some of the decisions each of us make about our work daily. I’m not yet sure what to think of this arrangement. Is it really specific to the co vid virus? Is this their methodology for teaching are they just learning how to sit still and listen? Is this really the best way to learn? Or is this solely a choice of classroom management that makes life easier for the teacher? The teacher, by the way, doesn’t sit at her desk all day while she enforces the expectation of Children to learn how to sit quietly at their desk and do their work. Is there anything right or wrong here? Nope. It’s just a decision. Some people love it. Some of us wonder, and in this case, my child hates it. It’s a far cry from the trampoline jumping, cuddling up on the bed or couch to read or tracing letters for a few minutes at the kitchen table. The process of figuring out your best work is very individual. It’s filled with Try a land error. It’s nuanced by personal growth, changing life and work expectations and insight that often only comes after many mistakes. Just this weekend, a family member explained the optimal way to position screens and use a standing desk, while another who actually sells desks and other ergonomically correct options, presented a different view. Each thought they were correct, and they’re probably right and the world. Right now, very few people have to sit at a desk eight hours a day. Many choose to, but few have to. It’s a default that may stem from the experiences we have in those early school years. When we transitioned from the fun play stations positioned around the classroom to the desk, we were told to sit up straight in, look straight ahead, neatly place our papers and books in and position properly in the rose or the other classroom configurations expected at the time, the desk became an anchor for most of our growing up years. In recent years, surprising data emerged that hypothesized that sitting was the new smoking. A few generations of students becoming workers in a world of a growing workforce of desk sitters showed physical and mental effects of sitting too long. It turns out our bodies were made to move, to stand, to bend, to twist and to not stay stagnant in a position or pose all day. The manual labor of the past offset the impacts of the brief periods. People would sit to eat, work and talk. As this information came out, my work organization invested in standing desks, stagnant standing desk, adjustable standing desks and treadmill desks to help us get up and move and adjust to different personal needs throughout the day. I loved it. I had one in a cube farm that a coworker put up on plastic blocks so that it could fit my actual height needs. Later, I snagged a non electric adjustable standing desk that was built for taller people, and I allowed people to cart away bookshelves, cabinets and tables from my office space, but protected my standing desk with a tenacity that some were surprised by. It helped me do my work, whether I wanted to stand, sit up high on a director or bar stool, office chair or go down to a regular desk size to coordinate the computers, the monitors and notebooks across the larger working area. A desk matters, but nowadays we can continually adjust our environment to help us offer up our best work. The beauty of co vid ISS. How many have discovered they have options? Take the conference call while going on a walk. Do stretches at the desk during a power point presentation as long as you’re the listening participant. Of course, lead a virtual team meeting from the couch. Speak your brainstorm into your phone while walking the dog instead of at the desk. Practice standing at a whiteboard or in front of a poster paper to present ideas to co workers or leadership. Show that a desk is an important anchor point to your work, but you don’t need to be anchored down by it. You can always move your desk or move yourself from it. This is a nudge because once in a while I need to talk about actual desks on this podcast. Figure out what works for you, my friends, you must if you are compelled to find and offer up your best work. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, Sign up for a weekly nudge at. Move your desk dot com. See you next Monday. Yeah,

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