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April 12, 2011

One of the ways I keep myself motivated in the face of unrelenting deadlines is to make a change — any change — in my work environment. I call this process “The Delicate Art of Self-Management.” Perhaps my strategies will help you if / when you face a similar situation.

We’ve talked before about the productivity placebo effect as it relates to dog training (including what works and what doesn’t), and my keep-working strategy is a bit like that. Sometimes I just NEED to get away from my desk (especially on weekends). Yet, I still have work to be done, projects to be written, including this blog. (smirk)

Sometimes that means adding music, either Music to Calm Your Canine Companion (which mellows me out too) or whatever is on my iPod.

Sometimes that means bringing a certain snack to my desk — healthy or otherwise. (Not sure the chocolate-covered coffee beans were such a great idea.)

Sometimes it means simply NOT sitting at my desk for a day, or even a few hours. Check out these recent attempts to keep myself seated and working.

Here, I’m sharing a dog bed with Lilly just inside one of our sliding glass doors. The sun exposure does wonders for my mood.

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Lilly keeps me company and makes sure I keep working.

Sometimes, I’m so desperate for fresh air that despite the weather (usually colder temps and winds are at issue), I wedge myself (yes, on a dog bed) in a nook outside that (mostly) protects me from the elements. Here I’ve set up against the south side of the house, using the fireplace as a wind block.

dog dog training dog writing dog blog
My outdoor office from Saturday afternoon.

Sometimes, this strategy works great, and I get a lot of work done without the distraction of clocks, phones, email, or social media. You see, I’ve made it not easy to check email and such from the laptop, which prevents me from reflexively (some might say obsessively) checking our greater online community for news and updates.

My ever-faithful office assistant, Lilly, sometimes has other ideas about why working outside is SO MUCH MORE FUN.

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Lilly says, "Mama, LOOK stick. LOOK stick."

So, there you have it. A little glimpse inside the publishing empire of Champion of My Heart.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Productivity is a tough one when you are sitting at a computer and all you want to do is get outside or at least move. I take a lot of walk breaks, even if it’s just up the stairs and back down at work. At home, the dogs keep me busy letting them out and in, out and in, out and in.

  2. Working from a dog bed is a BRILLIANT idea! Wish I had thought of it, though I think I may have to adopt that practice starting… now! 🙂

    1. Well, Maggie … it sometimes isn’t great for a girl’s back, but if you prop yourself up just right with a back rest and such, it works pretty well.

    1. Thanks, Alison. I hope you find the right balance of being in your chair and being with Healey. I know I’ve posted pix of my actual office in the past, but I cannot find them right now. It’s really lovely, which helps a lot.

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