…In which I issue a personal update and tie it to Momming Mondays and say “see what I did thar?”
Today’s post is all about takin’ care o’ bidness. Your bidness, as in your health. We writers are sedentary critters, and oftentimes, the greatest gift we can be given–that of a long stretch of time in which to write–can also kill us. Or at least make us unhealthy.
Method To My Motion
To combat this slide (or spread, as the case may be), I stand at the counter with my laptop, or use my treadmill desk, whose praises I’ve exalted elsewhere on and off this blog.
As it happens, the Treadmill Desk has given me benefits that go beyond halting the widening of my ass, and deep into productivity and even my writing itself. But…I find I cannot use the Treadmill desk all day. One day, I hope to get the majority of my work done at the treadmill desk, but right now, I’m still working up to it.
My formula now (which may not now or ever be your formula, so use some judgment and know yourself when you are treadmill-desking, mmkay?) is approximately one hour at 1.5 miles per hour, followed by another 45 minutes to an hour at 1 mph. And that’s it. I have recently introduced a 6.0 incline (my treadmill defaults to 5.0 and that feels flat to me, so I bumped it up two notches–the notches go in .5 increments).
A few notes about my treadmill time and what it entails:
Getting real work done: When I am on the treadmill, I am writing in my WIP. No surfing, no putzing, not even blogging. I am tracking wordcount as well as calories burned and/or distance traveled. This may or may not contribute to my running out of gas after two hours. I find I can produce good stuff for about two hours, but then I need a break both for the sake of my knee and my plot.
Limiting desk motion: 1.5 mph is going quite fast for someone trying to stand still. For me, it doesn’t show when my hands are on the keyboard, but my mousing does suffer, even if I use my little eraser-nub trackpoint. This doesn’t currently present a problem because I’m typing almost all the time while I’m walking at the high-speed portion of my treadmill time. But if I had to do more than the occasional “point-click-save” with the mouse, I wouldn’t be able to sustain the 1.5 mph speed. I find it slightly challenging to highlight blocks of text for copypasta at 1.5 mph, and even 1.0 when I’m tired can present a few problems for me.
Forming a habit: It takes about 28 days to form a habit, and while I do take weekends off (and some weekdays, as my schedule demands), my intention here is to build a habit out of treadmill time to not only keep myself healthy, but to produce consistent wordcount. This entails knowing a little bit about what I’m fixing to write when I step on the treadmill, which requires some planning on my part. I’m forming a mental and physical expectation, and an environment that promotes just that. It is a holistic (wholistic?) approach.
If you’re wondering what this has to do with Momming Mondays, it’s about taking care of business. As moms, we take care of business all the time, and it’s usually the rest of the family’s business. Treadmill desking is the ultimate multi-tasking, as it takes care of two significant things that we deserve at one time–we deserve to have time to write, and we deserve to have time to exercise (because a healthy mom is a happier mom), and we deserve to create an environment where we can feel productive. Exercise time is writing time is exercise time, and you don’t have to feel guilty about that. It is another tool in your Efficiency Arsenal that you can use to keep all the balls in the air successfully.