I recently invested £30 in a new lap desk which, for those of you who are unaware, is a solid surface about the size of a dinner tray with a memory foam or bean bag-like bottom half that acts as a snuggly ‘desk away from desk’.
Image Source: Amazon.co.uk
My first couple of days with my lap desk were utterly glorious. I managed to get up (or, should I say, sit up) early on a Saturday morning and write a plan for my next chapter section before the rest of the world began to stir. On Sunday, I spent the whole afternoon rearranging my blog from the comfort of my sofa, content, comfy and surprisingly productive beneath the squidgy foam of my new, beloved Lap Desk (capitalised because I was by then referring to it by name). This was, I thought, a total game changer - why doesn’t everyone own one of these?!
Then Monday rolled around. With a deep ‘the week has begun’ morning sigh, I hauled myself out of bed, poured my coffee and ambled into my study to get back to my real ‘sit-up’ desk and knuckle down on the introduction to that section. But wait…what about Lap Desk? Couldn’t I just lay in bed or snuggle on the sofa and write in comfort for THE WHOLE DAY?! Why not?
And so I cozied down on the bed in the office/spare room and got to work…except that I didn’t. Sure, I opened Scrivener, half-read some old notes and sluggishly replied to some emails, but every five minutes I'd find myself wondering into irrelevant depths of the internet, texting my friends, and even spamming a few of them with snapchats about how great Lap Desk was and how well it was treating me.
At the weekend, of course, that had been true. Lap Desk had been supportive, and motivated me to get the most out of otherwise lazy blocks of time. But by Thursday, I was fairly certain that it was not a good pal on weekdays - at least not during normal working hours.
The truth is that there probably is such a thing as being too comfortable when you work, and whilst my peak comfort to work ratio is fairly high (who doesn’t enjoy reading in bed?), spending your entire work day snuggled up on the sofa with Lap Desk is frankly rather stifling. I was too comfy (read: lazy) to get up and go check references in the books in my study, whilst also being too aware of all the work I wasn’t doing to enjoy the comfort the way I usually would during actual down time.
Now don’t get me wrong, Lap Desk still remains my second favourite purchase so far this month (I got a new yoga mat yesterday). Outside of ‘normal working hours’, it’s a great productivity booster. If you’re someone who tends to wake up early thinking, “If only I could magically transport myself to my desk without moving or losing any of this sweet duvet goodness, I’d get so much done right now” then Lap Desk is definitely for you. I keep mine by my bed with a bottle of water so that when I wake up at the crack of dawn (a frequent occurrence during the summer months), I can take a quick drink to get the creative juices flowing then get right into some pre-breakfast work before the rest of the world wakes up. Conversely, if I wanted to get a few ‘lighter’ bits of work done in evening, Lap Desk enables me to do them in front of Netflix instead of staying chained to my desk until after dark.
“But can’t I just do these things without Lap Desk?!” I hear you cry. The answer is yes, but you won’t be as comfy and, depending on how you position your laptop on your Lap Deskless knees, your posture on the sofa or in bed is probably going to suck. Conversely, Lap Desk raises the height of your laptop’s screen and provides wrist support and so that you can sit properly when using it. This is also important for people who work away from home but like to spend their evenings scrolling around on their laptop in front of the tv. Another bonus is that it’s light enough to take anywhere and has a cute little carry handle for if you’re heading out of town for the weekend and don’t know what the desk facilities will be like at your destination. Speaking of changes of scenery, you could even drive out to a quiet spot and do some work in the great outdoors for an afternoon of inspiration.
Whilst I am very much in favour of well-defined boundaries between work and leisure time, Lap Desk has enabled me to be productive during those little gaps of nothing-time that I used to spend thinking vaguely about work without wanting to go anywhere near my ‘real’ desk. So if you feel like you could work a little more during some hours and rest a little more during others, I highly recommend getting your very own Lap Desk. Just avoid using it for extended periods between 8:30 and 17:30 on weekdays or you’ll feel like a mega slob.
There are a bunch of different lap desks available all over the internet. The one I got is here: http://amzn.to/2sVQArK