Productivity and work tips are big with geeks. No idea why; probably some inadequacy complex we have about the fact we still haven’t finished our novel and we’re already in our late twenties.


Anyhow, one tidbit that I’ve been trying this week to surprising effect comes from a sentence fragment in Dan Hill’s review of his time at Monocle magazine, namely:

“coats in the cloakroom not on the back of chair”

And so, this week, I’ve been putting my coat or jacket on a coatstand in the corner of the office, as a very deliberate action, to see what difference it makes.

I’ve rather enjoyed it, to be honest. There’s something nice about not feeling like you’re in some transition state between indoors and outdoors – feeling like you’re about to be called away somewhere. There’s also something nice about the ritual of having to pick up your coat if you want to go outside. There’s probably a noticeable social effect from everyone doing it, but still, I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve been getting from it. Yes, it’s nice to not have anything resting on the back of one’s chair… but it turns out the net effect is more than that. So I think I’m going to try to stick with this habit. It does, somehow, feel more civilized, and has helped me shift from “outside mode” to “work mode” a little bit more smoothly.

1 comment on this entry.

  • James | 16 Jun 2008

    I noticed that detail too, and have been hanging my stuff up rather than slinging it over a chair or under my desk since. See also Anna Wintour’s decrees at Vogue: I think there’s rather more snobbery in this than productivity, but it seems to work. Feeling civilised seems to go a long way. Next, a suit?