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Standing on the Road

By Kevin Meyer

Many of us are traveling this holiday, and I for one struggle to remain productive.  A break from work is good, but falling behind isn't relaxing either.  For those of us that have embraced the stand up desk, Jon over at Gemba Panta Rei provides a road warrior productivity solution.

Roaddesk Yes, a portable stand up desk.  Perhaps not the most elegant, but definitely functional.

One of the commandments of kaizen is "Instead of making excuses why
something can't be done, think of ways to make it possible." So think I
did. Looking around the room for a way to boost up the desk about 30
cm, I began opening drawers and doors.

Et voila! A light, portable, folding ironing board gave me the
perfect platform for my stand up desk. But not quite. I am not a tall
person, but the ironing board was still too low, causing me to stoop.
The search continued. Luckily there was a wicker laundry basket of
sorts in another drawer, the perfect booster to fit between my laptop
and ironing board.

Nice job Jon!  But as is typical with his posts, there's a more fundamental lesson:

The lesson is that we need to stop making excuses and will ourselves to
improve. Then we need to think positively about how to overcome each
obstacle. And we need to turn each small improvement idea into concrete
action. First engage the heart, then the mind, then the hands. I write
these words from a road warrior stand up desk built from these

Absolutely.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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3 Responses to "Standing on the Road"

  • Eric Wade
    29 November 2009 - 10:27 am

    Happy Holidays Kevin and thank you for thinking about us loyal readers while you were vacationing.

    Your post made me wonder… is there a point where the amount of time (resources) spent building a temporary improvement (standup desk) would have become a net negative to your productivity vs using what was available to you easily (i.e., sit down desk)?

    Obviously, in an environment with limited possibilities, you can search out and implement the best possible improvements with relative ease. But what if the standup desk had cost you twelve hours to build? I guess that would have been a different lesson to us all…


  • Kevin
    29 November 2009 - 10:37 am

    Eric – that’s an interesting question. I did just create a stand up desk similar to what Jon Miller described and it only took a couple minutes – thanks to Jon’s efforts. Obviously it depends on exactly what you intend to do… spending even 5 minutes to create a stand up desk just to check email is probably waste, but if were to be re-used or if you were looking at a project taking a couple hours, then it would be worth it.