There is a television commercial I’ve seen several times lately while watching sports. I think it is a beer commercial. Which is probably a given. A young man comes home and asks his wife/girlfriend who the stranger on the couch is. Turns out it is a previous resident of the apartment, who is preparing to watch the 49ers play on TV. He tells them that the last time he lived there, he lived in that apartment, watched every game from that exact spot, and the Niners won the Super Bowl. He pulls the couch forward, adjusts it a little, and keeps making minute adjustments until he finds the perfect spot and smiles and says, “This exact spot.”
The couple shrugs to each other and then sit down with the man, happily watching the game together.
I really hadn’t given this commercial much thought until this morning, after adjusting the angle of my monitor for the nth time. It’s an iMac, and the monitor tilts forward or back on an axis, and of course I can angle it left or right. I’m constantly messing with it. Sometimes I get distracted by the angles my speakers are facing. If I turn 90 degrees to my right, I have my work laptop in a docking station to the right of a second monitor and keyboard; same thing here, I’m always adjusting everything. Under my desk chair is one of those plastic floor protector things, and it isn’t quite big enough to service the two positions my chair is in. I often need to adjust it if I can feel an edge under one of the wheels. It will jab and jab at my attention once I notice it, and won’t subside until I make the adjustment. Kind of like a ticking clock when one is trying to sleep; acknowledge it and you’re doomed to sleeplessness until you pull the battery from the damn thing.
What I’m saying is that, while generally easy going, I can be extremely anal and borderline OCD about things, especially when I sit down at my desk.
I don’t like a messy workspace. I’ve been traveling the past few weeks, home only for two-to-three days at a time, and housekeeping has lagged in my office. Mail is piled up, mixed in with books and magazines I need to read. I have four separate piles of receipts I need to sort for filling out my expense reports. There are certainly tufts of dog hair piled up in all the hidden spots. I can’t see them, but I can feel them there, lurking at the edge of my attention, distracting me.
If I’m going to get anything productive done this week before leaving again next, I need to make some adjustments in here. Tweak the chair position. Clean off the monitor (don’t get me started on the greasy streaks on my phone) and then see it properly adjusted again. Dust. Swab the decks.
Then again, maybe it’s just procrastination. Easy to not get anything done when one can throw the hands up and say, “How can I be expected to get a single thing done in here!”
I’m certain I’m not the only one with these kinds of quirks. . . .