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Relying on my ears to keep my posture














Gergely Polonkai

TL;DR: my ears helped me create an almost perfect pomodoro timer out of my own body.

Theres an ongoing pandemic for a few weeks now, so whoever can should and does stay at home. Luckily we can do it at, as we only used our office to stay in physical contact with each other because we are (somewhat) social creatures. But now we try to take care of each other and even the bravest work from home now. I hope the last one who left the office turned off the heating and the lights.

Im also lucky because i have both a supporting family and a separate room in our house which we didnt really use until today. Its so separate that its door opens to our front yard, not inside the house. There is/was a lot of junk there, waiting to be sorted or to be thrown out, so i took a day off and tidied it up a bit so i could put a table and a chair inside. I also did some cabling work and now it has Internet connection, too. Its not overly comfy, but it will do for the few weeks/months this pandemic will (hopefully) take. I also found a lot of treasures i wont list here, except a set of 5.1 speakers.

After setting up my workstation i put the speakers around me. They are not ideally far from me (the room is not big enough for that) but it will suffice. The front centre speaker is above my head so the speakers and my head form an almost perfect tetrahedron. The back speakers are also at the same distance behind me. I have a bad habit of leaning closer to the screen when i overly focus on something, and with this setup i just realised that whenever i do it i get outside of the centre zone of the speakers and music doesnt sound right. This way i instantly stop leaning closer to the screen and fix my posture. Also, since the front centre speaker is above me, if my back starts to get tired and i start to stoop, my head gets lower, and once again the music doesnt sound right. I try to take mental notes whenever this happens and i realised that after an hour it happens more often, signalling that i should take a break.

During my breaks i drink some water, visit the toilet, do some exercises, have launch, or whatever fits me, but most importantly, i try not to think of my current work task (unless i was in the middle of focused work, which is rare after around an hour). This helps me clear my mind so in the next hour i can focus better on my next task.