Mathias Meyer
Mathias Meyer


Last year I didn’t feel overly productive for a big part of my day.

I was working mostly from the kitchen table, although I had a dedicated office at home. It was inhabited for a long time as a guest room, but that’s no excuse.

When I sit at my kitchen table, I lack focus. Without focus, I don’t feel like I get anything done, especially with more distractions around.

Bad habits stick around

What’s worse, I never really got up again once I sat down. That’s a terrible habit. Just after I took my daughter to the kindergarten, I sat down, did things without knowing exactly what, and at some point nine to ten hours later, I got up again, feeling confused and wondering where time went and what I did with it.

We moved into a new apartment a year ago, and I’ve long since had plans to build a nice standing desk in my home office. It never really came to that. Initially I wanted to have something that’s not just a hack, something permanent. Then, I wanted to have something pretty as well, maybe hand-crafted, too.

Suffice it to say, with the habit of just sitting down at the kitchen table, it never really got to that, and I found enough reasons not to have a standing desk.

It was frustrating, because I knew one thing: I was able to focus a lot better when I work at a standing desk. Hard to say why, but it made me much happier working on one.

IKEA to the rescue

So one day, I came across this great little hack with just some simple IKEA parts. A standing desk for $22 (thanks, Colin of!).

Rather than wait for something fancy to come along (it currently doesn’t fit my budget too), I decided to run for it, went to IKEA, bought the parts, and assembled it at home.

My office is rather bright, and we have a white desk, so I went for an all white version of it using these parts:

The setup is assembled in just a few minutes, all you need extra is a few screws. It’s pretty ingenious. The total cost comes down to € 22,49.

It’s not the prettiest standing desk setup, but it’ll do for the time being. It certainly fits my budget a lot better than anything else.

Standing all day, every day.

The first week at the desk was brutal. When I do work on a standing desk, I need to stand up all day. As soon as I sit down, I know that I’ll slack again.

Standing all day can be a challenge, but I’ve done it before, so I know what to expect.

Does it make you more productive?

It’s hard to describe why a standing desk makes me more productive. It doesn’t solve all my problems for slacking off, I also need to learn to focus again.

But I feel like I can do that a lot better when I’m standing in my office. Of course it also helps that you can dance while you work.

One important benefit is that I actively move away from the computer to think about something. Last year, I mostly sat in front of my screen, which didn’t gave me a lot of dedicated time to actively contemplate an issue.

I encourage you to try it out. Standing up all day can be tough at first, but I’m much happier working like that. Plus, when you finally switch off at night, you’ll feel like you’ve done more than just think and type.