Back when I listened to his podcast regularly, Cal Newport often stressed the importance of place. Newport, not a supporter of working from home, recommended renting some cheap office space down the road rather than setting up shop in the corner of your bedroom. He’d often share stories of writers who secluded themselves in cabins or certain wings of their estates to focus on their craft. Newport’s point wasn’t that you must be able to afford these spaces to be productive. His point instead was this: Where you work matters. Place matters.

Recently my wife and I rearranged our living room. It started with storing the TV in the garage, something we’d been talking about for weeks. Then we moved the couches and the rug and finally, the used IKEA chair my wife got for $25 from Facebook Marketplace, which we moved into our bedroom. (I teased her so much for buying this useless chair; and then I fell in love with it.)

Only a couple hours after the move, I told my wife I’d found my reading and writing nook, centered around that same useless chair. Shortly afterward, I set on starting those habits in a new place. (This very blog post was started in that same chair, in that same spot.)

Auto-generated description: A gray armchair is situated next to a white storage unit with several shelves containing electronics and personal items, placed near a window with curtains.
A picture of the IKEA chair now in my bedroom, only a few feet away from my bedroom office. Shhh, don’t tell Cal.

There’s something about having a certain place reserved for a certain task. You don’t have to think about why you’re there, or what you’re there to do. Once a habit is built, the appropriate neurons start firing once you arrive and your task becomes easier. You create a context, and context informs your thinking and your actions.

Place matters.

This realization is also why I recently created a site dedicated to my microposts (I also must acknowledge that the decision was made easier when Manton Reece gave all micro.blog Premium subscribers five blogs for the price of one).

I’ve largely walked away from social media, except for LinkedIn, which, despite its many annoyances, still feels like a professional necessity. From time to time, I find myself wanting to share a weird photo or silly quip. But my main blog isn’t the place for that. So now my microblog is. Because, as you know, place matters.

One last bit to bring the point home . . .

I’m going to paraphrase and bastardize a post you may have seen on LinkedIn. (This is one of those aforementioned many annoyances. Of course, now that I want to quote the post, I can’t find it.)

The post makes the point that a soda costs one thing at a grocery story, another at a convenience store, another at an airport, etc.

And if you’re not happy with your worth, maybe it’s time to look for a job somewhere else. Maybe the only thing holding you back from getting more money is your location, whether that’s by geography or just within the walls you call your workplace.

Sure, the post is a little cheesy. And so many people just copy and paste it and you get tired of seeing it.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some wisdom in the post.

Because, yet again, place matters.