There's nothing better than an office with a door that shuts (and locks).
I suppose most people consider their office workspace an outpost of their home, but for me this means that my office must allow me to get really, really comfortable. Yesterday, for example, I came back from three manic hours of teaching, spent another 20 minutes consoling and encouraging a good but very stressed out student, and then (with two hours until my night class) closed the door, took off all my jewelry, my boots, and my lipstick, loosened my skirt, and lay down flat on the floor to read.
I didn't have office hours and I did have to finish that night's text (and write a quiz and a lesson plan!), so the closed door made sense. But I tend to collapse after periods of being "on" for too long, and when I'm overwhelmed, I need to shut down as many systems as possible; I also have this vaguely OCD thing where, when I'm fixated on or frustrated by a task, certain physical sensations drive me TOTALLY NUTS. Normally, it takes me more than an hour of sitting semi-blankly at my desk to recover from my first two classes and start thinking about my night one, but yesterday I didn't have that time. Lying down helped hasten the process.
It usually doesn't come quite to that, but even on an ordinary day I'm likely to wander around barefoot, sit with my legs flung entirely across my desk, inhale my lunch like a savage, and do stretching exercises on my floor. I mean, it's my office, right? And stuff's gotta get done.
My office-casual habits may be native, or they may be partly learned: when I was a paralegal, everyone in the firm kept ridiculous hours. Two young attorneys I worked for routinely napped under their desks--their secretary being instructed to hold their calls--and my own officemates and I played our small stereo all day long, shot rubber bands at one another, smuggled in the occasional bottle of wine, and now and again barricaded ourselves under our desks (hidden behind file boxes) to sleep, avoid one of our attorneys, or just calm the fuck down. Our next-door neighbors had a pet fish, two pillows, and an entire magazine-stand's worth of reading material. Almost all of us had extra clothes stashed in drawers.
I don't spend nearly the amount of time at the office now that I did then--I'm usually only on campus three days a week, for maybe 25 hours--but the small drugstore and kitchen that I keep in my desk drawer and my readiness to sprawl on the floor show I've learned certain lessons well.
What do you do in the privacy of your office?