Even though the multi-monitor productivity boost is a myth, screen real estate can still deliver a productivity boost for your work. That said, web developer Peter Legierski argues that the limitations of his 12″ notebook made all the difference in his productivity.
Having a big screen is a good excuse to stick a Twitter client here, mail client there, have list of files pane constantly open, and in general keep every window at some random size, definitely not full-screen. In best-case scenario you’re just lost in open documents and you’re juggling windows, dragging them to the left, to the right, pushing out of visible workspace etc. More realistic scenario: everything above + each open app takes a bit of your attention, which is counter-productive and annoys you in the longer run.
Legierski’s reasoning is very similar to why I’ve often opted to write on an iPad rather than on my amply-pixeled computer, and for a lot of work, I agree. The deciding factor is more a matter of the kind of work you do, so rather than just assume that bigger is better, it’s worth taking a second look at your needs and possibly downgrading your screen real estate if you find yourself filling that extra space for distractions more often than not.