Working from home has its perks, right? You can put the comfy joggies and baggy t-shirt on, chuck the hair back and get on with it. Then at the corner of your eye you notice the carpet can do with a hoovering, then on your way to the toilet you notice the kid’s toys lying around and decide to put them away, or something catches your eye on the TV and before you know it it’s 5pm and a total 2 hours work done, but it’s ok because my house is clean!
We can very easily find ourselves procrastinating, telling ourselves if I do this then I can focus on my work. The reality is the housework ain’t paying the bills (unless that’s your job of course!).
There are many benefits you can gain from making the decision to work elsewhere. It allows you to get in the work zone: dressing yourself up a bit more and giving yourself a set time to be somewhere puts you in the “I am here to work” mentality.
A change of scenery: by getting away from the “cabin fever” and surrounding yourself with people also out to do a job will give you that sense of accountability to make sure you are also there to do your job.
Energize, focus, creativity, productivity are all strong factors when you make the decision to get out there.
So, what are my options?
The Local Library
Libraries are a fantastic quiet place to work whilst being surrounded by useful resources. Most libraries will be installed with free Wi-Fi access and you are pretty much forced to work. No answering calls, no being social, a pure quiet zone to just get on with the things you need to do. It is also cheap and free. Depending on the strictness of the library you can’t eat and go buy the odd coffee or snack to sit with. Pure calm and stillness.
Coffee Shops or Restaurants
Again, free Wi-Fi and unlimited access to coffee (although not free). Most of these places don’t mind if you sit to work as long as you keep buying from them. Depending on how you work, you may like the buzz surrounding these places or you may find them quite distracting and overly busy at times.
At a price, co working space can be a fantastic space to work. The workers using the space are in the same position as you, they are there to work. It can allow you that extra focus to make sure you get your stuff done.
Not only that, it can be a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and new connections that might have the potential to boost your work or business. People in co working space are happy to share tips and connections and you will be able to do so too. By paying for the space, it also puts an extra push on you to make sure you utilise it.
If you feel the need to lock yourself away for a couple of days to write that book or those blog articles, stay at a hotel for a couple of nights. This can allow you to focus on specific work.
Hotels also tend to have fantastic facilities such as gyms or a spa to allow you to take an effective break from your hard work then re-focus. Make sure the price you pay will be worth your time.
The great outdoors (weather permitting) can be a fantastic place to unleash your inner creativity and to look for inspiration. The fresh air, warm sun and great view can enhance your mood and allow you to relax and really think whilst getting your dose of Vitamin D and improving your mental health.
Studies have shown than spending a good amount of time in nature can improve: inspiration, creativity, memory, your brain function and mental health – check out this Thrive Global blog for more information.
It’s important to point out that you need to ensure that you can make yourself mobile. Do you have the right tools and resources to ensure you can be as mobile as possible? Access to the cloud? A laptop? Hotspot?
It is also wise to ensure that you keep your equipment as secure as possible when working in other locations. Don’t leave them lying around in public or you have the potential to lose much work and money. If you need to access secure data, it might be better to tap into your hotspot than using the Wi-Fi to avoid being hacked and have that extra layer of security.
What Should I Do Now?
Resources: Ensure you have the right resources to be as mobile and secure as you can when you are out and about.
Experiment: Finding out what works for you is always an experiment, so experiment. You could try to plan once a week to get out the house and work at any of the above suggestions. Set yourself a goal.
Time Limit: You could choose to give yourself a time limit, “I will work in Costa from 09.00 to 13.00.” or you could choose the whole day. Experiment.
Analyse: After spending your time at a different place, analyse your time spent there, ask yourself questions. How much work did I manage to achieve? What were the good points and bad points of working in that place? How creative did I manage to get? Did it feel worth your time? Give it a rating out of ten.
Compare: Compare your results with the places you tried out, including working at home. You might find the ultimate place for you to work or maybe different places suit different projects. Or try out a place again if you haven’t made your mind up about it yet.
It might take some time to figure out what works for you, or you might use a range of the different options depending on the work you are carrying out but there is no harm in trying if it gives you that extra focus, productivity and your best work yet. There is plenty potential out there.