When you work online, getting outside of your regular environment, can really help shake things up.
This is what I’ve often said on my blog, but I’ve not always taken my own advice.
The question is, how do you work from a cafe, or a coffee shop – without looking like a total a-hole?
You know the type of person…
they may have a gigantic laptop,
They may be talking loudly on their phone,
they have notepads scattered all over the place.
Frustratingly of all, they’ll be spread out on a table big enough for six and will have been drinking the same cup of coffee for the last five hours.
Yeh… those guys. They are annoying as hell, right?
Well, you don’t have to be like them.
Recently, I’ve been finding it hard to stay focused and motivated.
The prime reason for this is, I’ve actually been trying to plan a trip away and it’s been so exciting to do – that it’s been too tempting to give into.
The result has been hours of time spend searching air b&b, flight comparison sites and general research that got out of control.
Two days had gone by and I had barely done any work whatsoever. I needed to get out of my comfort zone, I needed a change of scenery.
So, I went out first thing in the morning to a local coffee shop.
But this may be a cafe, coffee place, library to you – or anywhere else that you can sit comfortably without anyone disturbing you.
To avoid being one of the irritating types though, I’ve thought of a few things that you may want to keep in mind….
- TRAVEL LIGHT – figure out some important tasks you can do, without necessarily needing all of your work stuff. I took my iphone and a notepad/pen. That’s it. Sure, I couldn’t type out what I’d written, but that task I’ve saved for later.
- CHOOSE A SMALL SPACE – out of peoples way, a little table for two in the corner somewhere is ideal, don’t choose a giant table that’s too big for you.
- BUY SOMETHING, NOW AND THEN!– I was at the coffee shop today for two hours, I bought something to eat and an extremely large coffee – so, I thought that was fair enough. However, the place was practically empty. If it was really busy and people were looking for seats, I’d be inclined to buy another drink after the first hour.
- GO WHEN IT’S QUIET – if you avoid busy times, you will feel far less self conscious, you don’t need to worry about people wanting seats and you will feel a bit more justified in spending longer in-between buying stuff.
- KEEP ON TRACK – don’t stop into another shop on the way and pick up a newspaper or magazine, suddenly your “work trip,” turns into your leisure time. Leave any unnecessary items at home.
So, the result of my recent trip out of my usual working environment, was a real success.
I managed to draft out three posts in the space of a couple of hours, (pretty unheard of for me recently) as well as an idea for a fourth.
That’s pretty much a week of content sorted in a couple of hours – which may have taken me a week to do from home, or more.
From here on, I’m going to spend at least one or two mornings from a cafe or coffee shop.
What works best for me, is sorting out and drafting content in a notebook – that way, I don’t need my laptop and can still research most of what I need from my iphone.
Where there are gaps that I need to fill out later, I just make a note of that in my written drafts.
I also find, that spending a bunch of time concentrating on just one task, (such as writing) is far more effective than say, writing a post, then typing, then editing, then adding pictures, before starting on a new post.
Better to, write up several posts. Then type them all. Then edit them all and then add the pictures.
useful post – how to batch blog like a pro.
Time wise, I’ve found this really sames time – often humans can be quite inefficient at switching between tasks.
So, it’s better to stick to one task that we’ve got into the rhythm of, rather than jumping back and forth.
The end result of today’s experiment should be that I publish four posts this week, all completed within the space of a couple of days.
That leaves plenty of time during the week for additional tasks and other things, besides content, that I need to concentrate on.
Could it be the novelty of this new environment that led to all the productivity? I will soon find out.
What about you? Do you find working outside the home helps with your productivity…. where is your favourite spot?
Leave me a comment below!!
All the best,