Working out where to work

Last month, I shared with you my struggles for finding just the right place to work. I was finding it difficult to figure out how to manage my reading without being distracted – and without finding myself squirrelled away at home all the time.

To find a solution, I decided to spend three weeks testing out various locations and work patterns. Though, sadly, I’ve not yet found an answer to my problem.

I did learn, however, that trying to work in more than two locations on any given day doesn’t work because I spend too much time settling into the new location – and too much time wondering when it’s time to move to the next. However, two locations seem to work just fine – as long as I am clear about what my tasks will be at each location.

So, what’s the solution? To be honest, I don’t really know!

But I do know that I read better away from the office and that I find resources for reading better when I’m in the office. I also know that I can write wherever I am – although it seems that my best focused-in writing sessions come right after lunch or dinner. (Yes, a full tummy helps!)

In the last week of my location testing, I found that I was giving myself clear tasks to complete at each location. A day’s tasks might be split up like this: I would “assign” myself the task of reading two journal articles at home whilst eating breakfast and enjoying my morning coffee, after which I would make hand-written notes summarising each article before going to the office. On arriving at my office, I would have the task of typing up my notes then searching through databases for any new articles to add to my reading list. Then, on returning home in the evening, I would read another (short) article or search for interesting pop-culture stories related to my areas of interest (blog posts, opinion pieces, forum discussions – that sort of thing).

So I know that I work best in different locations. And I know that I work best with clear tasks in mind. But what I don’t know is how to stay focused on tasks – or how to prioritise them!

I guess that means it’s time to investigate some time management techniques!

(Thankfully, I am still feeling a renewed sense of excitement about the path I’m on, which is helping to keep me focused!)

[Photo note: This is a view of my comfy weekend reading spot: Home on my couch with my life-long companion, Tiger, listening to my hometown country station (KXLE Radio) streaming on the tablet and taking occasional breaks to draw abstract swirls. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend!]

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