I think having a routine and a place to report to every day is enormously helpful for being productive, especially when change is in the air. We humans are creatures of habit, and we do better when there is a rhythm to our lives.
And then. Too much routine can be boring and limiting. Take my situation. My office is in my home, and I have an area we call the studio where my desk is co-located with my piano. Kind of different, I know, but it works for me. When things are really in swing, and I’m preparing a new music piece, I like to work at my desk, then every couple of hours get up and practice, maybe only for five minutes, but it gives me a break and stirs up my brain cells.
But then there are lulls when I’m not practicing my piano at all, and I find my desk gets messier and messier. Before I know it, I’m dragging my laptop out to the living room, and working there, at least until I’m ready to clean off my work space and start another piece of music. Kind of funny pattern, but one that seems to repeat itself. So I became curious about why I kicked myself out of my own office.
I think it’s because intuitively our minds and our bodies know that even healthy rhythms need to be broken once in a while. My personality and way of thinking seems to pull me out of the rhythm naturally. When I’m ready, I’ll clean up my desk and get back to the routine in my studio – which provides a great thinking environment and discipline for my work.
What I don’t do, though, is force the process. I instinctively know that I would be sitting at my desk if it were right for me right now. Because I know I can also be productive writing at my living room couch too, but not for very long.
So I’m talking about this because maybe for you it’s not so intuitive. Some of us need to push ourselves out of our routines from time to time to get refreshed. So today when you walk into your workspace, wherever it is, however formal or informal it is, get curious about it. Is it time to change things up a bit? Could a change of view change your attitude?
I know for me, sometimes my work flows better when I’m in the comfy zone of my couch. And then sometimes I need the discipline and clean lines of a desk chair and office environment. Thankfully, in today’s workplace there is more forgiveness about where you do your work, including opportunities to work at home.
So just notice. Where’s the best place for you to be today? And go find it.