I believe that our work space have influence on our productivity and creativity. Each and every one of us have a certain setting where we feel we are at our most focused and productive best.
Some people find that they work best when they are at a cafe like Starbucks. Some would work best in natural surroundings such as in a park bench, beach or from the patio of their apartment.
For me, I find that I work best in breezy natural surroundings with trees and water ….something like the place above. Sometimes I would get little flies that come to bother me so it would be good if the place does enable me to plug in a standing or table fan. When in such a situation, I can work on my blogs for hours without being distracted.
What if there are not much options available
Sometimes we need to make best do with whatever we have. We need to be determined, organized and keep our end goals in focus. For example, stay at home moms who have toodler or active young children running around- you need to be around your kids which means working on your kitchen counter, dining table or the kids’ playroom amongst noise and chaos.
As I am a caregiver, I spend many hours working in the bedroom where I share with my mom. The bedroom is quite dark (because my mom does not like the light). My small workarea is also next to my bed…. hence the combination of a cozy dark room and the nice bed makes it very tempting for me to just take a little nap…
Either that or I would feel a little distracted and my brain tells me to do a little ‘research’. 3 hours later, I have binge watched a number of YouTube videos and read my favourite blogs while lounging on my bed. Nothing gets done.
There are a few simple ways to be more productive regardless of where your working space is:
1. Write down your target and then calculate exactly how much you need to get done within the day
Generally creative people are not by nature organized. But in order to be able to earn a reasonable income, you cannot just work based on inspiration and moods. If it is something that you want to accomplish very much, set a reasonable target and then break down the tasks you need to do to achieve that target.
I find this to be very useful and it keeps on on track of what I want to achieve. I have a few blogs and I need to produce fresh content for each blog. By marking in my planner the days I wish to publish posts, I was able to get the total number of posts that I need to work on. I then assign a reasonable target of posts I need to prepare each day.
This gives me a clear direction of what I need to achieve. I know if I choose to watch YouTube videos or read other people’s blog, then I will be behind the schedule and need to catch up. If I am able to accomplish the goal that I set out for the day, well, I will reward myself by watching videos from my favourite YouTubers.
2. Keep your workplace as clutter free and distraction free as possible
It is hard to work if you find yourself unable to find things or search for your tools. In the past when working on crafts, I used to store my craft items systematically in plastic containers. This is because I mostly do my work at the living room which is a common family area. When I take these items out to work, the whole desk would be filled with ribbons and beads. But at the end of each day, I will always put away my items and store them neatly away.
If you have your work craft workstation, it is also advisable to store things away neatly after each workday. This is so that you start each day afresh with a clean looking and inspiring space.
3. Identify the blocks of time that you can work
For stay a home moms, you would need to work around the schedule of your children- for example quickly work when they are napping, in school or tuition. If you can do something to influence the schedule, then by all means try to work on your most productive time of the day.
After a while you would be able to know roughly when you can get some free blocks of time to work. And in a week, how many block of time you have available. Do not let anything interrupt you or make as an excuse. Unless of course when you need to attend to your child or the person under your care.
For example halfway while typing this post on my laptop, my Wifi suddenly have no coverage. It happens on and off at the place that I am staying in. I could have off the computer and go and take a nap but because I have planned and know what I need to do each day, I do not let a trivial problem like no network coverage to affect me. I opened a notepad to type my post and then create a folder to store the image that I would like to go with this post.
It is ideal if we can have a nice and inspiring place to work. Sometimes when my mom is resting, I would come out in the open space with my laptop to work and get a great deal of work done.
But often when I need to work in my dark room, I would use my LED table light and then I will always keep my goals in mind in order to prevent myself from getting distracted.
It is the same for you- and I do have great admiration especially for stay at home moms who have to juggle multiple hats and at the same time trying to start a business or a creative venture on the side. In order to stay afloat above it all, you would need to identify your goals, then set a reasonable target and then work towards it each day.