It’s challenging to do the same type of task each day in the exact same spot. As a content creator, I'm writing everyday. The type of writing I do changes — sometimes it’s an email, other days it’s blog posts, and there are even times where I spend an entire day doing research in preparation to write. Regardless of the content type or the subject matter, my time working is spent with my computer, typing away…and I love it. I’m actually doing what I love to do, but there are days when motivation dwindles and I find myself finding other things to do, things I don’t love doing, just to change it up.
That’s when I know it’s time to change my writing location. Simply picking up and changing the scenery I look at over my computer screen can make a world of difference and stir up the creative juices that ebb when motivation is low. Since I write at home, most of my favorite writing locations are within my house, so there’s minimal travel time. However, I don’t discount the whole leaving the house to change the scenery option when needed. These are the four main places I get my best writing done:
I have a unique office in that it has no doors. It’s technically a dining room. I have a huge window that looks out onto the street so I can see people and cars go by, peacefully watch the rain when it falls, and catch a few rays of sunshine. The room opens into the front hall of my house as well as the living room. I can be in the action around my house without having to leave my chair. I really like feeling connected to my home while being in my office, and even though it can be distracting at times to not have any doors, I prefer to not be closed off.
I spend most of my time working in my office because everything I need is right at my fingertips. Changing locations, although necessary at times, usually means moving more than just my computer. Sometimes it’s more cumbersome than it’s worth.
If you work from home, make sure your primary work space is outfitted how you want it to be. Don’t just settle for a boring desk and sterile-looking chair. This is your home, personalize it. Mine is a cluttered mess because I’m not in an office where any co-workers can see it, and it’s perfect for me. My children’s art is everywhere and I have an overabundance of pens. I love my office because you could walk into it at any time and leave the room feeling like you knew me a little better.
Being outside, feeling the wind or sun, hearing birds and squirrels — all of nature has a rejuvenating effect. It can be inspiring for a writer. I’ve got the best of both worlds at my house with my screened-in porch. I get all the good parts of outside without the bugs. I can go outside in any weather, sit on dry, comfortable furniture, and enjoy an easy change of scenery.
The hardest thing about working from home is finding opportunities for fresh air, so having an outside space to work in is imperative. When you work in an office you can easily step outside to grab a coffee or walk to lunch, but at home, you’ve got everything you need right there, making it challenging to eek out time to enjoy the outdoors.
I find it refreshing to spend just a half hour outside working when I start feeling my creativity slow down or even get a little sleepy. The (mostly) soft sounds of nature help me refocus my energy on my work.
Sometimes I need to feel like I’m not working even when I am working. This is where the couch comes in. I can’t sit here and work very long, at times it’s too comfortable, but taking some of the rigidity out of how I sit, by curling up with my laptop on the couch, gives me a minute to relax and destress if I’m working on a challenging piece of content.
Don’t feel bad about working where you veg out. I know plenty of people who work in their beds in addition to the couch because it’s the most comfortable spot in their house. Comfort is important when you need your creativity to flow, and breaking the norm of sitting at a desk with hands at ten and two can make a big difference.
I always thought I’d struggle working where it was noisy, where other conversations were happening that I might want to listen in on rather than get my own work done, but I got to a point as a freelancer were I needed to get out of my house, so I decided to give a coffee shop a try. It proved to be a great location for me to work. The noise fades into the background to become a soundtrack for productivity. Something about the energy in a coffee shop, where a lot of other people are also working, feeds my own creative mind, not to mention the coffee is better than what I make at home and I can reward myself for a productive morning with a pastry.
Working in a coffee shop also gives you less opportunity to be idle with your time. You can’t just get up and putter in the kitchen or wander around. You’re almost forced to focus and that can be really beneficial if you’re under a tight deadline or working on a project that feels tedious. However, working at a coffee shop can mess with your budget if things are tight. Coffee out is always more expensive that coffee brewed at home, and those pastries can be too tempting for your wallet’s own good. I limit the times I use a coffee shop to change my work venue as a result.
Peoples’ approach to work is changing as more offices allow telecommuting and more freelancers are getting a foothold in their market. This means more home offices are becoming productive environments to work in, regardless of whether they fit a traditional mold or not. The important thing is to get your work done and feel you’re producing quality content that’s indicative of your abilities. Nothing wrong with a little change of scenery from time to time.