Where do you do your best work?

Whether you’re an employee, work for yourself or you’re a creative person where you do your work is really important.

If you work in an office

If you work in a busy open plan office it’s not always possible to get the space you crave. Meeting rooms are always booked out so finding the right creative space or time to think without major interruptions isn’t easy. Disappearing off to the local coffee shop might not be possible. Perhaps there’s a comfy break out area you can head to or maybe use the canteen.

You might need to think out of the box or plan your time well ahead. Think about the time of day when you do your best work and gear that to the tasks you have to do.

Did you know it takes at least 20 minutes to get back to the place you were at before the interruption?

Technology now means that working from home can be super productive. This might be a good solution for you. For some though it can feel isolating.

Figuring out what suits your working style and getting the balance right is important.

Remember what works for you isn’t the same as what works for somebody else – so there’s no need to be competitive about it.

I know of a story about working in an open plan office. Work colleagues could never tell if somebody was working on something important and wasn’t to be interrupted.  The solution –  wear a coloured baseball cap that meant – stay away! I’ve tried this and it does work.  When my pink baseball cap comes out – be warned!

My pink baseball cap – beware!

I don’t have a drive to get to work but many people who do value this space to think about and plan their day and find it helps them to switch off on the drive home.

If you are at home

It’s not always possible to have a dedicated home office. If which case, your temporary office space might be at the kitchen or dining room table. A place therefore that is multifunctional and used by the whole family.

If you’re working in this sort of environment it’s not easy to stay organised or even find your stuff. You might even have to keep moving your things about. What can help are some great storage boxes that makes it easy to pop things in to.  I use both clear ones, so I can see immediately what’s inside or colourful ones that don’t look out of place if they are stacked one on top of the other.

I have my office at home. Only this morning I was asked by a friend who’s just about to become self employed – how do you manage your schedule and how do you avoid the isolation?

My answer was that firstly where I do the work that I do is important. Outside client facing time I’ve a few options. In front of my computer is great when I want to do something practical – check emails, make calls etc.  However, it just doesn’t work for me when I want to be creative – write a report or blog or come up with a new idea.

A cuppa in a comfy place
A comfy spot to work

My creativity or thinking time is often done in a noisy coffee shop – this can be the local cafe at the park or somewhere further afield. There’s something about being away from my normal work space that seems to make it work

Structure and a routine are important with clear boundaries of when you start and when you stop. I have a reminder on my phone that rings when it’s time to finish up work otherwise I continue on too long and it eats into the evening.

It takes time to figure a strategy that works best for you.  Each week or month is different but consistency and good habits are the name of the game.


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