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Where do you do your best work?

Recently I posted a quick note about how it can be super helpful to spark creativity and new insights by changing your environment. You can catch up on that post here.

It got me thinking.

Given all the discussions raging at the moment about the return to the office, working from home, hybrid working, working from the beach, quiet quitting and working your wage, I’d love to know more about where you do your best and most effective work.

Where do you position yourself and what type of work puts you into a state of flow? When you're buzzing with quality ideas without it feeling like an effort, and you have a sense that you're contributing something that represents your unique value and experience.

You may have your best ideas in the shower in the morning. It may be on your commute to or from work. Perhaps the park is your preferred environment. Or the pub. It might even be while you’re in the office. 😂

Let me know in the comments below.

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And while we're on the topic, here are 5 ways in which I adjust my working environment and why I think they’re effective.

1. WFW: work from walk 🚶

When working on strategy, larger projects, or undertaking deeper planning work, I do this while walking. The routine is to first write down some initial ideas, then process them while on the move, stopping periodically to update the notes, flesh out the ideas a bit in writing and then keep repeating the process until I reach the point when it's best to leave it for a day or two.

For me this interchange of conscious focus as I write, and reflection as I walk brings better results than long chunks time in front of a screen.

2. WFR: Work from run 🏃‍♂️

For me, the most effective brainstorming takes place while running. Not just because of the increased blood and oxygen flow but also because there's a need to make sure you remember what you were thinking about so you can take action after the run.

The pressure to remember the ideas brings the question ‘why is this idea worth remembering?’ Exploring this question develops ideas more deeply than if you were simply brainstorming in an office and noting down all the (top line) thoughts. And then probably never returning to that page in your notebook anyway.

3. WFCS: Work from coffee shop ☕️

Once a week I stop at a particular coffee shop. Usually on a Tuesday morning. Whenever possible I sit outside.

For me the weekly sit down at the same spot is a great way to reflect on what’s happened for the previous seven days, and to set my sights on the priorities for the next seven days.

Just before I leave each week I answer the question, ‘if you could only achieve one thing between now and this time next week, what would it be?’ I find this helps to reduce distractions through the week.

4. WFB: Work from bed 🛌

I don’t like typing on my phone but I sometimes find it more productive to write when lying on the bed than I do when sitting at a desk. It may be because I type more slowly on the phone and this helps ideas to unfold in a different way.

Clearly this is a strategy that will work best for most people when working from home but I know some people who employ a similar approach in the office by moving from their desk to more comfortable seating where available. And even using beanbags in some cases.

5. WFWFN: Work from wake from nap 😴

This one is a bit left field. And I appreciate it’s not possible for everyone given their working environment or schedule but it’s a technique that you can try at weekends or in the evenings to see if it’s helpful. If it is, you don’t need to do it super often but might find that it fuels the occasional breakthrough.

When unsure about a decision, an idea or how to move something forwards it can be helpful to sleep on it. Overnight is ideal but naps can be just as effective. The system that works for me is:

  • Lie down

  • Set an alarm for 25 minutes. For me the ideal nap time is 22 minutes so I allow 2-3 minutes to fall asleep.

  • Take a few deep breaths and relax

  • Clarify the discussion / decision on your mind

  • Tell yourself that you will wake up with a new perspective

  • Sleep

  • Get up when the alarm goes off

  • Spend 5-10 minutes capturing your thoughts / conclusions



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