It’s amazing how a simple thing can affect your productivity and motivation.
I wrote this post at 8 am, in a café in London.
I had a cup of tea to sip and an almond croissant to nibble on, nervously awaiting the work meeting I’d have to attend at 10 am. (So nervous I arrived two hours early to make sure I wasn’t late!)
I know getting anywhere in London with a time limit ups my stress levels so I decided, I may as well head in super early (thanks, body clock!) and do some writing on my trusty laptop.
I used to go at least once a week to a local coffee shop to do this, while the eldest was at nursery and youngest home with Daddy. But returning to work and changing routines nixed that, unfortunately.
Realizing that once the kids start school and nursery in September I may be able to start doing this again is a huge deal. It really does make me happy, because to me, writing in this kind of environment is something special.
I would say I can’t put my finger on why, but I think I can.
Going to a coffee shop for a few hours is my way of completely removing myself from my usual, day to day life. I don’t frequent coffee shops otherwise unless maybe I’m meeting a friend for a chat. I don’t get time to myself (at all) except on rare, spontaneous occasions. (work doesn’t count!)
I love to write, but at home, you have a constant distraction around you. I see the toys I need to pick up, the laundry I need to put away, the TV show I really want to watch etc.
When writing in a space not my own, with a pressure to spend money to secure a spot and no responsibilities around me, my productivity goes through the roof.
At home, it might take me two hours to write a single post because of distractions. Here I can write two posts in one hour. I just write and write. The words flow, the ideas become clearer and I feel this drive.
Isn’t it funny, the difference such a simple thing can make?
I’ve told my husband one of my dreams for when we eventually move to a bigger house.
Having my own, special space.
Even if it is an old closet, or a random nook or corner, I don’t care. As long as I can set up a little desk with all my nicely organised blogging bits. Preferably somewhere I can enjoy some peace and quiet also!
I know having a dedicated space will make all the difference but I’ll be honest, even if I had my own office, I don’t think anything could top a few hours to myself and a hot chocolate to sip in a bustling coffee shop.
I think this is one of those things, like my calm button, that just triggers a different mindset.
In September, I am going to do one of the things I love, organise! I am going to write out a weekly plan to compliment our new school and nursery routine. One thing I am determined to find time for is a few hours to myself. Not for housework, not for shopping or cooking. But for sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop.
On that note, I have drafted a free printable for you all!
This is a weekly planner I made to find myself the space I need. I will probably change things (I will add the later drafts as they appear!) but for now, knowing I get to sit down and carve my space out is a step in the right direction.
I have designed this basic printable to be a useful tool in discovering where your time goes during the week and how your routines fit around each other.
There is a page per day for you to really be able to see how your days play out, at all times. (I divided the time zones based on when our kids would eat or go to bed etc, but you can change them as it suits you!)
The idea is to plan everything out as it would usually be during your week, one day at a time. Then, plan everything out as you’d like it to be (realistically!). Compare the two and I guarantee you will find places you can rearrange or prioritise things to find a healthy, comfortable compromise!
Just don’t fall into the trap of panicking if you have to change routine for any reason. Life requires rolling with the punches sometimes, things always get back on track eventually!
Here you go!
Do you have a special place, thing or routine that does this for you? I’d love to hear about it? I’d love to make a post compiling the best ways to find a calm, productive and motivated mentality!
For more inspiration (and a glimpse into my next ebook!) check out my most popular productivity posts ‘How to be productive even when you feel like death‘ and ‘How to train yourself to be productive!‘