Never underestimate the power of a good desk & a solid focus playlist!
I have a research paper due in six weeks, and I’ve been struggling to get it going for at least two. I am a writer at heart, but for whatever reason the motivation to get going on this assignment alluded me. I made an outline at the beginning of the semester (something I’ve never been good at doing before starting a piece). I blocked out time at home to sit at the dining table and type it out. I even put a daily reminder in my calendar to write something every night after I got home from work. Still, the words would not come.
Today, I managed to knock out 50% of the assignment within a few hours. Like the clouds parting after a storm, my brain and my hands got to work laying out five pages. What was different?
Instead of working from home, I spent some time at my desk on campus researching and writing with my earbuds in. My work area at home, the dining table, is not cluttered or difficult to access. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the other things I either wanted to do or needed to when I worked from home. My brain would wander to the laundry that needed done or to the television show I wanted to watch, and refused to focus on the paper. At my desk, I have a clearly defined to-do list (which I accomplished first thing this morning) and low access to entertainment and other distractions.
It is extremely important to know what environment you work best in. It’s probably different for every single person. It can be different for me depending on the day or the task at hand. For example, if I want to do creative writing, I have always found that inspiration comes easier to me while sitting outside. For academic work like this research paper, that would be extremely distracting.
As I move forward with this paper and other tasks for school or work, I’m definitely going to be more mindful about the environment I’m working in. It’s an easy thing to do, and a simple way to maximize my productivity.