Ask me for some productivity tips and I’ll go on forever – I even wrote a freelancer motivation post last month about how to stay focused when working from home.
But this year’s World Productivity Day has had me thinking about my number one piece of productivity advice, the thing that I’ve found most beneficial both as a freelancer and an employee.
So, enough. What is it? This magical tip?
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I’M JOKING! It literally says it in the title.
Change your scenery.
That’s it. Simple, right?
Well, kind of. But the concept of changing your scenery differs from job to job.
For me, working from home, it’s as simple as going out for a walk in the middle of the day or going to work in a cafe for the afternoon.
But what about people who can’t just swan off and work in a cafe whenever they want?
I’ve worked in education, retail, hospitality, private corporations – you name it. I’ve got experience in pretty much every sector, which makes me wholly sympathetic to long commutes, strict bosses, back to back shifts, horrendous working spaces and everything else.
Ways to change your scenery for a productivity boost:
(No matter what your job is).
When I worked as a retail manager, I was so guilty of not taking breaks: “I just need to get this report finished first!” and, as a freelancer, I’m no different. I forget to have lunch if I’m immersed in a project, I sit hunched at my desk for hours.
Get up. stretch. Take. your. breaks.
Top tip: I have a training and physiotherapy checklist. Each set of exercise (pull-ups, lunges etc) gains me 1 point.
25 points per week allows me guilt-free license to buy myself something nice. And it gets me fit and fixed, too!
That means sick days too
This should go without saying, but take your sick days – whether it’s flu, mental illness, whatever. If you need the day, take the day.
Switch up your aesthetic
Add a plant (or two) to your desk, buy new post-its in a different colour and a rainbow pack of whiteboard pens. Get coasters with your favourite animal on them. Make your workspace a place you actually enjoy looking at. Lead a revolt against hotdesking if your office does it. If you’re on your feet a lot, save up and buy yourself a decent comfy pair of shoes – they’ll last and you’ll thank yourself at the end of an 11 hour shift.
Change your commute
Even if it adds five minutes, drive a different way home, take a detour through the park, go somewhere different for an hour before going home.
Add in the gym or something else fun one evening a week.
Tuesdays were always more bearable for me at my old job when I knew I would be going straight to the climbing wall. Do something different at least once a week.
I recently threw away all of those clothes i’d been clinging onto for sentimental ‘it’s one of my favourite’ reasons. It feels amazing. No joke, I just threw away a coat I’d had for 11 years. ELEVEN. YEARS.
Have the ultimate change of scenery
If you’re reading this and you hate your job, fuck it, it’s time to leave. It might not be a simple case of walking in tomorrow and quitting (I get it, finances, responsibilities etc) but if you’re in a job that’s making you miserable and you don’t have an escape plan, why?
Why don’t you have an escape plan?
Whether it will take a month or a year to complete – it’s time to make one.
Obvious advice is often the best
These all seem pretty obvious, really (well, except the quit your job one – send me a message if this spurred you to do it!) – but it’s always the most obvious things that need drilling in, article after article, when we’re seeking advice.
It’s likely you’ve come across these pieces of advice before, but…