Oh this is easy for me as I have two things I need to be the most productive.
Firstly, I need to be up early, mornings are my savior these days, I am at my most inspired during this time when no one else is awake and I can hear the birds outside my window.
Secondly, I need to be near a window. I love natural light and if I can look out from time to time to reflect this makes my productivity soar!
There is a 3 hour train ride from Paris to Amsterdam which I take every two weeks. The comfortable seat, the quiet atmosphere, the constantly changing scenery and the impeding arrival make it the perfect place to be extremely productive. I recently read a study showing train rides are 15 times more productive than flying. I’ll leave out bad puns on “training your brain”.
As long as nowhere is too noisy, I can work. I enjoy visual stimulation – a view out of a window, a cafe with nice decor, a bright and cheerful office… it kills me to be in a cubicle with grey walls around me, grey carpets on the floor, a uniform layout… aaah! It’s like the boredom seeps into me and I can’t get any work done. If I was in a climate where I could take my laptop outdoors to a quiet, beautiful place, I would!
If I really need to be productive, I stay in my own room and work. I’m a lot more productive when I’m working alone in a private place with nobody walking or talking around me. So libraries and coffee shops are definitely not places where I can work productively!
I’m at my most productive in the very early mornings. Although it’s a killer, I know I’ll get a great deal more written if I wake up at about 4am and just write either in bed or at my desk. I guess that’s just how my ridiculous brain works!
It really depends on what I have to do. But I would say that I feel more productive in a cafe as long as I don’t work there too often.
The atmosphere gives me a lot of inspiration and moving away from the office is making me really more creative as it breaks down from my daily routine.
Generally the best place for me to get work done is at my desk or at my dining table. Trying to write or do long periods of work while I’m sat on my couch or bed doesn’t really work – I generally end up watching TV and then my productivity goes right out the window.
If I’m trying to work out in the world, I generally head to a coffee shop with my laptop, notebooks and my iPod. The music helps me focus, but if it’s not working, the sounds of Coffitivity (where the sounds of a coffee shop are regulated to help you focus more than you would in complete silence) or ambient sounds like rain always help me focus.
I absolutely LOVE working in cafes and public places. Especially if it is a cafe where digital artists and writers are known to hang out! I used to work in a huge open studio with 120 other architecture students. We researched, wrote and drafted drawings together, in silence or with music! The energy of others working around me is huge motivator, and I just seem to naturally absorb all that energy! I also love working in libraries (especially college libraries) where students are studying between classes! There is a kind of adrenaline rush associated with college libraries that helps my productivity soar! One last thing: setting tiny batches of time to finish a specific task does wonders for my productivity as well.
I’ve found the key to my productivity is finding a location that’s not too comfortable. If I sit on a bed or sofa, I tend to settle in, and suddenly, I’m feeling unmotivated and even a little sleepy.
A supportive chair with a desk or table is best. Their location – cafe, home office, library – is less important than my ability to drown out distractions. That’s usually easy to do with some headphones and Pandora.
The other important part of a good work space is fast, reliable internet. There’s nothing like a slow connection to not only slow your productivity but sour your mood as well!
Being productive is more a state of mind than a specific place. I can be productive just about anywhere if I set my mind to it. My ideal space? Any place with a comfy chair, a cup of coffee and no body talking to me.
Anywhere near coffee and a reliable internet connection. I also have to mix it up, too much home office work in one week just means I’ll eventually turn the television on and slip into my tv trance, so usually by Wednesday I need to get out and head for the nearest coffee shop. Sometimes even a bar will suffice; it’s nice sometimes in the afternoon before it gets crowded, and you can relax with a glass of wine and work on more fun projects while getting inspiration from the people you meet there.
The best places for me to focus by far is definitely away from home. I’m not distracted by internet nor my two Lhasa Apso dogs. The number one place I go to is at a local library where there are private study rooms. These rooms are small enough that they fit only one person and have absolutely nothing on the walls for decor. Most of these rooms also have no windows to look outside. So there are no distractions whatsoever.
Another type of place I find where I’ve been pretty productive are hotel rooms during down time on trips. When I don’t feel like going out, my hotel room is also a place where I can get a lot done.
A closely related place as it’s during travel is on the airplane. When my seatmates are not that social and there are no screaming kids around, the otherwise steady drone of the airplane engine makes it a good place to do work as well.
The key is to utilize places where there are few distractions and bring whatever work I need to work on. Quite often, I feel like it’s part of my mission to become productive when I go to these places.
Check out your local Library. My library offers a sound proof, reserve only, study room. Even if your library doesn’t have a study rooms like mine, the quiet environment and studying atmosphere is great for productivity.
This may sound entirely contradictory to the goal of being more productive, but whenever it’s essential that I perform at a high level and remain focused and productive, I move my work station away from where it’s traditionally located and into another environment. I don’t move it to an inconvenient environment or one difficult to work in, just different. This jolts me out of my comfort zone and immediately all of my distractions go away (looking out the window to enjoy the view, unnecessary web surfing, etc.). When I’m out of my comfort zone, I focus on nothing but the work at hand and I stay focused, on point, and attentive until my work is completed. Although it does sound strange it’s an excellent and effective strategy.
The key for me seems to be moving around to places. I can work perfectly fine from home, but I can’t stay at home for days – nobody can. So I mix it up: alternating between my home, a park, my office, free wifi spots and libraries. Before needing to do a lot of work on my computer, I used to study a lot outside in the sun.
To be productive, I don’t need fancy gadgets – mindset is the most important. I can fret away time on Facebook and Twitter in my office as much as I can at home.
A few things that help me concentrate are: using a pomodoro app on my phone, and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, sometimes just on silent mode, sometime with binaural beats, and sometimes with music. It all depends.