My gray walls stare back at me as I try to digest the latest series of emails flooding my inbox. Sure, I have a swivel chair, three monitors, and a fan blowing a light breeze at my feet, but I’m still having trouble getting my brain to focus. Working 40 hours a week in the same workspace can occasionally hinder my ability to think outside the box, so I like to switch it up to something new: a change in scenery.
Don't get me wrong; the daily hum of overhead lights and the sound of support representatives on the phone around the corner isn’t a bad thing. Having certain lights and sounds that are familiar can be extremely helpful in establishing a productive routine. But by getting away from my traditional desk and into a different space, both my body and brain get a breath of fresh air.
A few of my favorite places to hide out and bury myself into my work are nearby coffee shops like Kaldi's Coffee or Starbucks, Peace Park on Mizzou's campus, and sometimes even just a conference room at the office. If you’re not able to take your work and get away, I highly suggest at least taking a break from your workspace. Take a lap around the block to get some fresh air (if it's too cold outside, do a few laps around the office) or stand up and do a few stretches to get your blood flowing again. Sometimes even just changing your position or height of your office chair can give your body a break from the usual positioning.
Most importantly, stay engaged! No matter where you are, focus on getting your work done as efficiently and effectively as you do when you’re in the office. Remember: the purpose of getting away every now and then is to reinvigorate your mind, not to distract it!
Good luck, and enjoy your new workspaces!