Self-Awareness at Work
Having the right atmosphere to work is important. Being comfortable and confident where you are working has a direct impact on your ability to be productive and happy. Proper work atmosphere does not always have to be a particular place. It also includes the elements from the chair you sit in, type of equipment used, clothing, and taking micro-breaks. Here are a few of my work habits for staying productive.
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I need to work alone or have the perception of being alone. If the person in the cubicle next to me is talking to a client on the phone, then I won’t be able to concentrate. The same is true if my wife is home when I’m editing or working on other Rae Publishing tasks. I cannot always be physically alone, but I can still create isolation. I recommend looking for headphones or earbuds that are meant for isolation or noise canceling.
Music choice is important too. I would get bored with current music playlists. I tried working to podcasts, but I would pay attention to the people more than getting my work done. I would go back to music, then I would get annoyed with commercials between songs on popular streaming sites. Now, I find pre-made remixes of EDM or soundtracks that are an hour long or more on YouTube. This ensures I have nonvocal music that’s uninterrupted for at least an hour.
Staring at a computer screen for eight hours during the day, then four to six hours every night is brutal on my eyes. It’s also hard on my bones and muscles from sitting for so long. During the day, I’ll schedule a recurring task in Outlook that reminds me to stand up and stretch every half an hour. When I’m at home working through the night I’ll use a one hour soundtrack and take a micro-break for a few minutes to walk around my apartment.
The final tip is to know your work schedule and use the time accordingly. I know for me that I am the most creative in the morning. Most days, I’ll get up before I go to work and write fiction. The morning is the time for me to write prose. When I come back from work, I’ll review emails, check social media, bid new editing jobs, and edit. Maybe you’re more creative at night and need to do analytical tasks in the morning. Self-awareness to your performance based on the time of day is important.
We can’t always choose where or when we work, but knowing what works for you is the best way to work.