I am, by nature, an introverted homebody. I would much prefer to stay in and watch a movie at home than go out to a theatre and see it there. I also view my home as my sanctuary and my private space. I’m not great at entertaining, can’t throw a party to save my life, and am very particular about who I share my sacred space with.
That being said, when I really want to get something done or give myself a mental break, I find that getting out of my space is often the best therapy. It sounds contradictory, but here’s what I mean…
Last week, Shannon and I were so excited to put together our Free 3-Part Video Training Series. The problem was, that while I’m usually great with deadlines and great with multi-tasking, life comes up for all of us. These challenges come up differently for everyone, but for me, it was my childcare – even those who babysit our little ones need a vacation and so I momentarily felt like an island. My Auntie Peg and family was incredibly helpful and told me that they would watch my little guy during the day. This was a Christmas, Birthday, Valentines Day, and Mother’s Day gift all rolled into one. (Thank you guys!)
I wanted to make it as easy as possible (if that IS possible with an active 18 month old) so I dropped him off and chose to stay close in case anything came up. I headed over to the nearest coffee shop with internet access and proceeded to work away. It was the combination of having a deadline + being out of my space that made me so incredibly productive.
The idea of getting out the house to get work done is not new to me and I wanted to share some of its greatest benefits. I did it all through college and in my adult life. (It didn’t work well during my days of being a CPA – Lugging five 3-inch binders with a company’s private information to the local coffee shop is not a great idea…) but I’m happy that times have changed and can now speak on the…
TOP 3 BENEFITS TO GETTING OUT OF YOUR SPACE
1.) LESS DISTRACTIONS
Whether its work or relaxing, there is something to taking a vacation (or even a staycation). There is a benefit to removing yourself from your home and leaving thoughts of the chores, repairs, and clean up right there where they belong.
When you’re in a different space, for me this was a coffee shop, I could focus on the work that I was doing. Thoughts of laundry that I had to fold, mail that I had to sort, and floors that I needed to wash were the farthest thing from my mind. Why? Because I couldn’t see them and couldn’t do anything about it at the time (even though I was only a few miles away.)
This let me completely focus on the tasks at hand. My brain did not allow me to feel guilty about not switching the laundry load before writing the next email because it wasn’t even on my radar. “There’s nothing I can do about it right now, so I might as well not worry about it,” was what I silently told myself.
Again, whether you want to focus on reading, going through some emails, or getting some work done, consider doing it away from home so that you can really focus on the task (and dare I say…even enjoy it.)
2.) REFRAME AND RELAX
Because I didn’t have so many distractions at the coffee shop, I was really able to relax, reframe, and focus. With a clearer mind, I was able to be better in the writing that I was doing and also able to be more efficient.
The fact that so many other worries or concerns weren’t even on my radar opened up more “brain space” for me to really engage in what I was doing. A writing piece that would have taken me 3 hours to write at home, took me half the time because I was able to focus 100% and do it in a calm and relaxed way, rather than approaching it with a “frenetic energy.”
3.) PROVIDE A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Although I typically find comfort in the same four walls – even this introverted homebody needs to get out once in a while. Also, anyone who has been a Mother of a toddler knows that even if you have a beautiful lovely home, there is still a need to get out of it since so much time is spent in while raising the little ones.
So often we hear stories of writers locking themselves away in a lake cabin to receive inspiration and finally finish their book and there is really something to this. This changed perspective, even though it may “just” be atmosphere, can have a huge impact at how we see other situations in our lives.
When we have this change in perspective we’re able to clear out a lot of the superficial junk and refocus on the things that are truly important and truly deserve our time and energy. Although I left the coffee shop having done about 4-5 hours of work, I didn’t leave feeling exhausted or frazzled. I left feeling energized, productive and looking forward to seeing my little guy.
Whether it’s heading out to a park to enjoy a book, relaxing at the coffee shop, or skipping the treadmill and heading out for a walk outside, think about a few refuges outside of your home (or office) where you can experience an environment of less distractions, reframing, and a change of perspective.
Email us and let us know where you’ll be heading to…and if you’re lost for ideas we’d love to hear from you too! We always have strategies to help you out. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to connect.
Until next time,
Live your WHOLE life,
Meg + Shannon