I’m a homebody. Anyone who knows me also knows that it sometimes takes a lot of convincing to get me out of the house. Sometimes, though, even a couch potato like me goes outside to work.
When I do, I actually end up enjoying it and getting work done – more than usual. That’s more than enough reason to occasionally work outside, right?
In case you’re like me, and you need a “little” convincing to venture out of your cave, let me share some things I’ve learned from working outside of the house.
Fresh air is good for the health.
Well, as fresh as city air can be!
I live right smack in the middle of the central business district, so patches of green are hard to come by. Fortunately, there is a small park within walking distance to where I live, and it’s right across my bank, which I do have to visit at least once a month. That’s where I am right now, actually, and the trees and “fresh” breeze do help clear my head.
I guess I don’t have to say it, but I’ll say it anyway: when your head is clear, ideas (and words) flow more easily.
I actually get to see real people.
Writing is a solitary activity. I think we can all agree on that. When there is a lot of work to get done, it is not unusual to spend prolonged periods of time inside without seeing and interacting with “real” people.
You may talk to clients and other writers every day, but that usually happens over email or chat. Whatever happened to good old face to face interaction?
Truth be told, I’m perfectly content without face to face interaction, and I’ll be the first to flake when it comes to social activities. I’ll have to admit, though, that seeing real people – and actually interacting with them – does wonders for the mind and soul.
The benefits are hard to pin down. I cannot give you concrete results, but let’s just say that even the simple act of being at a cafe (and people watching) seems to make me feel better – as long as I don’t do it often. 😉
Ideas seem to like a change in environment.
You know how there are moments when we feel that we need a change? Any change?
When those moments arise, the easiest thing to do is get out of your hole and change your surroundings. Even if your home office is the most comfortable place in the world, a change in environment might just be what you need to get those creative juices flowing. At the very least, different sights (maybe sounds, too) will take your mind off whatever may be getting you down.
So yes, putting on “real people” clothes and working outside is good from time to time. When was the last time you tried it? What’s your favorite “outside office”? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below?
I take an hour-long break each day, but it’s usually inside, though sometimes I may venture on over to Tim Hortons and grab an Iced Capp or a double-double to treat myself.
Aside from that, I’m inside. However, I do wish I went outside more, but of course that can’t be done in this terrible, terrible winter weather when it’s -32!
Goal for spring and summer 2014: head outside during lunch more!
P.S. I hate social functions too!
Noemi Tasarra-Twigg says
Thanks, Andrew. I’m lucky to be living in the tropics, so even when it’s “cold”, it’s bearable. I don’t think I’d ever go out of the house if we had winter like yours!
Here’s to hearing about you spending lunch outside more in the spring and summer!
C. Nzingha Smith says
This article was confirmation for me. I told myself last week in fact, that I would venture out and work at least two days of the upcoming week outside or at a different location. I agree that the slightest change in environment and surroundings has a positive effect on my creativity. I’m also trying to find a healthy work/life balance. Since I spend a lot of time alone as a writer, it’s important that I make myself go out and be social. I’ve found that if I mix some social time in once a week, it helps my productivity during the work week. Thanks for posting!