Changing Work Locations Helps Productivity

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Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

One of the best things about working for a firm that emphasizes the mobile, paperless office is that I can work out of the office on a whim.

Working out of the office, however, is not only a refreshing option, it always boosts my productivity.

New location = new perspective

The biggest waste of time is figuratively banging your head against the wall—staring at your computer screen and using the same thought process—yet expecting different results. If you are trying to write a brief but just cannot work an argument the right way, get out of the office.

Admittedly, you will lose time by changing locations and getting used to your new location. That time, however, will help relieve mental congestion and allow you to look at things differently. Hopefully, you will leave your frustration at the office.

When you open up the document in a new location, it may look the same, but everything around you is different. Most of the time, that helps me get over a mental barrier and tackle issues with a new perspective.

Alternate locations may have less distractions

You might be surprised how much time you spend chatting with co-workers or going out to lunch. If you waste two hours a day, that means it takes ten hours to do eight hours of work.

If you decide to work at home (and nobody else is there), there is nobody to talk to, and lunch is in the fridge. Assuming you are not distracted by anything in your house, you might actually spend less time working than if you went to the office.

As an added saving on time, working from home means less time spent driving to and from work—which should easily save an hour, depending your commute. Add it all up and working from home or someplace close to home might end up being a better option than you think.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonytoo/4819881659)

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  • Agreed, to quote John le Carre “A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world”. A change in your physical perspective definitely helps to refresh the mental perspective.

  • I agree, as well. Most of our employees at Total Attorneys work in an open-office environment, and if you often see the cart moving items from desk-to-desk around the office. In addition, many of our employees take a day off to work from home or another location. By moving around, we both literally and figuratively change our perspective, so it gives us the opportunity to get work done in new ways.

    By allowing people to move around the office space, it also gives employees the opportunity to sit next to different coworkers, which facilitates in better communication and creates new opportunities for collaboration.

  • This is a magnificent blog post. I never really thought about it in these terms. I often find my self in a particular coffee shop in Cleveland when I have a few hours to kill between creditor meetings. I will always pull out my laptop, or netbook. I crank out much more work there than my office. Often I will get some blog posts done as well. I think it is because everyone else there is either doing work or studying on their laptops, and I don’t want to look like a slacker. In my office I can be a slacker if I want. It’s my firm.