In this episode, I talk about our working environment, whether you are in self-employment or employment, and how shaking it up a bit can boost your productivity.
It’s so easy to get comfortable and stuck in our habits. But how do we know whether it’s helping us to work at our maximum capacity or not?
There are a few tweaks here and there which can dramatically improve your productivity at your work, which is discussed in this episode.
Some of the tweaks that I talk about include:
- work in a different environment if you can
- the perils of working in your pyjamas
- listen to the right type of music
- use technology responsibly
Ahmed Khalifa: This is IgniteRock podcast, with your host, Ahmed Khalifa, episode 24. Let’s do this.
What’s up, everyone? Thank you for tuning in, and welcome to the show.
I’m really excited to have you guys here. I’m going to be talking about something that can affect everyone, and that is all about shaking up your working environment, just to help to boost your efficiency and your productivity.Click Here to Show Transcript
Doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed and a freelancer or you’re employed with a full-time job, there are things that you can get out of this episode today.
Having worked on both sides of the situation, you know working full-time jobs for a number of years, and also working for myself now as well, you get to see from both point of view, both side, that there are things that overlaps, but there are things that are quite unique.
So why don’t we just start off with, you know as a self-employed person, if you’re working by yourself as a freelancer, and you run your own business, there are several simple things that you should think about to help you with your productivity.
It’s so easy for us to work in a different environment, and most people are content with their one-work environment. That could be their home. It could be your own office. It could be a co-working space. It could be even in cafes. But I think you should mix it up. Mix it all up.
You just never know you know what place inspires you, and sometimes, you can get really comfortable with just that one place, and if you get too comfortable, then you know you’re going to have to ask whether are you really pushing it? Are you really, you know, working at full capacity?
But if you change your environment around you, even one day you work at home, another day in a co-working space, another day in a café, you know, you can do it several times a month. You don’t have to do it every single day. Just shake it up a bit.
And speaking of working from home, if you are doing that, never, ever working in your pyjamas. It’s so easy for all of us to do that if you’re working from home, and you get up, sit down at your computer or get your laptop, and you just thought, “You know what? I don’t need to get changed, because I don’t have to leave the house.” You just work in your pyjamas.
But the thing is, there’s something about dressing up to go to work. And I’m not talking about wearing a full suit, I’m just talking about even wearing jeans and T-shirt and sweatshirt. And, you know what, it doesn’t have to be a tie and shirt.
If you wear clothes the way you would go to work, in a casual working environment, your energy will go up. You will feel like you’re ready to go to work. If you work in pyjamas, then you will feel kind of comfortable again, you’ll feel too relaxed, you’ll feel very, very cosy.
And really, you want to be kind of really working for it. You want to be a working a full-throttle again, and that is something that you should think about. If you’re going to work in your pyjamas and our home, is that really the best thing to do for your business. I don’t know. I don’t think it’s the right thing for me anyway, so don’t work in your pyjamas. Just don’t do it.
An easy thing to do as well, when you are working from home or working somewhere quiet in an environment alone, it’s so easy for all of us to just stay behind the computer and don’t talk to anyone. And if you are talking to people, you probably just depend on technology and just see how that goes and, you know, using it Slack or Skype or anything like that, just to communicate.
But there is something about having that face-to-face interaction. That will never be replaced, in my opinion. I think there is so much value from having a face-to-face interaction with people. And you can build a strong relationship with people, you know, when you do that with your community or your business accounts or your fellow self-employed friends.
You know, this is something that you should really do and, you know, using my example is at least once a month, I go to the local WordPress meetup just to have a bit of fun, get for socialising, just to share some knowledge, share some wisdom. And just for that social interaction as well, and you know, that’s important.
Just because you’re working for yourself working alone doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to go out and meet people or see your friends who are doing the same thing as you or interact with people. It’s important for you as well. It’s important for your health, for your you know mentally, physically. It’s just good for your emotions and your … Just everything.
There’s so much benefit from that, so don’t forget about the people around you, you know, go outside, just see who’s there. You know, you can find so many meet-up groups. You can find it in the co-working space sometimes that organise events. There’s so many options you can find in terms of, you know, because building a strong relationship with the people around you. And if we switch it around to people who are employed and working full-time jobs, whether it’s a 9 or otherwise but it’s full time.
You know, there are certain things as well that you can do to shake-up your working environment and help you boost that, you know, efficiency and productivity as well. For me, one of the most important thing is make sure you have a sense of direction, and a clear vision of what that business success looks like just so it can help to bring the best out of you as well.Now this will help you to just to not just go with the flow or roll with the motion and just, you know, kind of like appearing to be there just for sake of it or stuff like that. No, you need to have an idea of where that business going, where are you going, and does that align? Does that work together?
Now this will help you to just to not just go with the flow or roll with the motion and just, you know, kind of like appearing to be there just for sake of it or stuff like that. No, you need to have an idea of where that business going, where are you going, and does that align? Does that work together?
If you have a sense of direction and you know where you’re going, it kind of helps you to work harder because you know what you want to do, and you want to get to that destination with or without its. So having an idea of where that business is going will also help you as well. It just makes you work better.
Another thing you should think about is try to work out what motivates you, and most people would say money, but it can’t be money, and I’m sorry, it just can’t be money, because money is not always the most important thing when it comes to working. If you are looking for money and that is the most important thing, then you might want to go off and work in the, you know, financial industry or stock market or be it that kind of, you know, job.
But it’s not just about money. You know, think about what else motivate you. Could it be something that training and development? Maybe that will make you excited again about learning something new or expanding your knowledge or improving your current knowledge to the advanced level. You know, maybe that will be something that will be motivating for you.
Maybe it’s about having more responsibilities as well, and it could be, you know, around taking on more tasks and jobs to do or maybe you just want to be responsible for a team, and you want to get to that level, maybe that management level. And if that’s what motivates you, then find out how to get there. Maybe you have a direction to go to, you have to kind of work toward, and that’s something that you should think about as well.
With the first two things I have mentioned about having these sense of direction with your business and identifying what motivates you, ask for feedback about those two as well. Ask for feedback about what is the sense of direction, what motivates you, and also ask for feedback both positive and negative and constructive for you, for you personally about how you’re going, and how you know, things are progressing with you.
And with that information with those feedback, you can get a better idea of what to do if you want to do it, what motivates you even more, what data stream should you go toward. Maybe you need to pivot a little bit, maybe you need to focus a little bit more. You know, asking for feedback from someone else is kind of something really important because you don’t really see everything that you do, and sometimes other people know better than you.
In terms that they can see what you’re doing, and that can help you with that. So you never know, ask for feedback from the people around you, and of course, any managers as well.
And then finally, just like I said about, you know, if you’re self-employed about building strong relationship with people around you, same thing if you’re in a job. You know, having that team spirit and building a relationship with your fellow colleagues and employees, and it’s so, so valuable, and there is, you know, it’s said one thing that I miss from working in a job.
It’s just having that interaction with other people around you. When you have a team spirit, and you know, been involved together whether at work or socially, it’s so, so nice. It’s just really, really cool to have, and you know, it’s up to you to kind of get involved in that as well. So it’s not just about, right, let’s just not work at all and just let’s have some fun, you know, it goes hand-in-hand together.
But having a relationship with your fellow employees, I think is just critical, and it makes your job easier, you enjoy it more, and it motivates you, and you just work better. That is just the way it works.
So talk about you know, what works for, well, self-employed people and what works for those that are employed.
But there are things that, you know, that work for both sides as well, and you know, I’m going to go over just quickly a few things, and one of my favourite thing that I, you know, recommend people to do is listen to the right type of music.
It’s so common nowadays. We see people in agency roles or in-house or self-employed or whatever, you have the headphones on and you just focus on working. And you might think, “You know what, that sounds great, I’m going to stick on my favourite tunes, you know, stick on some Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, and I’m going to dance my way to work.”No, that’s not going to work.
No, that’s not going to work. There are, you know, evidence, scientific evidence as well, even I’ve noticed it myself that the type of music that you listen to had an impact on how productive you are.
So listen to these upbeat or, you know, bouncy music, happy music, and all these, you know, lyrics, basses are sometime…that kind of distracts your labour, you don’t know it, but it does happen. So the best thing to do in this situation is kind of listen to those music that’s almost like a background music.
And, it could be in several different things, and one of them it could be, you know, whether you like it or not, is these, you know, nature sounds. You know, the sound of the forest or rainfall or whatever, you know, they can help you a lot, and you know, one place I use is a tool called Noisli, and I’ll put that in the show notes. And, you know, you can kind of combine and mix different sounds to listen to the right one that suits you.
If that doesn’t you know suits you, then you can think about listening to something a bit more atmospheric and a bit more, you know, makes you concentrate more and focus more. And that could be something with a bit of ambience, you know, like a soundtrack to a movie, and one of my favourite things to listen to is … I listen to soundtracks of my favourite movies or video games because they tend to have that background music, which is really, really nice to listen to, really powerful to listen to or ambient.
But also helps you to work as well, so give that a try. You never know when you listen to these, you know, soundtrack music, it actually makes you work better. You know, try it out.
There’s something about having, you know, a tidy desk equals a tidy mind, and it really does work. It’s cliché, but it really does work. If your desk where you work is an absolute tip, then you’re gonna see that that’s going to affect your mind as well. It’s so, so nice to have a clear empty desk, clear mind, you’re focused, get that right music on, and you go for it.
Obviously at the same time, make sure you have a comfortable desk, because if you want to say, in a way, comfortable desk equals comfortable mind, let’s go for it. Let’s go with that, but that is also important and, you know, whether we like it or not, we need to be comfortable where we’re sitting or if you’re standing, you know, if you’ve got a standing desk, awesome. But you know, there’s something about having a tidy, comfortable desk that makes a huge difference to your productivity as well.
Of course, there are so many technologies around us that help us to work better, to make us more productive, and you know, I’m a big fan of combing the use of Evernote and Trello and Slack. And these, like I said, few, but you know, there are, you know, there’s a limit, and you have to understand what is your limit, because the more tools you have, the less productive you will actually be.
So you know, use technology responsibly, use those that will help those, and if you use it, you know, that’s fine but there is so many technologies out there that using that, “Oh that sounds great, I’m going to download that and store it. I’m going to use it.” But the more technology that you have, you probably find that your productivity goes less, because you just spend too much time on that.
And, you know, even having one technology that takes up too much of your time can affect you. Example would be a Slack, you know, if you have Slack at your work. You know, Slack’s like you know, a chat system, and if so many people there chatting away, it’s so easy to get lost in there, and you missed all the charts and you catch up. And you just get really, really lost. So use technology responsibly as well, you know, just be careful what you’re using. I did.
And finally, this is really, really important to make sure that you are working to the absolute maximum capacity is just stay fit and healthy. I’m not going to go into too much details about it, but if you’re not looking after yourself, you’re going to affect your work and you’re going to affect your business. It’s just like anything in life as well as that. If you don’t look after yourself, you can’t look after other people.
So it’s the same thing with your work, if you don’t look after yourself, you’re not really helping you to get more productive, get the quality of work done, and get that business tasks done the best way you can. It just won’t work. So stay fit and healthy.
Please, just do that mentally, physically, make sure you’re eating well. Just old fashioned stuff that we all know about, just do it, it really does make a massive, massive difference to your productivity.
And that’s kind of it, really. I mean, you can kind of go on longer, because I actually left out a few things, but I think these are like the essential one before do we get into the nitty-gritty details of it. So, just follow this advice, and you will find that, you know, your productivity, your efficiency after work in your business will improve dramatically.
Just try it out, and you know, if it don’t work for you, let me know. Just drop a note in the show notes in the comment’s section, and you know, I’m really curious to hear what you think about it as well.
If you want the show notes, just go to igniterock.com/episode24, and I will put the links to all the relevant stuff I’ve talked about, and the transcription as well.
And in the meantime, of course, I would absolutely love it if you could leave a review on iTunes. It would make me so, so happy as well. So, leave a review in iTunes, and you know, I’ll be forever grateful for you as well. So thank you for listening. I appreciate your time.
In the meantime, let’s rock with WordPress.