I have a confession.
I hate lawn mowing. I know, seems petty doesn't it? The summer is upon us here in Missouri, which means humidity and grass growing like crazy for at least two months. Mowing weekly is not uncommon until the scorching heat gets here and then those of us without sprinkler systems will watch our yards turn to dust. I've already mowed my lawn four times this May. But the last time I was out mowing I began to realize something.
I was angry and uncomfortable.
After 45 minutes of mowing my front yard and then 45 minutes into my backyard I realized I was freaking out. This is probably killing my lawn cred but it happened. I realized my shoulders were tight, I was gripping the lawn mower like it was trying to race away from me, AND I was gritting my teeth! I was also feeling a great deal of anxiety. What in the world was going on with me!?
That's when it dawned on me: I hate mowing the lawn. It's repetitive. Back and forth. Back and forth. Same results every time I go out to mow the exact same space. And you're not going to believe this: The grass grows back.
This realization is a small bit reassuring because it cancels out the chance I'm OCD...on the other hand there's a strong chance I have ADD. What I have learned is I am not built to do the same thing in the same space every single day. I'm just not wired that way. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to work in the manner your wired and make sure your environment is cohesive as well. What have you done to change your work environment to make you more effective?
Here are some ways I've learned I work best:
1. I actually need windows - A bright and airy space helps me relax and focus. If I'm in a smaller, walled environment it feels like the walls are just getting closer.
2. My day has parts - I think of my work day as segments. The first third of the day is for me. It might be drinking coffee, catching some GMA, playing golf, working out, having a devotional time, working on my business, and blogging. The first part of the day is all mine. The second third of my work day is for people. More often than not this is the time I meet with people. I rarely eat lunch alone. The remaining third of my work day is administrative. This is where I get work admin and communication done. I often use a great tool to schedule emails through Gmail called Boomerang. Boomerang has multiple uses but my favorite is it allows me to schedule emails to people. I use this so my communication is received in what's known as the "First touch" window. Meaning people are more like to interact with your communication if it is viewed in the window they first check their email instead of it getting buried in their day.
3. I move around a lot - It's not uncommon for me to move locations anywhere from two to three times a day. Why? Because every time I change locations it helps me refocus. Of course, everyone may not have a job where you can physically change locations but here is a recent inforgraphic that might help you think creatively.
Lawn mowing is changing the way I work. I have to be aware of my environment as well as the way I structure my day. Everyone of us needs to find the environment that we can work the best in. To make the most impact we need to not just work but create and create solutions. What are you doing to have the best work environment you can?