I got a lot of great feedback on Twitter about how important health is to productivity. It’s not something people tend to think about, but it’s something that we can all improve to find great gains.
So I’m back with another suggestion. This is also a bit unexpected, but it works; get a room.
But not just any room—get a hotel room to work in. Adam McKay has said that he and Will Ferrell will get a hotel room and write there. McKay says there are fewer distractions, so he feels guilty if he pays for a room but does not get much done.
Why hotel rooms are good for work
There are two main reasons hotel rooms are good for work. First, they aren’t part of your office. Adam McKay has a work office and home office, but still invests in a hotel room. A change of scenery can improve focus and creativity. Think about it: if you are stuck and need a new perspective, you can pick up your computer or physical notebook and work in a new space.
Home and work are full of distractions. People drop in. Urgent but unimportant tasks need to be done. Your printer is out of paper (and ink). Hotel rooms have none of these problems.
Second, hotel rooms cost money. This attaches consequences to your actions. When Taylor Pearson was on the podcast, he noted that people don’t think about the value they provide at work. We get paychecks, but don’t ask what we did to earn them. This oversight is leading to changes in work argues Pearson.
When you fork over the cash to get a hotel room, it forces you to acknowledge this. You have to explain why you paid $200 to work in a room when you could have worked anywhere. It focuses your attention on things that actually create value and that people will pay for.
This is why hotel rooms are great to work in but this doesn’t address that they are expensive and inconvenient. The great news is that you can get most of the results for a fraction of the cost.
Take this one step further
Hotel rooms work because they are a new space to work in and they provide financial costs you need to justify. Here are three ideas for how to apply these concepts that fits any budget.
Work at the public library. It’s a quiet place to work with good resources like WiFi, books and copy machines. To make this approach even more effective, pay someone to clean your house this attaches a financial consequence to your workspace. (As a bonus you have a clean house. Pretty awesome, right?)
Work at a coffee shop. You likely have several different coffee shops in town, so find a place where you can be inspired yet also conduct normal business. For the financial incentive, pay for your groceries to be delivered and then invest time saved into getting more important work done.
Work at a coworking space. For $200 a month and up, you can get a desk somewhere. It also opens up the opportunity for serendipity to strike. Before you leave for the day, order takeout to take home.
Remember, you have the ability to change your environment so it increases your productivity. Hotel rooms provide quiet places with limited distractions and a financial cost.
Anyone can apply these ideas to find a new productive workspace. But I would love to have your input: the closest coffee shop and coworking space is a hundred miles away from me. What would you recommend I do to get more work done?