I suspect that many people are missing their coffeeshop “offices” and the ability to work in a location that varies from their usual desk setting. Different environments can spur more creative thinking and often enable you to become more productive because the distractions are limited. Also, when you go somewhere, you take with you the mindset that it’s time to get some serious work done and are mentally more compelled to follow through.

I experienced this myself when I planned to work in the car while waiting during someone’s appointment. During this time, I had a renewed focus and energy and was able to push past a block that I had on one project, outline the content for a handout and have a new perspective on another issue. It was one of the most efficient hours of my week.

You may not yet be able to plop down in Starbucks and commandeer a table for a few hours but don’t give up on the principle of a change in location. Maybe that means just thinking in your car while sitting in a parking lot, moving to your porch or basement, pondering a problem while walking around the block, taking a phone call while you go for a drive, or even rearranging the office furniture.

It has been long enough that for many the temporary home office is feeling normal, and with that comes the downside of a routine. Break out of your environmental rut and try to do your deep work elsewhere. A different view often provides a different viewpoint.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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