Change Is Good: Part 1

25.07.2020 |

Episode #6 of the course How to stay focused: Ten top hacks for motivation by K.C. Finn


You may have seen many different fads and fashions surrounding the home office setup and different physical working habits, for example, the sudden upward trend of standing desks and ergonomic desk chairs. It may seem like a trend just for the sake of a trend, but there are some truths to the idea that a change of scenery can help your productivity. In this lesson, we engage in some myth-busting about physical needs and their relation to focus and find the truth about what will genuinely help you to thrive.


The Theory

When the body keeps still for a long time, whether it’s engaged in work activities or leisurely pursuits, physical factors like circulation can affect the level of oxygen that goes into our brains, and this makes us feel lethargic and gives us less energy to focus. The same thing can happen when we hear the same sounds and have the same visual stimulus around us all the time, causing our senses to switch off and go into autopilot.

Whether you are in a work from home situation or in a communal office, there are things you can do to alter the physical elements around you in order to re-stimulate the brain and improve your energy levels. It’s important to realize that the body and brain will quickly adapt to the changes that we make to our daily working lives, so don’t be afraid to vary your approach as much as you can in times where you feel your physical energy and mental motivation beginning to sag.


In Practice

One of the simplest things that you can do without getting physical at all is to rearrange your desk. The addition of the daily affirmation from Lesson One should already present a different visual stimulus and written goal to look at every day, as well as colorful elements like the super-visual to-do list from Lesson Three. You can arrange these and other motivational elements in different ways every day to avoid your vision glazing over, and becoming too comfortable with your surroundings, as a quick hack to keep your brain awake.

In terms of physical position, it would be useful to invest in some kind of system where you can change the height of your working space so that you can either sit or stand, depending on the level of lethargy that you may feel in your body at different points during the day. It needn’t be a case of purchasing an expensive standing desk add-on, but simply the addition of a few box files that you can move in and out in order to raise the keyboard and screen level of your workstation as and when you need it. Being able to change to a standing position, even for 20 or 30 minutes a day can improve circulation, oxygen, and brain function whilst you work. If you can’t stand whilst you work, a few short walks around your space during break times can do the same thing.



As a homeworker who suffers from physical disabilities in the spine, I appreciate that physical position can be an enormous barrier to productivity for a lot of people. It’s important to experiment with a variety of approaches to your physical, auditory, and visual stimulus in order to find out what truly works for you, and keeps you interested and engaged in the space that you’re in. Perseverance is the key here, as well as keeping a detailed log of what you’ve tried and how it made you feel in terms of focus and progress on your work.

In Lesson Seven, we continue our exploration of change by now examining the methods by which you work. This session looks at the change in terms of how you produce work, for example, switching to voice dictation instead of typing, or uncovering new methods of brainstorming or collecting your ideas.

See you then!



Recommended reading

Simply Business has some great additional tips for working from home and setting up your space.


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