Work started at 11 a.m. today. That is, what people hold as the traditional notion of work. That’s the time I started on my professional to-do list, hacking away at the tasks I’d placed on my calendar. Yet I had accomplished much more before I stepped foot into my office. I had:
- Meditated for 15 minutes
- Worked through a strength training program
- Walked almost a mile and a half
- Read a book for 45 minutes
None of those are anyone’s definition of work, but to me they’re just as important. That’s why they get done before I go into the office. These tasks help me grow as a person.
After working, distraction-free, for 45 minutes, I left the office and picked up that book again. A half hour later I returned to the office, shut out all distractions, and worked for another 45 or 50 minutes. And then back to the couch to continue reading. That might sound unproductive to the average employee. After all, I’d “worked” for only an hour and a half.
What I got done in that hour and a half used to take me at least three hours. All in all my typical work day lasts from 11 until 7 these days, but I’m not in front of my desk for all eight hours. Depending on the type of work I’m doing, it might be only four hours in front of the computer. Yet I’m crossing more tasks off my list, and I’m accomplishing more than ever.
This wouldn’t be possible at a traditional office. I’d have no incentive to batch my tasks and get work done as quickly as possible, because that would just mean more work. Not many office workers have the luxury of kicking back and reading a book in the middle of the day. Yet that’s exactly what I do. And no one complains, because the work gets done.
In the past I’ve said that I’ll never work in an office ever again. That’s not quite true. There will be times in the future when I’m certain that I’ll work in an office. But my home office will always be home base. It’s where I’m most flexible, and therefore accomplish the most.