Switch It Up! A Simple Way To Get More Done In Less Time :)

Has something like this ever happened to you?

You sit down to work on your business… but then you realize that you forgot to eat lunch.  So you go to the fridge, grab something to eat, and then come back to your computer…

You work for about 20 minutes or so and then the doorbell rings.  You talk to your neighbor for a bit, then sit back down… After a few more minutes, you look over at your bookshelf and see an old book that you read years ago and had totally forgotten about!  You start reading it again out of curiosity… and before you know it, your kids are already home from school… and they need help with their homework!

You look at your to-do list and realize that you hardly got anything done!

How did the time slip away from you like that?

Being a “work from home” entrepreneur can be challenging sometimes because our environments are not always conducive to productivity.  I’ve implemented a simple shift in my schedule that has allowed me to get a whole lot more done… and I’d love to share it with you!  So click play down below to hear a quick tip about how you can also increase your focus and productivity:

I’d love to hear from you…

What simple steps can you take to ensure your working environment is inspiring and supportive to your success? Please leave a comment down below with your thoughts and feedback!

And please spread the word on Twitter and FB by clicking on the buttons down below!  Thank you so much!  Looking forward to speaking with you again soon!

To Your Productivity,

AD7284B544DA527F4F71B7C89166F25F Switch It Up! A Simple Way To Get More Done In Less Time :)

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Donnie Smith April 15, 2011 at 4:46 am

Thanks for sharing your tips with us Katie.

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Bhav April 15, 2011 at 4:54 am

Hi Katie,

I have found that breaking my working hours into slots of 30 mins helps me stay focused on tasks, greatly.
After each 30 mins slot, I take a small break of upto 5 mins-which can be just checking messages/sipping some water.
After 2-3 slots(of 30 mins), I take a slightly longer break of upto 15-20 mins.

I also plan my activities for the next day at the end of each day, so I don’t get up & then think what shall I do today. This also helps me to break my tasks into small manageable chunks, which take approx 30 mins to complete.

Bhav
Bhav´s last blog post ..World Entreprenuership Day 2011

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Ronja Andersson April 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Great tip, Bhav!
I’ll be implementing that, starting tomorrow! :)

Thanks and love
Ronja
Ronja Andersson´s last blog post ..Our Thoughts about Love- Life and Relationship

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Physician Assistant April 15, 2011 at 4:58 am

Katie,

Nice tip. I need to make a shift myself.

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Logan Parker April 15, 2011 at 5:14 am

Katie,

One of the things that I’ve done is I got rid of about 80-90% of my stuff in the last year. My mental clarity and productivity has soared. Living a minimalist lifestyle is very liberating. I know that in about an hour flat I can move to a whole new country! that’s exciting to me.

So no my stuff can all fit in 2 large suitcases. I’m having a hard time explaining the benefits of this, but it’s almost like a spiritual cleansing…

Can anyone else back me up on this?
Logan Parker´s last blog post ..Take The Immature Relationship ACID TEST

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Melody Granger April 15, 2011 at 6:12 am

I’ve got your back Logan!
Melody Granger´s last blog post ..3 Different Approaches to Help You Get Rid of Books

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Shonda Gibson April 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

Logan I can relate. I like nice things, but I do not like to store up material things because it just traps you to your immediate environment. Unless you want to employ staff to maintain your things so you can be free to actually enjoy life, then a minimalist… “slow living” type of situation is ideal. Good for you Logan! Love it. Be free and soar!
Shonda Gibson´s last blog post ..11 Ways to Fit Fiber In Your Diet Everyday

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Thomas Crotty April 15, 2011 at 5:18 am

Hi Katie, I agree with you. Working at home has it’s challenges, mainly staying focused. I can sit with my laptop all day and at the end of the day I am asking myself ‘How come I got nothing done and where did the time go?’ I have two places I work from, the living room and a home office. I seem to get more done if I go to the office.

I would love if there was some generic daily action plan/schedule out there which I could amend to suit my needs. What type of daily action plans do others use?
Thomas Crotty´s last blog post ..Video Autoresponder review

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Mike April 15, 2011 at 5:19 am

Thanks Katie,

This is exactly what I’ve struggling with in my business and it’s hard to find a good work space with no distractions. I never thought of the library and it sounds like a great spot.
Mike´s last blog post ..Business Idea For A Home Based Business

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Jenn McGroary April 15, 2011 at 5:24 am

Katie, you are spot on. I love the ability to switch up my “office” environment. As a work from home business owner, we can sometimes get stuck into a routine that saps our creativity. Even getting out of the house and working around where other people are helps inspire us and makes us feel like we’re not so alone.

I just spent yesterday afternoon working outside on my deck for the first time this year. It was great! I soaked up some sunshine, lifted my spirits and it helped inspire 2 great ideas for my business. :-)
Jenn McGroary´s last blog post ..Chunk it up!

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Tony Hook April 15, 2011 at 5:29 am

You’re correct, Katie; it’s oh so easy to be distracted when you work on your own. In the world of MLM/Network Marketing, most people struggle to stay on track, and as most people are part-timers, the need to be productive is even more imperative with the limited time that the individual can allocate to their home business.

Here’s the system that I recommend:

Develop a Points system for Income Producing Activity (IPA). The points allocated to each IPA will vary with each opportunity, but draw up a list on the lines of:

Making a retail sale – 20 points

Sponsor new recruit – 50 points

New recruit’s 1st Order – 100 points

Go to a bizop meeting – 10 points

Take a prospect to a bizop meeting – 50 points

Place an advert – 50 points

Phone a prospect – 25 points

Etc.

As can be readily seen, there are no points for making yourself a cup of coffee, tidying up your pencil case, etc. Points are STRICTLY for IPA ONLY.

By setting oneself daily/weekly targets, it’s amazing how effectively you can hold yourself to account. When I implemented this, my productivity absolutely rocketed, and enabled me to create a downline of tens of thousands of people.

Try it – it works.

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Grace Mitchell April 15, 2011 at 5:55 am

Thanks for sharing your tips Katie,I started making changes as well which makes a big difference in my daily progress.

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Melody Granger April 15, 2011 at 6:11 am

Hey Katie!

I preach de-cluttering and creating a spacious, appealing environment that inspires you! Clean clear spaces not only feel ah-mazing, but really help cut down on distractability.

I LOVE switching things up. I’ve really noticed that I like to get comfy on the couch or my even my bed when I’m doing handwritten work or reading.

When I notice I’m not focusing as well, I head outdoors to breathe in some fresh air and just soak in nature. Dirt therapy give me lots of energy (sinking my hands into some dirty by pulling weeds from the flower bed or planting new flowers ;-) )

And don’t be surprised if I do a coaching call from my vehicle because my stereo speakers are awesome when I’m listening to my clients via my hands-free system in there. I feel like I’m in a surround sound environment. And I love my car, so I enjoy parking where I have a nice view while I work.
Melody Granger´s last blog post ..3 Different Approaches to Help You Get Rid of Books

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Angela April 15, 2011 at 6:16 am

Hey Katie! This is so true, I find some of my most productive days are when I take a day away from home and go work at a coffee shop or something. Great tips on creating your environment!
Angela´s last blog post ..Fasten Your Seat Belts- It is Time to Get in the Drivers Seat of Your Life

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John Arnold April 15, 2011 at 6:31 am

Hey Katie:
Thanks for the post. The most helpful makeover of my environment that I ever did was to commit one Lenten season to get rid of 40 bags of stuff in 40 days. Every day for 40 days I filled a grocery sack and either gave it way or tossed it in the trash. I learned that every thing I owned owned a little of me. Since that time I have watched many people try to do the same thing. One thing that I have noticed is that the key to succeed in this is too do one bag and only one bag a day as a discipline. Every person I know that has jumped ahead in a frenzy of enthusiasm at the beginning doing a half a dozen bags has never made it to 40. Likewise, as soon as you start skipping bags with the idea, “I’ll do 2 tomorrow”, that’s usually the beginning of the end for most people.

One I never saw coming was that the daily discipline transformed my relationship to stuff and my environment. The bar of what I found acceptable as clutter was moved radically. As well, I broke a lot of mental habits around a need to have things.

Can’t say enough to capture how radically this impact my work environment both externally and internally.

Peace and productivity to you from,
John Arnold
The Practical Disciple
John Arnold´s last blog post ..The Blessings and The Curse of Routine

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Kat Hudson April 15, 2011 at 6:43 am

Hi Katie, as a busy full time internet marketing mum to an 18 month old I find the distractions are HUGE! Strangely enough – how’s this for synchronicity – I just did a video on my experience with poor time management, running a business and a family.

What I do now – is schedule!! PLAN PLAN PLAN and work with a timer. Set the timer for 60 mins and work straight through in a block then take a break; it’s helped me to become a better business owner and most importantly a better mum!

xx Kat
Kat Hudson´s last blog post ..Women Entrepreneurs Be EXCELLENT AT ANYTHING

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Joana Goldman April 15, 2011 at 6:46 am

Hi Katie,

great post. indeed the environment is important in order to be able to focus on the work you have to do. i like to work in places where the atmosphere is relax, so yes the living room is my preferred place.

also what works for me is to really schedule my day, hour by hour, so i am sure i follow everything from my to do list. this might be a bit too much for some people, but it works for me.

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Lorie Letschert April 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

Great post Katie.

It is indeed important to feel good and inspired in the place where you do your work from. So choosing the right place influences your performance.
Lorie Letschert´s last blog post ..The Only 2 Reasons Why People Will Join You In Your Network Marketing Business

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Gabriel April 15, 2011 at 7:08 am

Hi Katie,

It’s interesting how I wrote about keeping focus while list building, then you write this! I like your style and this post is definitely helpful.

Thanks for the post!
Gabriel Johansson
Gabriel´s last blog post ..How To Keep Focus While List Building

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Jeff H. April 15, 2011 at 7:16 am

Always looking for a way to make more time from my time.

I am big on not becoming a hermit when it comes to being around family. Since some of our time as Online Marketers is spent writing content and creating things, I have found that by actually writing my stuff in a journal when i’m out and about saves me time when I sit down to actually post content cause I already have it written.

I do an early morning ‘SHIFT’ which is my most productive time, so I stick to that scheduling like clockwork.
Making sure you have the support of the people around you will definitely help to create the time you need. Just don’t hang those loved ones around you out to dry.
I guess that is another post topic entirely. But I see them fitting in together.
Jeff H.´s last blog post ..Don’t Take ‘NO’ Personally

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Michael Brinkman April 15, 2011 at 7:22 am

Hey Katie,
I totally agree. Switching things up works well for me. Being that I’m in the tiniest apartment(not for long) right now, things get a little cluttered. So I enjoy doing some work outside as well. One of the many benefits of being an entrepreneur.
Thanks for the tips.

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Pam French April 15, 2011 at 7:24 am

Katie,
Thanks for the tips, you always seem to know the issues I’m dealing with and always have a helpful solution. We run an upholstery shop from our home so I’m juggling helping my husband with his business while I’m trying to move forward with mine. I am so grateful to have you as one of my mentors (weird because I’m twice your age) you’ve been one of my greatest teachers ever since I did your Blog Mastery course.
Keep up the good work! You’re awesome!

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Juan Felix April 15, 2011 at 7:26 am

Great video Katie. For me not opening my inbox and no more than 3 things to do per day works very well to be productive. Or listening to a Mark Hoverson video ~ Cheers, Juan.

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Dario April 15, 2011 at 7:34 am

Yes, your external enviroment is a reflextion of what’s inside. If you have clutter outsite, it’s a sure sign your performance will be – not so great.

Thanks for the inspiration!

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Willie Robertson April 15, 2011 at 7:44 am

Hello Katie,

Being self employed homepreneur’s has it’s benfeits but, I find that you have to really be disciplined. Because, unlike working on a job, where you have someone looking over your shoulder to make sure you are doing your job, not so working for yourself from home.

As you say, you can easily get distracted.

I never thought of going to the library to work, but it would make sense to get out of the house and change scenery once and a while, otherwise you’d probably go stir crazy.

We say being couped up in a cubicle at work makes us stir crazy, that home office, after a while, can become a prison too, if you don’t get out.

BTW Katie, can you and/or your readers recommend a decent Dell laptop computer and what are the best software programs to include for IM?

I am still using my 5 year old desk top. I have upgraded the memory and backed up files to external HD.

She’s still rolling along, but I’ve had some scares in the past. Had to defib her a few times, ha, ha…

Time to move it on up, so’s I can get out to the library and park, to get my inspriation on…

Cheers,

Willie Roberston
Willie Robertson´s last blog post ..It Ain’t All Fun And Games Pt 1

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Mitch Meyerson April 15, 2011 at 7:49 am

Great tip! I need to do this more myself.

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Fathi Ridwan Basalamah April 15, 2011 at 7:53 am

Well, no matter what happened just keep to refreshing ourselves and always looks marvelous, fresh and happy no matter what happened…You always do Katie..:-)

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Michael Ferracho April 15, 2011 at 7:57 am

True thing Katie, My best moments are really when there’s no one but myself at home. It gets clustered when there’s to much traffic around you especially when the traffic has nothing to do with what your doing. In a manner of speaking this is what I’m faced with almost every day…However I’m conscious of it and I am making some ajustments… Thanks much Katie! As Always you ROCK!

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esteemedgirls.com April 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

I agree Kate. I have three kids in a tiny two bed-roomed apartment. I am homeschooling, so my table has been conquered by a six year old. I have my two year with us in the bedroom. To say it is crowded is an understatement. However, the public library has been my sacred place. I get time just once a week to go there and work and clear up the backlog. Right now I am working on the edge of one seat that we have in the house, the corner is my prayer and working place and for now I am thankful( I have written a book from here and I blog doing IM from here) even though I dream of a big spacious office one day.
Thanks and all the best to you all.
esteemedgirls.com´s last blog post ..Pushing an Elephant-building self confidence among women in an African Village

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Bob Bello April 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

Thanks, Katie. Breaking a routine is so helpful! For my 50th birthday I received a “blast from the past” – an old Motion Tablet PC that actually never crashes and does the job just as good as a brand new computer dinosaur. I realized that in the same way our lives are overloaded with “software” that we don’t need, which crashes our “operating systems” for no visible reason. Anyway, thanks for the tip and come see my digital-art rediscovery at http://scifialmanac.ning.com/photo/le1600-1 – it’s amazing to find out how many good ideas we’ve left behind, hurrying in the race of digital revolution. It’s time to stop for a moment and look behind, rediscovering the past ;-)
Bob Bello´s last blog post ..The Suit

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Laticia April 15, 2011 at 8:37 am

Katie,

True indeed. Sometimes working at home can be challenging. I like to de-clutter my space and work in a clean environment to allow my mind to be focused and clear.
Laticia´s last blog post ..A New Science In Network Marketing

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Tancie Trail April 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

Eliminating distractions : being a ninja at it. That’s my commitment today and always! Thanks for the advice and inspiration Katie… xxx
Tancie Trail´s last blog post ..Are You In Deep

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Cathy April 15, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hi Katie, love the tips! I do like to mix things up, but that is not always possible in my crazy house. I have found that sometimes its a matter of simply saying no, and not necessarily directly.
I have found that a couple of afternoons a week when my daughter is in preschool and my husband is at work, my household is quiet for 2 1/2 hours. I grab a snack and a drink, so I dont have to keep jumping up, I make sure the dog is taken outside for his bathroom break, I make sure to visit the ‘water closet’ myself, and then I have just over two hours to work on my business. I say no to answering the door, the phone (unless it is my husband or the school calling, or if it is actually a business call that I need to make uninterupted) for that period of time, and concentrate on what needs to be done.

This works better for me than continually saying ‘yes’ immediately to every knock, phone call, text, and disturbance that comes along.
Cathy

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Nathalie Lussier April 15, 2011 at 9:02 am

Oooh yes! This is something I try to be aware of in my home office. I feel best when I’m not in a cluttered environment. Sometimes I sit by the lake to do some writing, or some brainstorming. I find being by the water helps with that a lot.

I also remember when I really had to study, the library was my goto place. I’m thinking I might give that a try again sometime soon.

Thanks for the inspiration! :)
Nathalie Lussier´s last blog post ..I’m hiring!

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Don Osborne April 15, 2011 at 9:06 am

Getting clear is clearly a personal choice – although a place or what’s happening in the environment i’m in does help me get clearly inspired – it’s sometimes the idea i’m working on that creates my focus and energy.

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Leesa April 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

Excellent post Katie. A good reminder that I should be doing some work at the beautiful cafe right around the corner from me… and the library, what a great idea. Thanks so much!

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Jimmie Burroughs April 15, 2011 at 9:40 am

I really think you ought to be a movie star!

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Tim April 15, 2011 at 11:23 am
Amy Hagerup April 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

This was great. The comments were also awesome to read thru – great ideas going on here. Thanks everybody. Katie, I found that I was so productive in a hotel room when I was at a convention – no distractions, etc. I need to plan to go out the library like you do – somewhere that is also beautiful. I also really like having a nice and uncluttered desk environment. thanks again, Amy
Amy Hagerup´s last blog post ..Two Critical Steps to Help Discover the Cause of Your Health Problems

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Tim April 15, 2011 at 11:28 am

Hi Katie,

Great tips and insight,

I’ve found that I need a mix of 4 different environments. The first two are best for me when under deadlines and I need quiet, the other two allow for more social/fun interaction with people and nature.

1)Work @ Home

2)Work @ local library

3)Work @ local coffee shop

4)Work @ and around nature as spring is here!
This has been much easier to do with the invention of smartphones & I am also loving using a Motorola Xoom tablet!
The combination of the two has pretty much replaced my need
for a laptop and with the 3G/4G data card your not limited
to wifi hotspots and it’s a much more portable setup!

Cheers,

Off to the Beach!

Tim
San Francisco Bay Area CA
Tim´s last blog post ..How three local ladies used the web to promote their new health book

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Damayanthi April 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

Hi Katie,

I got to agree with you 100%. I do have all the distractions you mentioned above & it is funny that you mentioned going to the library. I did that about a year ago & found that I was very productive. Then I stopped that for some reason (cannot remember what, but I’m sure it is not a very valid one, otherwise I’d remember)

Anyway, Yesterday I was talking to my husband & told him that I’ll be starting to got to the library to work.

Here you are backing me up … Not sure what it is! Law of Attraction … Possibly…

Anyway, from every post you do, I get inspired, educated & motivated… for that I am so grateful

Damayanthi
Damayanthi´s last blog post ..What Is a 90day Plan

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Jessica April 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Hi Katie,

I notice the same when I am working at home. I prefer to go to the university library to focus and have less distractions to do what I need to do to reach my goals for the day.

Thanks for sharing.
Jessica´s last blog post ..Get Your Body By Vi Facebook Badge!

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Hameed Hemmat April 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for the tip Katie. For me personally I like to go to my neighborhood Starbucks. The energy in that Starbucks helps me get more focused on my work for some reason. I think it’s the fung shui. great stuff and thanks again!

All the best,
Hameed Hemmat
Hameed Hemmat´s last blog post ..Less More! Living The Choice Minimal Lifestyle!

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Karie Hill April 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm

LOVED the video. I recently had the conversation that I need to set boundaries around my work hours. Being a business owner, friends and family just assume I’m always available and this is something I need to stop. I have an adorable home office that I love. Now I just need to set boundaries.
Karie Hill´s last blog post ..blogs

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Christopher April 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm

this post is simply FANTASTIC!!!! Thank you soooooo much for SHARING!!

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Buddy Hodges April 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm

As a professional in the field of Personality and Social Psychology, I can testify to the fact that our personality is highly influenced by our environment. The SAME person will perform very differently in different environments.

The aesthetic qualities of the environment influence the mood and the mindset of the person. Clutter (my enemy number one) tends to clutter our mind. Peaceful scenery and uplifting music, etc., will put us in the mood for serenity. I work out at Gold’s Gym and sold my home exercise equipment, because of what we psychologists call “social facilitation.” We will work out harder and more consistently in the presence of peer pressure.
Buddy Hodges´s last blog post ..The Practical Value of Social Media Relationhsips

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Justin | Mazzastick April 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I was thinking that I would go to the local bookstore and work from there. I don’t get distracted when I work at home but I do get bored sometimes.
Justin | Mazzastick´s last blog post ..Follow Your Joy

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John Comp April 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Hey Katie!!!!! Great Topic!!!!!!
I also had Great Experiences Both in nature and occasionally @ the library. I Prefer to be Outside with nature in the Sun thats when EVERYTHING Just FLOWS for me. Hope all is Fantastic with you and your tribe, as I know it most definitely IS. Have a Great month, I’m off to VEGAS!!!!!!!!!

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James Z April 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm

That is such a great idea to unplug from distractions when you need to do high level concentrating. A well known marketer says he is most productive when he leaves his phone and computer at the office and goes to his local coffee shop to think and strategize
James Z´s last blog post ..What The Heck Is A QR Code

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Caryn Elizabeth April 16, 2011 at 12:13 am

I agree with you Katie. My home is mostly quiet but I switch from my bedroom, my bed, to my desk, to my parlor, to my kitchen, to my comfy couch, to the outdoors as soon as spring hits! Nature is my inspiration for getting in tuned with my spirit.

There is a term used by christians called “your prayer closet”..I realized that this could be your car, with the doors and windows closed, or any place you have complete privacy. However, it also suggests a place where you can become laser focused so your energy is present.

I think there is a difference between being focused and being inspired. Nature inspires me. However, when I want to focus, anything around me takes my mind from getting it done. The perfect combination would be a natural setting with limited distractions.

In the mean time, I do like you do Katie. I just switch it up at home. I love the idea of your library.. Enjoy your day. xo

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Deanna Hibbs April 16, 2011 at 12:20 am

great point Katie ,I find that getting away form the computer to somewhere outside ,quiet and tranquil really energizes my creativity to write ,you’ve got to mix it up!
Deanna Hibbs´s last blog post ..Looking For Success In Network Marketing

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Tanisha April 16, 2011 at 5:01 am

This is why we have to have our blinders on when needing to accomplish goals. The library is a great place Katie. Thx for the tips
Tanisha´s last blog post ..Tanisha’s Economic 101 Lesson

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Dimple Arora April 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

Hey Katie! Great tip! I never considered switching it up! I seem to get comfortable and envision myself being super productive in my regular space of work. As long as I set my intention for the day and I’m clear on my scheduled tasks, I’m good! Oh, and as long as I am disciplined enough to stay off the phone :)

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