Aside from practicing medicine and trying to start a healthy living consulting business, I also sit on my medical school alumni board, volunteer with my sorority, organize extended family trips, oh, and create content for my blog. Those are just a few assignments I can think of off the top as I write. I am notorious for a running to-do list of at least 15 tasks a day. I always thought I would have made a great secretary/assistant, but alas, I am a boss lady. For some reason, I need to have a lot to do in order to feel at peace. And strangely enough I will create busy work for myself if I have finished all my tasks. That's the overachiever in me. I've been finishing my work early since kindergarten. Except back then I could go play with the legos after completing my alphabet tracings before everyone, and now after work is done I just find more events to plan or businesses to start instead of taking a bubble bath.
So where does one go to return emails, work on projects and brainstorm ideas? Somewhere motivational, inspiring, aesthetically pleasing and...loud! That's right, when I'm outside of my home, I need to be surrounded by the loud bustling of espresso machines, the clanging of silverware on saucers and chatter. The noise turns into a thick backdrop to which I can immerse myself deep into creative thought. I think this preference started when I was in high school. I rode the NYC subway 35 minutes every day to school for four years. I boarded the A train early enough to get a seat in the corner of the car and I would masterfully pull out my textbook, looseleaf and pen and work on everything from essays on the Gilded Age to sine and cosine equations. The train would rock back and forth, passenger's would be packed in like sardines. On my route, there was guaranteed to be yelling at some point between Washington Heights and 34th street, but it was all background noise, blending in with the panhandlers' coin requests, screeching rails and boisterous announcements to step away from the closing doors. If you looked at me it may seem my gaze was fixated on someone's shoes or bag, but I was thinking and working. When the train was too quiet or near empty, I found myself distracted for 35 minutes reading signs, watching people getting on and off and diagnosing mental health disorders.
It is also important to mention that sitting on a NYC train during rush hour is where you will get your best style inspiration. Eyeing a smartly-dressed lady always gets my creative juices flowing. I've exchanged my all access peak into NY Fashion Week with the vibrant greenery of the south. There is something about lush palm trees and flowering plants that draws me in.
Years later, when I got to medical school, our institution had wonderful study rooms equipped with those fancy smartboard systems and sound-proof walls. Everything was intentionally designed for distraction-free studying. We even had two-way mirrors so your study buddies could find you, but you would not be disturbed by passersby. The problem for me was that every time I was in these quiet rooms, I would start to daydream and find something else to focus on instead of the Krebs Cycle. Then I would leave for a "study break" and find myself at Barnes and Noble where I would read several magazines for at least an hour. (Lucky was my favorite at the time. ) After decompressing with some visual stimulation, I would sit in the cafe section for several more hours and finish those microbiology chapters until the bookstore closed. (Of course this was with the help of Vault - who remembers that energy drink?!)
I quickly accepted the fact that I needed to leave home in order to work or study in noisy and busy spaces like coffee shops, bookstores, and restaurants. I don't live in New York City anymore and I may have lost my read-and-write-on-a-fast-moving-locomotive balance.
You are probably wondering why I can't work from a home office. Well, I make home very comfortable. It is yummy light, airy and warm haven that evokes peace and rest. When I have things on my agenda, I get up at 6am and quickly make my way out of my haven in order to get things done.
Till this day, you will catch me in the corner of a restaurant working on my bright ideas, returning calls, scheduling appointments and blogging.
Where do you get your best work done? Comment below!