sly : marketing

Work Where You Belong

I turn around. I thought I heard a sound behind me. There’s no one there. It reminds me that it’s probably just the echoes from the past. I’m walking, close to an elementary school, and I’m all alone. I have no idea what time it is. It seems that most people are sleeping. I can’t see a single light on in any of the houses that I’m walking past. I keep walking until I get behind the fence of the elementary school. I’m at the playground, watching the door, watching the three windows, and the fountain outside.

I can see myself as a kid. And, I’m thinking about what life used to be like, thirty years ago. I was walking the same steps as I am doing right now. My feet were so much smaller. My mind so different. But I’m still the same. I just didn’t know it back then. I’m looking through the window, and I see the chair I used to call mine. It’s in the left corner, behind the chair of a friend. I realize that I can’t remember his name. It’s thirty years ago, but I should be able to remember his name.

The reason I’m walking, and the reason I’m back at my old elementary school, is that I’ve been thinking about how great minds think, and how to create my best work possible, and how important it is to get high quality work done.

It used to be so hard.

I used to be locked inside a room all day, and asked to create and produce something brilliant. I felt like I was forced, and that people kept staring at me. They wouldn’t stop staring until I surrendered, or until I was saved by the bell.

Now, that I have started my own business, I keep testing ways to be more creative, and ways to be more productive, and walking to my old elementary school, is part research for a new novel, and part adding pieces of the past to the present and to the future.

I have always believed that work shouldn’t be forced, and not limited to time or place. In most cases, it’s not the hours that are important, but the results of what you’ve done. It wasn’t like that at the University, but it will be like that in my new business. My clients won’t care if I’m working late at night at the playground at an elementary school, wearing nothing but my pajamas or at my office, wearing a suit. Because, they’ll never know. I’m only going to reveal the results, and I’ll be sure that the results will put a smile on their faces.

Some of my best work has been created in a couch, while I have been watching TV, and using my MacBook Pro on an iLap. Some of my best work has been created while I’ve been walking for hours in a forest somewhere far away, while I have been listening to the sounds of nature, or a podcast.

While watching the chair that I used to call mine, I’m thinking about the future, and if there ever will be such a thing as the perfect work environment, or if I’ll just work wherever I feel like working, and whenever I feel like working?

I’m working at home, in a closet, I keep calling my office. I’m listening to music in headphones to keep my family from waking up, and to keep me from listening to their heavy breathing. This works great, but only for so long. I need to get outside, where motivation and inspiration always finds me. I’m using my iPhone and Evernote when it does, and I process everything when it’s time.



45 responses to “Work Where You Belong”

  1. Hajra says:

    Seems like you are enjoying working from home, eh?

    But isn’t working in pajamas so much fun? I recently left my day job to focus on my freelance work but I feel I need to get out. Seek inspiration and find motivation to just keep going!

    • Hi Hajra,

      I’m really enjoying working from home. I get to do what I love, where I love to do it. My problem is that I should get dressed as I was going to the office, and not as if I’m just woke up from bed πŸ™‚

      But, I keep walking and finind inspiration in the strangest places.

  2. No wonder you love walking Jens!

    I could see you wandering off to your good old days when you were in elementary school- and your thoughts trailing down must have brought back good old memories πŸ™‚

    I guess after sometime that we have been home, we do get used to a certain lifestyle we follow, the clothes we wear, the place we sit or the way we sit and work, or simply stated- we find our own comfort level to work things out. Anything other or outside than that does make us uncomfortable πŸ™‚

    Am sure you will do well working from home, though yes, keep looking out for inspiration and motivation just as you do from your walks or posts, and the people you connect with πŸ™‚

    • Hi Harleena,

      I really enjoy to visit places from my childhood. It’s so many things I have forgotten, that comes back when I’m there. Just looking at the elementary school brings back so many memories.

    • Triastan says:

      I agree, in a way. Walking can be a great way to clear the mind and help spur creative and deductive thought!

      I tend to listen to audio books while walking but often have to pause them to note down a thought or two πŸ™‚

  3. Barry Wells says:

    Hi Jens,

    I can see why you wanted to write a novel, you’ve got such a way of telling us the story that it grabs the attention and draws us in, it does me anyway mate πŸ™‚

    I’ve got loads of sayings that I use to keep me focused and sum things up. One of them is “it’s the results that matters, how you get there doesn’t matter”. That’s the beauty of working for yourself and using the technology that’s available to us. We can work where we want and the hours that suit…… as long as we get to where we want to be.

    Like you say our clients don’t care as long as they get the result they ask for.

    Best of luck with everything Jens,

    Barry

    • Hey Barry,

      That’s what I’ve been thinking about too. It’s the results that matters for our clients. It’s a little scary since I’m not used to being all alone. I used to work at a University with a lot of people, now that I’m all alone, I have to hustle more than ever to create some awesome results.

      Thanks a lot Barry.

  4. Jack says:

    Finding the right place to work makes a huge difference. I know what you mean about that because I notice the distinction in my work when I am outside versus indoors.

    • Hey Jack,

      I actually do a lot of work on my iPhone. I add tasks, projects, and a lot of notes, and I reply to emails. I do everything while I’m walking. I guess I’ll be talking to clients as well. And that’s the thing. I have realized that there are so many things I can do while I’m outside, and that makes a huge difference.

  5. Becca says:

    Another great article from you Jens! It only shows that you are good working at home and you
    easily find time to write.

  6. Ralph says:

    Jens,
    I come to this site via @thejackb among others. Great post, man. I love the prose style. Nice feel.
    I am reading Daniel Pink’s book Drive right now which is centered around the idea of autonomy among other topics. What’s cool about it is that Daniel’s hypotheses lead me to think about purpose over produce. He demonstrates that purpose and autonomy drive creativity and higher levels of happiness and therefore productivity.

    Thanks for the insightful post. Cheers.

    • Hey Ralph,

      Thanks a lot for stopping by. Jack is awesome, and I understand why you’re reading his blog, his one of the best writers on the web, that’s for sure. I need to take a closer look at Daniel Pink’s book, sounds interesting, and I can relate to the importance of purpose and autonomy.

  7. Mark says:

    I always wanted to be like you, a person who can do the best job and it is something he likes.

  8. Adrienne says:

    I love these posts Jens when you share more of you in them.

    I just purchased a laptop, my first one, last Sunday. Now I’m fighting with the WiFi connection, had to take the router back twice because I kept getting faulty ones. What a waste. I want to sit out by the pool and get some inspiration, I’m tired of sitting at my desk all day long. I think it will be fun to get out of the house and actually work too.

    I take walks every afternoon so some of my inspiration comes while on those as well. I know how invigorating they can be but trust me, your scenery has mine beat three times over.

    Hope you’re happy working at home now Jens and am looking forward to hearing your success stories now!

    Enjoy your weekend.

    • Hi Adrienne,

      I’m going to write a lot more posts from now on. I feel that I finally have more energy and more time to do what I love to do.

      I carry my laptop with me everywhere, and sometimes I use my phone or my iPad. I’m thinking about buying an iMac for the office, but I’m not sure. I like to work at different places πŸ™‚

      I hope you’ve sorted out the WiFi problem and that you’re enjoying your weekend.

  9. Bill Dorman says:

    The night stalker, huh? You know you can arrested for stuff like that; but should make a good post……….

    Sometimes it’s a good idea to shake it up when you are looking for inspiration; whether it’s your job or your book. Hopefully you aren’t outside the school in your PJ’s though…..mighty suspicious.

    Hope all is well and your journey is still in the direction you want to go. Just keep looking ahead……

    • In Norway it’s quite normal to walk around in our PJ’s at elementary schools, that’s the beauty of living here πŸ™‚

      I hope you’re having an awesome week Bill. By the way, I’m about to eat a delicious pizza.

  10. Asma Khan says:

    Thanks for sharing free Download link of Marketing Made Simple.

  11. Beth says:

    I totally like your post. When I started working online, I thought its the length of time that matters. But I proved it so wrong because even I spend too much time in front of my computer doing something in a wrong way, I wouldn’t get any positive result from it. Honestly, there are times that I no longer enjoy to sit in the front of my computer just to work. Simply because I find myself at lost so I always find time to at least unplug myself to any responsibilities, pressures that I can clearly feel inside me.

    • Hi Beth,

      That’s the same with me. I kept staring at the computer screen all day long, and even though I kept working day and night, I didn’t create enough high quality content. Now, I spend a lot of time taking notes, and work on the notes and ideas when I get home.

      • Beth says:

        Yeah! I can totally relate on your situation. Actually, there are times too that I ended up just organizing my thoughts without starting to work on them. I guess it is important for us to remember that we need to take one step at a time towards success.

  12. Thanks a lot for the feedback πŸ™‚

  13. Warren says:

    First off thanks for the eBook Jens, I’m just waiting for it to travel the 4000+ miles of distance and land in my inbox! πŸ™‚

    This story brought me right back to my own School days! Man 30 years sounds like such an eternity when you’re young and then one day your looking back that many!

    I’m still looking for my creativity. It comes and goes as it see’s fit. Some days content comes out effortlessly, others it takes work and stubbornness on my part!

    • Hey Warren,

      I hope you enjoyed the eBook, and at least that you’ve received it πŸ™‚

      I’m always testing new ways to find creativity, and to me, walking is usually the best way.

  14. Eleanor P. Richardson says:

    Hi Jens,

    I love working in my home! There are lots of advantage! But sometimes the place is suffocating and we need to go out and smell a fresh air! Great post! I think you can write a novel you have a talent indeed!

  15. Ruth Zive says:

    Jens, I can’t wait for summer to break here in Canada so that I can start ‘working’ in the backyard by my pool! That is arguably the greatest perk of having your own business as a freelance copywriter. As long as I can take my trusty laptop with me, my office is pretty much anywhere I choose. In the waiting room of my yoga studio, at the nearest Starbucks, in the carpool line-up at my daughter’s school or snuggled up in my bed on a Sunday afternoon.

    Granted, some ‘offices’ are more productive than others, but being able to mix it up is a super treat!

    • Hi Ruth,

      You have a pool? Wow. That’s something I’ve been dreaming about. I can’t wait for the spring/summer and carry my laptop to new places. I haven’t been working at coffee shops at all, but I’ve been a lot outside, working from a bench in a park or at the porch. That’s awesome πŸ™‚

  16. Nicholle Olores says:

    Oh-oh, sounds funny Jens that you look yourself as a kid but well, that’s what makes you nice. One of the best things that we can when it comes to work is working at home because you can do anything you want in your workplace. You can sleep while working, you eat whatever you want. That’s it, it is really nice working where you belong.

    • Hi Nicholle,

      I’ve been thinking that working from home will be a struggle, in order to get things done, and not start to do other stuff… like do the dishes, and start cleaning the house etc.. but, on the other hand, I’m thinking that I’ll get a lot more done, since I have the freedom to do my job when ever I feel like it πŸ™‚

      • Nicholle Olores says:

        Hahaha sounds like me Jens, I use to do household work when I feel it but when I don’t feel it I don’t want to do it anymore. πŸ™‚

        • It’s important to stay focused when we work, and that’s why I keep walking instead of staying at home. I always look at the things that I need to get done when I’m home πŸ™‚

  17. logo items says:

    Hi Jen,

    I think this is such a good thing that you brought this up. I guess the very workplace anyone is going to be confident in staying is their every own casa/home. Well, it goes different with people though. Some prefer to work in an office and some in the field.

  18. Thanks a lot for the feedback. I prefer to work in an office and the field πŸ™‚

  19. James Martin says:

    I think work place doesn’t really matter for as long as you have the passion to take responsibility of any work you have that lead to more quantity as well as quality products that will be delivered on time. Have focus to every task you have and you’ll soon realize that work place isn’t that important.

  20. Sonia says:

    Show off! LOL! I loved this. Normally I sit on my couch with my family as my man starts jabbering until I give him a look of death. He still keeps chopping at the mouth, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being anywhere he is and I couldn’t imagine working without him. Other times, I work when they are sleeping and no one is talking and I find that my concentration is even higher and I feel complete relaxation.

    Now, I am envious that you get to work anywhere, but like you said, no matter where you are, the work must be done and done well. Great post Jens!

    • Hi Sonia,

      I stay on the couch as well. I do that, and I keep walking to new spots. And sometimes I just stay in my office and get things done. It all depends on where I want to be and what I want to get done πŸ™‚

  21. Shine says:

    I usually do the tasks that needed more focus when my kids are already in bed. When focused, I can accomplish mo in shorter time.

  22. Thanks a lot for your feedback, much appreciated πŸ™‚

  23. Daniel D. Lombardi says:

    Hi Jens,
    Working at home is so much easier for the creative side of a person because I think you feel more relaxed and at ease when you’re at home rather than in an office. I believe when working with creativity, one needs to be in an relaxed and comfortable environment rather than being forced.

    Make it a great day,
    Daniel

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