How Space Switching is the Strategy that Will Help You Switch Tasks Faster
This is a way for busy entrepreneurs to use their space to get more done.
In the busy world of entrepreneurship, wearing the proverbial “many hats” may make you feel like you're all over the place. There are many roles we often find ourselves having to fulfill — business owner, marketing director, customer service, production manager, financial officer and perhaps even the janitor.
Amidst the madness, you have to switch spaces for the different roles and tasks you fulfill. Research shows that every time you switch tasks, there’s a considerable amount of time lost in winding down and winding back up as you transition from one task to another.
What if there was a practical way to speed up that transition? To immediately get into the zone of the next task at hand?
There is. It’s called space switching.
Space switching is having designated spaces for the various roles you play and tasks you need to accomplish as a busy entrepreneur. As you switch from one space to another, you’re giving yourself the advantage of getting immediately into the zone of what that space is designated for. It also fuels the stimulus you need to stay motivated and satisfies the urge to chase shiny objects.
To be clear, space switching doesn’t require a lot of space. A single space can be quickly altered to remind you to quickly switch roles and tasks. Here are some spaces for the tasks at hand that you might consider.
For creative thinking and content creation, a more relaxed posture is important. This is a space where you can sit comfortably and the atmosphere is inspiring. It may be a cozy corner or a lofty artistic space. Perhaps there’s an inspiring view or stimulating colors and scents.
Think of it this way. Where are you likely to enjoy a good book? Probably not sitting at a desk. That’s because the atmosphere doesn’t support the experience of reading a book. It’s the same with setting the stage for your most creative work. Choose a space that inspires you. Allow the atmosphere to ignite your creativity. What inspires you? A view? Colors? Scent? A way of sitting?
As the world went into lockdown and people were working remotely, many people were scrambling to set up a workspace that would make them feel professional, productive and suitable for video calls. Branded backdrops and spaces that reflected our personalities became an interest to many people. It’s in space you get down to business, whether you are working alone or with customers and clients. Make it efficient and have what you need at hand — this is where you should feel your most professional. It’s likely to be the area that in one way or another is responsible for your income. Treat it with that level of respect. Feel worthy of the rewards of your hard work that you deserve in this space.
Being a business owner comes with its share of tasks that we don’t want to do, but have to do. You may as well make tasks like paying bills, filing taxes and filling out forms less unpleasant by surrounding yourself with things that lighten the mood! Maybe burn a candle. Display photos of family or favorite vacation spots to remind you why you’re working so hard, or mementos that remind you to maintain an abundant mindset when it might feel like more is going out than coming in.
Different from your creative space, the intention in this space is to be highly productive while also working alone. In this space, you might answer emails, work on proposals or focus on business development. Being an area of important work to your business, you want this space to be efficient and productive, yet still control the atmosphere that fosters your best work. The intention in this space should be to focus. It’s likely to be where you’re going to spend a lot of time so make it pleasant. If it feels like a favorite place to be, the tasks you do there will become some of the most satisfying to do.
Shared Work Space
Interestingly, a shared workspace can be very highly productive. Think of your average coffee shop that has a buzz and noise level that is conducive to focus and creativity. A study in the Journal for Consumer Research found that people were most creative and focused at a noise level of 70 decibels which happens to be about the background noise level of a typical coffee shop and shared workspace. If you’ve ever worked in a coffee shop and wondered why you were more productive, that’s why! Being social creatures, it’s also invigorating to be in the company of others.
With all these options for various workspaces, imagine how productive you can be by switching spaces to get in the zone rather than constantly switching tasks! With just a little effort to set up separate spaces for different tasks, you can leverage the best of who you are, be more efficient, get more done, and move on to grow your business!
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor