Photo by Tyler Spinosa

I think most people would benefit from studying outside of their room at home. We all have preferences when it comes to studying and getting work done, but for most people, their rooms are too secure to be conducive to productivity. It becomes hard to concentrate because there are an infinite number of distractions all over the place.

Our personal spaces are distracting in a particular way. It’s different from simple exterior noises that make it hard to concentrate. Most people are so intimately connected with their living space that even when all the electronic devices have been shut off and everything is in order, the Xbox, television or the beer in the fridge starts to call out to us.

As artists, sometimes other projects can be the thing that pulls us away from what we need to do. Maybe the cosplay armor we were making for Comic-Con becomes more interesting than reading chapters one through 16 of our art history textbook. Procrastinating with other less pertinent work is a specific kind of deflection from responsibilities that justifies itself in a weird way at home.

I’m trying to write this article in my room right now and it’s more difficult than if I were to take my laptop down to a local coffee shop and do it there. I’m currently preoccupied with the fact that my bed isn’t made yet. It’s inherently distracting to be at home — I am way too comfortable — even if I’m not. If I’m uncomfortable about not having done my work yet, the aura in the room might still keep me from taking the next step and starting on what I need to do.

Working in my room makes me want to stop much sooner than if I were to have taken a trip somewhere. If I drag myself out to a public place to get something done I am much more likely to stick it out till the end of the task. At home I will take breaks sooner and more often.

The fact that I got myself out of my house and went somewhere means that I don’t want to waste my time even more. If I don’t do my work at home that is one type of failure, but if I take a trip to do some work and end up not doing it anyway there is a whole other layer of time-wasting shame on top of it.

Not everybody will necessarily appreciate the same locations to do work. Personally, I like to hangout in a public space, even if it is loud, like a crowded coffee shop. I’ve worked in retail for several years and people talking and overhead music usually fades into white noise that helps me zone in and concentrate.

For people who are very averse to noise and movement, the library or a quiet spot in the park might be more suitable for deep concentration.

Removing ourselves from our comfort zones is an important practice for life in general. Complacency is the death of progress. So, with that in mind, make it a point to go out and get some work done in a new and interesting location.

It can turn into a fun thing to look forward to, instead of something to dread and avoid.