kelly clarkson

Does your day seem to just fly by? Do you ever find yourself doing 9000 things but not getting any of them done (all Swedish no Finnish) ?

Maybe its time to change it up a bit.

Mixing up your computer workstation

No matter if you are a windows, mac, or linux user its pretty easy to change up your computing environment.

While its cool to have 2 giant 30 inch monitors attached to my computer its also a massive distraction to have WordPress, Email, IRC, AIM, Skype, Facebook, and Twitter reloading every second telling me if there is updates. This will also drain your work time.

They say for every distraction it takes 22 minutes to get back to what you were working on… (I actually stopped writing to look that up and it took me over a hour to get back to this post cause I got distracted with email… ironic!)

Often times when I need to get something done I take a super bare bones laptop (we have a really old dell at the office) into the conference room, shut the door, and bust it out. Our staff knows when I am in there with the door shut not to bother me. This bare bones computer often times does not even have internet access. All I need is a text editor, photoshop, and/or a WYSIWYG HTML editor because 99% of the time I am writing a article, sketching out something, or building a concept landing page for one of our affiliate offers.

But you do not HAVE to have a separate computer to do this. Sometimes just mixing up your operating system getting you out of your normal element helps a ton. For instance install Linux on your mac/pc. Boot into that when you want to get out of your element.

Mixing up work locations

A lot of times I just need to change up my work environment to gain inspiration. In today’s awesome world we can take a $300 netbook to just about anywhere around town and have a pseudo office outside of our element.

My favorite pseudo offices with free wifi are Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, McDonalds, Chipolte, and… wait for it… Hooters!

Conferences Out Of Your Element

I used to love to go to all the SEO based conferences. For several years I never missed one. But then I branched out into performance marketing conferences… and now into Venture Capital conferences and events. With each one I started just a regular attendee but after 3-4 events you get to know people… or they get to know you rather. You get comfortable in your circle of friends and you rarely venture out of it. This is when I like to change it up a bit. I can’t tell you how many awesome connections and deals I have made getting outside of my conference element.

So whether its your computer, work environment, or social environment hopefully you are venturing out of your comfort zone and trying new things. If you are not please try it. Trust me!

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

45 thoughts on “Getting Out Of Your Element”
  1. It’s great to hear you give simple life advice like this, because it’s very true. We sometimes get so involved in our own little circles that we forget there is a world outside of them.

    I follow the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) to come back to the basics of where I started. It’s important to always remember this.

    Great post!


  2. Great Post. It’s easy to get locked into your little world and hang out with the same bunch all the time.

    Oh, BTW, I stopped what I was doing to read this post. I want my 22 minutes back. πŸ™‚

  3. Very good post. I am in that boat where I have three 26 inch monitors where I sit and do work but because of the screen real estate I have so many things open it is difficult to decide which firefox tab to start working on etc.

    I was actually going to try and get one of those Getting Things Done books or something similar to try and help with time management. If anyone knows a good one they can recommend feel free to let me know.


  4. Doesn’t going to hooters defeat the purpose, what with all the bandaongas – or, er, uhm, distractions – flying around there?

  5. Jeremy, with this article you took me again out of the work-flow, exactly as you say. So I thought I give you some extra minutes and leave a comment.
    I like your posts and inspiration, and what you mention above is something most of us probably know, if only it would be easier to change.
    The real-time updates from Twitter, Facebook, Google-Stats and so on are just too tempting.

    Promised – I will try harder from now on πŸ˜‰


  6. great post jeremy! its pretty simple to lose the overview of your workings while beeing unfocused!

    But to change your computer environment is a really great idea! if the distraction and the temptation is out of sight, it´s out of mind ; ) thx for giving the thinking in the right way (i hope so πŸ˜‰ )!


  7. I am so ADHD when I am online. I blog and work as a freelance editor for a living. When I am online, my thinking goes something like this: “ok, time to get down to some serious work” “oh wait! I need to pay this bill or that bill.. let me go over here to this site and do that right quick” “oh yeah, shoe has some interesting lines of discussion taking place on his blog, let me take a look right quick” “i wonder what is happening on facebook, I will just have a quick look” “I need to fix dinner real quick, then I will jump back in here” “oh! I forgot to feed the dog” Then, invariably … like a college student with a term paper due the next day; I have a project deadline and I am OCD about completing things on time so I wind up blocking everyone and everything else out while I stay up ALL night and complete it. LOL I keep saying I need to block out definite hours for work, but never quite seem to get there. I will yet!

    Also, it seems like when people find out I work from home and that my schedule is somewhat flexible… they all tend to want me to do this or that for them. I try to be super woman and accomplish it all as a single mom. The constant adrenalin rush this produces is not good for my health or anyone around me which is why I took a trip to the ER 2 months ago having heart attack symptoms that turned out to actually be an anxiety attack.

    So, really this is a serious issue to get a handle on one’s time and manage it well. Time is a limited commodity which we all possess and which needs to be used as wisely as possible.

  8. I glanced at my email 5 minutes ago with the intention of finding an old sent item when I saw the email that you’d posted something new, read it, and came to the site to comment. Hmm, pretty sure I’m now way off track on finding that sent email.

    I do agree with your points, Jeremy, and think it applies most often with social media, to be honest. People focusing on Twitter udpates, Facebook status changes, LinkedIn, DailyBooth, etc all day long, only to get to the end of the day and realize that they never actually accomplished anything.

    In the end, it’s all about discipline!

    1. I totally agree on the “discipline” part. The distractions we face today are just different types of distractions that would have kept us from being self-disciplined in the past. πŸ™‚

      1. Great party!!! distractions is distractions!!!

  9. You’re very right Jeremy. If I don’t plan my day, it makes plans for me. We all know how many hours we can spend retweeting those this-is-too-hot-not-to-retweet-tweets or going through a friend’s album on FB to have a good laugh..and then we wonder where the time went.
    The Internet is a constant; it never sleeps, tires and always churns out something attention-grabbing. I switch it all off and lock myself in the office or I’d never get anything done.

  10. Hear you on the 22 minutes stat. That is a killer. One part that helped for me was installing the Leechblock FF extension – lets me block the sites that suck the life out of my day.

    I also used rescuetime for a couple months to see exactly what % of my day I was doing certain things. For example, I was spending 25% of my time on the computer writing emails. Granted, I do a lot of client work still, but that was a major red flag that I was spending too much time answering seemingly urgent but unimportant questions. Those are great for feeling a sense of accomplishment, but bad for actually accomplishing anything.

  11. Just unplug the internet cable! If you need to source information first then research using different tabs on your browser; then pull out the cable/slide the wifi button off πŸ™‚

  12. Great post Shoe! Kinda reminds me of Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams where he makes the class stand up on the desk and look at the room from a different perspective.

    I’ve tried to do things like that often to spark creativity and break my mind of it’s ass groove.

    Definitely gonna try the netbook at hooters one lol

  13. If i had a boss I’d get fired 9000 times a day, shit I have not done any real work for weeks just staying busy with shoemone posts.
    Shoe you better start paying me soon or I’ll go broke with my ADD πŸ™‚

  14. good tip.. its really tough especially if you’re easily distracted by anything. my mannerisms alone kill my productivity. πŸ™‚

    the netbook thing is a good tip.. got to invest in that one..

    1. “my mannerisms alone kill my productivity.”

      I lol’d. You should be in some sitcom comedy sketch show if your mannerisms are that overt and ridiculous. You could be making thousands.

        1. How many times you change look of your blog … this time again.

          But this one is looking more professional.

  15. I always remember the “words” KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) to come back to the basics of where I started.

  16. Thanks for this post, Jeremy!
    Just what I needed right now. The problem with getting distracted and being too familiar in always the same spot here in my office is exactly what I’m struggling with at the moment.

    I love the idea with the netbook. Gotta get one and go somewhere else to write.


    P.S.: Apparently, everyone’s comments are bad? ^^ What’s with all the -1?

  17. So true. I am a creature of habit and have just recently “stepped out” to start exploring Internet marketing. Taking this step out of my comfort zone has renewed my interest in my real estate business.

    The tools and techniques I have been learning cross over very well.

    It’s very easy for me to be glued in front of several computers for 10-12 hours a day. Getting sidetracked, while time consuming, is a good way to expand our thinking.

  18. The best kind of internet lifestyle is cafe trotting, I used to spend every day at starbucks and travel the world, I have slowed down a bit now and work mostly from home, but working an an area that is comfortable to you enables you to perform at your highest peak!

  19. I totally agree with you Shoe, i personally feel that a good way to get away from all of the twittering/facebook/tweetdeck/myspace/ information and research time.

    If i have something important to do i just get it done with linux or use my desktop PC most of the time.

    A change of environment is always good. Rather then that Jeremy TWO THUMBS UP to you in regards to you , i see a great improvement in your writing skills and low grammatical errors.

    Great post by the way.


    Dino |

  20. Last week I switched from working during the day to working all night and sleeping all day.

    My productivity skyrocketed, largely due to a reduction in distractions from outside sources(email, phone calls, etc.).

    But there was some other benefit that was harder to quantify…I think it was merely a break in my pattern of behavior that this post alludes to.

  21. Shaking things up is a great way to kick a boring routine. Looks like I’m going to have to break out the sour patch kids instead of the usual gummy bears.

  22. Hi guys, i have a really important question about this really good landing page:

    1. is the first call to action to collect emails for further sales? the address form a lead conversion, but for what? I cant tell.
    3. when you click the “silver, gold, platin offer” you arrive at a new landing page for several surveys. But the form showing up after clicking is always the same for all links? Is it still converting a lead?
    4.not sure if i want to do it like this guy did. it seems really scammy since you actually dont get shit (burger king coupon)

    Just wondering if you guys could help me out here and if using these deceiving methods are usual?

    1. I agree too, I move my desk around frequently to get a change of view. It really does wonders for my productivity.

  23. Cool post; it sometimes seems obvious that you need to mix it up every now and then, but the reminders never hurt!

  24. I have the same problem. When I get off task, I find it so difficult to get back on task. When you work on a computer all day there are too many potential distractions. If I have a deadline that I need to meet, I do the same thing just eliminate all distractions and get the project done.

  25. Hello,
    Thank you so much for your precious articles!
    Hope reading more from your blog!

  26. I would prefer to have a walk on my terrace at night and working on my netbook under open sky covered by stars.

    Once in a week you should do this and your whole week will be refreshing one …

    Guys try it …

  27. I like to think of it as being confused at least once a day. If that happens, you’re money.

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