As they describe in their TED Talk, Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work, the leaders at 37signals believe that for most employees, the office is a constant stream of interruptions and not a place where real work can get done. That’s why their employees have the option to work remotely, whether that’s at home, at a coffee shop, or wherever else they can concentrate and actually get great work done. They’ve even written a book about it and made this video featuring their employees working remotely.
High school students, do you know many working folks would love the option of turning off their phone and email for as long as they needed to, or to pick a local spot where it would be more interesting to work for a few hours? But you have that option.
Yes, most students have to physically be at school for a certain portion of your day. But you have the option to eliminate interruptions when you’re studying and doing your homework. You can turn off your cell phone and your email. You might even be
able to go to different locations, like the library or a coffee shop. If it’s a beautiful Saturday and you want to do your assigned reading in the park, do your assigned reading in the park.
Soak it in while you can because you might not have that option forever.
Consciously choosing a location where you can concentrate best is not only a more enjoyable way to work, but it also produces a lot
better results. As study skills author Cal Newport wrote in his book How to be a High School Superstar:
“My local library got me into Dartmouth…Once I was there, something about the silence and the idea that I was far form home and its distractions, in a place that served no purpose other than being a quiet spot to work, focused my attention. The effect was profound. When I would arrive at the library and say, ‘I am going to work for the next two hours, then go home,’ I could accomplish a sizeable amount of work. By contrast, if I spent two hours ‘working’ at home, ten feet from an internet connection and a flight of stairs away from a TV, my work amount plummeted…Your environment plays a huge role in how well and how long you do your schoolwork.”