A few weeks ago, one of my favourite places to work outside of the house, a local library branch, closed for renovations. It’s been frustrating to find a new place while projects multiplied, deadlines loomed, and weather was volatile. Change is rarely easy, and this minor disruption attempted to cascade and cause massive disruption to my work.
Why? Even though it was a small change it meant I had to modify my routine. I went there to work because of certain characteristics that I don’t find in other locations. On the surface, it might seem my new spot (a local Starbucks) is an upgrade. I’ll grant that it’s different and there are positives with it that I’m trying to focus on.
It’s taken me several weeks to get used to it and comfortable with remembering that particular library branch isn’t available right now. Here are three tips I’ve used to try to minimize the effects of that small change.
Keep the schedule
In order to arrive at this Starbucks when I want to, I need to leave the house at a slightly different time. It’s an additional change, but a minor one in order to maintain the overall schedule rhythm I’m accustomed to.
Consistent routine tasks
In addition to changing my location, not all of my routine task habits can be maintained, but I’ve tried to keep them in spirit. At the library, I would spend a few minutes browsing new books on my way to a table. Now I search the library app for new ebooks when I sit down with my coffee. It’s not the exact same, but it helps me not be overwhelmed by the changes.
Allow time & reflect on positives
It’s been several weeks and I still feel slightly out of sorts. I know that it takes time to form a new habit. During each visit, I spend a few moments reflecting on the positives: I’m not driving as far so I use less gas, my coffee is hot, and the baristas now recognize me and greet me when I come in.
I hope these three quick tips help you navigate changes both small and large in your work.