Co-working sessions

Co-working sessions are intentional, timed working sessions executed either with one other person or a group of people.  They are easy to arrange and are one of the best ways to both increase motivation and focus and combat the confusion and loneliness that often accompany working alone. 

Co-working sessions can be done in person or online. Meeting online is especially beneficial now as social distancing prevents them from meeting face to face and if they are doing online course work that requires an ability to initiate work sessions independently.

You can set up your own co-working sessions in person or on Zoom, Skype or even FaceTime. You can also try www.focusmate.com which is a community of people from all over the world who co-work online together. You can get three free sessions per week and you are able to schedule around the clock.

Co-working is the kind of experience you don’t really understand until you try it. If you have a healthy skepticism about it or feel a little shy to work with someone in silence that you may not know, it’s ok to start by asking friends to join you. As you gain experience and start to feel more comfortable you can branch out to working with strangers. The quality of accountability is well worth the discomfort inherent in the learning curve. 

Co-working session’s duration can range between thirty minutes to three hours. Most of the co-working sessions I have participated in have lasted sixty minutes. You may want to consider a stretch or bathroom break every thirty minutes to prevent burn out. Some people find the two hour sessions most helpful when they have difficulty initiating tasks.

Co-working provides numerous benefits to those that utilize it, including:

  • increased energy and focus through verbalization of goals
  • relief of difficulties such as loneliness
  • sense of urgency and relevance to the work at hand thanks to the limited time of the session
  • reduced distraction by defining the work space and time
  • emotional accountability
  • strong sense of accomplishment
  • someone to celebrate the accomplishment with

Here is how to set up a co-working session:

  • Arrange with others to meet online to work together. Common ways to meet are Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.
  • The session starts with a quick greeting and a verbal share of what you hope to accomplish together in the agreed upon time. 
  • Then you work together in silence for the agreed upon time. 
  • At the end of your agreed upon time, you share with your coworkers how much you accomplished. 

Co-working sessions are easy to arrange and emotionally difficult for some to get started with, but if you push past your initial discomfort, you can benefit many rewards of increased motivation and higher levels of focused productivity.