3 ways to improve your workflow now

Clara Zoellner
3 min readMay 16, 2022

Simple ideas to minimize noise and focus on your work or to-do list

Photo by Dillon Winspear on Unsplash

How crochet taught me more isn’t always better

Whilst living in long-term tenancies, surrounded by all my lovely things I had this huge box of wool. My guilty pleasure was frequently adding more yarn to it, despite knowing I probably have enough for the coming decade. Looking at different colours, textures, and materials simply inspired me, and helped visualise a variety of projects. Ironically it also stressed me out as many projects stayed unfinished, because once I hit a roadblock I’d just grab a new colour and started a new piece.

Now as a digital nomad, things have shifted

Starting my journey, I didn’t want to give up crocheting, as it fills me with so much joy, serenity and creativity. But at the same time I simply don’t have the space for a large array of wool in my light luggage. So I decided to stick with 2 colours, white & rosé. After starting my first project I quickly realised, I can’t do my usual game of abandoned pieces — because there was no other wool!

Five projects later…

and fighting once again the urge to start over, I thought about how minimizing my resources has actually pushed me into committing and completing my pieces. It’s a beautiful lesson about minimalism and the belief system at its core: reduce the noise and become the best version of yourself. This led me into considering my work and home life. How can I minimize the access to abundant resources or noise to focus on the task at hand?

Working digitally, reducing noise is more difficult than buying less wool. But here are some ideas to play around with:

  1. Switch off the Internet for tasks such as graphic design, copy writing or even batch-answering e-mails. Key is to do research you might need for your work before, and with that you avoid getting side-tracked during the more intense work process.
  2. Write your to-do list on flashcards (or small pieces of paper), one task per page. Start working; you’re only allowed to put the top card aside once it’s completed. The point is you can’t jump to other tasks because you can’t see them. It also keeps you focused on the most important tasks, rather than checking off all the little ones off first.
  3. Combine big tasks with rewards. Sprinkle your to do list with little rewards in-between tasks. You’re only allowed to have them once you completed your work — similar to the crochet, where you can only start a new exciting project once you’ve overcome the current challenge. Little rewards could be: coffee, walks, stretching, snacks, phone call with a friend, crochet breaks… Whatever little joys you love and are easily accessible.

Obviously it is not as simple and straight forward as the crochet dilemma of only 2 wool balls, but overall I think it’s inspiring me to be disciplined and make myself proud. Being a remote worker generally requires more accountability but the same always goes for your personal tasks and goals.

Hopefully this motivates you to take a different approach to work if you’re struggling to get certain tasks done after encountering a hurdle!

What other ideas can you think of that encourage minimizing resources or noise in regards to your work? Feel free to share them!



Clara Zoellner

3rd culture kid currently exploring the wonders of the UK