I’m being forced out of my own home and it could be the best thing that’s ever happened.

No one’s pushing me out the door, however the attached house next door is being renovated and the walls are so thin I could easily chip in with my two-cent’s worth if I felt inclined (and if my Swiss-German was up to scratch). Scaffolding stretches around both houses like a giant hand, blocking the sun and providing an extended balcony for our cat.

When you work at home as I do (heck, I spend all my time here: as mummy/chief house person, music teacher and writer/researcher), the sound of drills and hammering and even the workers’ radio blaring bland pop music feels like an invasion of the worst kind. And I find it impossible to concentrate.

So it is that in order to get anything vaguely Phd related done I have decided to leave home…and go to the library in the centre of Zurich.

And let me tell you, dear reader, it was great. For the first time in ages, noise or no noise, I could really concentrate. I took just two academic papers with me to read, leaving behind the ever-growing pile that teeters on one side of my desk. At the library there were other people doing the same as me, all of us busy reading or writing. There was no washing machine waiting to be filled or emptied, no cat waiting to be fed and no dinner waiting to be cooked. Best of all, there was no internet lurking in the background, willing me to waste my time. There was even one of those machines dispensing hot chocolate in tiny plastic cups. Bliss!

So if you’re finding it difficult to concentrate on whatever it is you are trying to do, I suggest a change of scenery.

Give your work style a renovation, no scaffolding required.