Double Your Productivity by Changing Your Work Environment
What does it take to be productive? What does it take to set a series of goals, and then achieve those goals? Is it a function of discipline? Planning? To-do lists? Is productivity completely internal, a function of a strong mind and a will to work as hard as it takes?
Or is there another piece to the puzzle?
Most of us like to believe that we have complete control over our lives. We like to believe that if we set ourselves a goal, we can accomplish it come what may.
The truth is, we’re much less in control than we think. Our mind is constantly absorbing stimuli from our environment. Whether you like it or not, if your environment isn’t conducive to productive work, you’re going to have a hard time accomplishing your goals.
How Important Is Your Work Environment?
Each day begins with a ton of new options. There’s an alarm you have to respond to or snooze to get in a few more minutes of sleep. Once you wake, you look at your phone, and there are dozens of notifications reminding you of pending deadlines, payments and people who have commented on your social media profiles. Before you step into your office, you have already responded to dozens of environmental cues. These stimuli, either electronic or organic (such as the weather or the traffic) are constantly influencing our thoughts, triggering emotions and desires, often without our knowledge.
Let’s take a look at a few ways in which your work environment affects you.
You have a cluttered desk, which immediately makes you groan at the prospect of cleaning it all up and getting to work.
You’re browsing your favorite blog, and a chain of suggested videos and articles leads you down a rabbit hole that sucks away several hours of your day.
You’re groggy, and the sound of a co-worker’s incessant mouse clicking sets off a metronome in your head that makes it impossible to concentrate.
Despite your best intentions, it’s easy to get distracted if you don’t have your work environment under your control. The reason for this is that human beings are what can be called “cognitive misers”. We’re innately aware of the limited mental resources we have and therefore find ways to simplify our interactions with the outside world. Our decision-making capabilities are finite. After we’ve used up this capability, we find it extremely difficult to concentrate, focus and make productive decisions. We fall into predictable patterns and live out the same days over and over again.
When we get to work, we’re looking for the path of least resistance. In such a state, anything that requires you to put in extra effort (such as cleaning up your cluttered workplace) gets swept aside for easier, less strenuous options (such as clicking that Buzzfeed article).
How To Design Your Workplace For Maximum Productivity
Make sure your workplace is clean.
A clean, uncluttered workplace is a huge boost to productivity. When your pens, pencils, wires and other stuff are in their proper place and don’t need finding, your brain can focus on the task at hand.
Make sure your workplace is well-lit.
If you have a window that can let in some natural light, keep it open. Good lighting minimizes eye strain, blurry vision and headaches. If you don’t have natural light where you work, get some good light fixtures installed.
Personalize your workspace.
Make your workspace your own. Decorate it in a way that makes you happy when you return to it every day. Put up posters, quotes and props that represent you.
Designate an area for breaks and relaxation.
Sitting at your desk continuously can be strenuous on your eyes and your body. Every half an hour or so, get up from your desk and walk around. Take frequent breaks to relax your body and mind.
Having a work environment that is engineered to maximize productivity will be a great asset to you for achieving your goals. Another thing that eats up valuable time during your day is paperwork and repetitive tasks like client management, invoices and follow-ups. With this in mind, we’ve created Dubsado to automate the nitty-gritty of your business so you can focus on your goals. ;) See what I did there?
Don’t try to brute-force your way through a bad work environment. Work smart.
Happy Working Ya'll,