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Awake at the Wheel

By Jonathan Fields

How Surroundings Directly Affect Your Productivity: A Case Study

Written by Glen of LifeDev.

surroundings affect productivity

Given the state of my organization as of late, I can certainly say that there is something to be desired. It's not that I haven't been getting stuff done. I've just noticed that I have a lot more stuff in my brain, which causes stress. Long story short: lately it's been a lot harder to focus on what has to be done.

At first I attributed the extra cycles in my brain to the busy season. It seems like once Halloween's over, pandemonium ensues and there is plenty more to do than normal. However, now that it's officially the busiest part of the busy season (you still following that?), I have been less stressed.

Let me repeat that. Even though I'm much busier, I've been less stressed, with a clearer mind. The reason: Organization.

The Trip

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I took a trip to San Antonio with my family. When I returned though, I realized a few things about my work surroundings: namely, I've turned into a slob.

My work environment had become much more cluttered than I'm accustomed to. The extra piles of this and that around the office were starting to directly affect my work, causing me small but subtle hiccups in my productivity.

Now, you're probably thinking that I'm a moron and anyone with a pulse could see that. And you'd be correct. But, it wasn't that it happened over night. I had trained myself to grow accustomed to less-than ideal surroundings. Eventually I had learned how to turn a blind eye to things like bits of paper here and there, always present in my subconscious and subtly tugging at my productivity. Fortunately, a fresh perspective helped me change, and in a hurry.

The minute I walked into the office upon return from Texas, I quickly saw all the clutter around me with fresh eyes. Bits of leaves here, piles of mail there, all demanding my already limited attention.

Quick Changes

Fortunately, the process of change was quick. In about 30 minutes I got down to business and vacuumed the office, filed my papers and cleaned everything up. Directly after the purging, I could feel a huge change in my ability to focus on tasks. I was easily planning my day and knocking off projects without my brain constantly reminding me to attend to seemingly insignificant tasks.

If you're feeling a little laggy in the productivity department, try reassessing your work environment. Is it too cluttered? Are there physical reminders lying around that you need to attend to? Odds are these small things are making big hurdles in your ability to focus, concentrate, and ultimately get things done.

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FENG SHUI.

you know what also effects you is feng shui if you want your surroundings 2 effent u n a positive way u should check it out!

A ha!

I'm pretty good at keeping my office tidy since I share it. However, my apartment & car of late have become a haven for paper and junk madness. Reading this helped me correlate a recent decline in personal satisfaction with the increase in crap taking up my personal space!
-Holly, www.worklovelife.com

Not just work environemt.

From: www.romanz.org
I also find that once I let stuff go at my work desk it slowly transfers to my car and before I know it my house is a mess as well. It is really hard to catch up after.
I am trying to train myself that no matter what once I week I am doing a clean things up and not only I can free up my mind, but also to be more efficient since I find things faster.

so true

I've always felt that little nagging of my attention by unfiled documents, notes to myself and other distractions. I find that I resist the very idea that these things ARE a distraction, because I feel I'm above it and can deal with it - but it's true: a fresh, clean, organized work environment frees the mind to work like nothing else.

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