Mind the work environment

It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.

It does not matter where you work — at home, in an office at work, in a library — one of the most effective things you can do is to make the environment work for you.

Your environment can either assist you in doing your tasks, or it can make it harder. And given that it is present all the time and creative projects usually take a long time, even a slight assistance or hindrance can have large consequences. Akin to riding a scooter for a long distance — it makes a huge difference whether you move up or downhill.

It’s one of the reasons why I fight tooth and nail to work in the office, even during Covid19 lockdowns. That environment is assisting me doing my work. Mostly because I have all the material and infrastructure available that I need to work AND I do not have things available that would distract me from my work (which includes a fridge that I do not have at work, but also things like complete privacy, which would tempt me to do other things). Akin to “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” (Lin Yutang) removing distractions is sometimes more important than adding support.

Not to mention that it pays to regularly tidy up the workplace. Things accumulate and if you don’t clean up frequently, you’ll get swamped. Here I like Asian Efficiency’s “Clear to Neutral”. Before you finish for the day, clean up your workplace. Your future self will thank you when you want to resume your work.