My next few posts are actually taken from a podcast I recorded months ago. I’ve decided to write about this now for two very important reasons. Firstly, with all our talk of systems and being organised and apps etc, sometimes the most basic thing can bring us down. It might be that we do not have a good plan for our week or our day. Or it might be that there is a fly in our office that keeps buzzing around and distracting us. The point is — Work environment Matters. Today we are thinking about Focus One — why does it matter?
Optimizing our environment will have a huge impact on our level of focus and distraction. Our environment has a huge impact on how quickly we get into the ‘flow state’. This is that state of mind and concentration where the quality of our work and felt ease increases dramatically. In short, the state in which we are most effective in getting things done.
Working in a distraction factory
We are all different and so the environment that suits us best is going to be different for each one of us. That goes without saying. That said, I want you to imagine a scenario.
You settle yourself down to do some focussed work. You are sitting on a chair that was designed by a man who had seemingly devoted his life to causing as much pain as possible to as many people as possible. Your desk is sticky. Your desk is also covered in the remnants of the sausage roll eaten by the last person who used it.
The room is swelteringly hot. The sun streams through window blinding you and making it impossible to see the screen. Co-workers in the next room seem to have downed tools and are laughing at whatever it was they watched on Netflix last night. The person who you share an office with is a ‘whistler’. They have the theme tune to their toddler’s favourite TV shows stuck in their head. And so now, it is stuck in yours too.
Your computer keeps pinging at you that someone has emailed you with yet another crisis. Your desk is covered in papers that relate to a project that stalled yesterday and you can’t work on it right now but it is still bothering you. And someone opened the window and let a fly in.