Success

Encourage productivity with a good working environment

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For most people having a good working environment is key to success, whether it's something we realize or not. Our mood, thoughts and productivity are all affected by our environment. For each person, their ideal environment can be different.

Functionality

Having a workspace that is functional, practical and does not obstruct your workflow, should be your number one priority. Take a look at your workflow and determine how you can improve it. For me I have a lot of ideas and tasks floating around in my head, so I decided to get a Galant Glass Desk from IKEA. This allows me to easily whiteboard my ideas with Retractable Dry Erase Markers, on the desk itself. This makes it easy to keep work-related tasks where they belong, at my work desk.

I found myself getting up to get water far too often, while this may be a good way to stretch your legs, it can be interruptive when you're trying to focus. Getting a good water bottle can certainly help you out there, I opted for the Square Water Bottle by CleanBottle.

I also found myself needing to adjust the volume of my music far too often, this was a nuisance for me, as the mechanical keyboard that I use has no media keys. I remedied this by purchasing the PowerMate by Griffin Technology, it's a small usb knob for PC and Mac that sits on your desk and allows you control various programs, you can program the device to do anything you want, including adjusting the computer's volume.

One other problem I encountered with having multiple monitors is that it's a pain to turn all of the monitors on and off each time you get to the desk and leave the desk. To fix that problem I decided to purchase this Power Strip with a Remote Switch. It allows me to turn all 3 of my monitors and my LED Light Stripe for the desk on and off with the press of a button.

Appearance

Appearance is important to a good environment, something that is atheistically pleasing is much more desired than the reverse. Surrounding yourself with things that you find beautiful or pleasing is a good trick to promote happiness in your workspace. Whether it's paintings, posters, action figures or LED Light Stripes to light up your desk. You can create a look that works for you. Something else to keep in mind is that more often than not a dirty desk piled up with papers and other junk can cause ongoing stress. So it's important not to go overboard, try to keep your environment clean, so you can focus on what's important.

Colors

Colors play a big factor into our mood, however unlike most of might us believe, there isn't one schematic to how colors affect us. Colors affect everyone differently, which is why if you were to do a search for how colors affect on our moods, you'd find very mixed results. However, there is a bit of a general consensus, but the fine details of how colors affect us our variable. The best thing to do is experiment and discover which colors invoke the desired emotions and responses in yourself. Some colors might promote productivity, some anger and anxiety, others might promote relaxation. There's a pretty good article about colors affecting our moods over at eHow.

Sound

It's known that having background noise of 70 decibels is about the sweet spot for increasing productivity. But a higher level of 85 dBs can hurt productivity. For comparison, a whisper is about 20 dBs and a live rock concert is about 108 - 114. A little bit higher up, at about 150 dBs your eardrums will rupture, which explains why it's possible to have hearing damage after a concert. You can learn more about background noise and how it affects us over at lifehacker.

Conclusion

Create an environment that promotes success, one that makes you want to be there and doesn't restrict your work. I hope that I have given some insight for success and a few ideas for your next workspace. Feel free to let me know what cool workspaces you come up with!

What is Success?

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Success is a funny thing, it's a notion determined by our perceptions. If we feel successful then we are successful. Much like any other emotion or feeling we can exhibit, to believe is to be and to be is to believe. We can believe that we are in love when in fact we may not truly understand what love is. Our brains are silly like that, our brain's power to make something feel real is top-notch. Animations are a good example of this, by placing pictures on top of each other, one after another, even if it's at a slow rate, it can give the perception of motion and movement. To us it feels real, even a movie, comprised of artificial characters and  an artificial story, it feels real. Which brings me to my next point, reality is how we perceive it.

If we perceive the world around us as a happy place, we will be happy. But our perception of our world can be influenced, in fact everything we perceive is based on the opinions and thoughts of our peers. Working at a company is a great example, imagine your day-to-day at work is fantastic and you couldn't be happier at your new job. Then one day you hear co-workers gossiping or complaining about specific issues within the company that you were not even aware of as being problems. Even if those problems had no affect on you, your world will feel a tiny bit less happy. Soon you'll begin to become fixated on the negative. That's not to say you might not have noticed these problems yourself over time. But your opinion of these problems might not have been biased by the opinions you've been force fed by your peers. It's possible you could have brushed that problem off by looking at the positive, especially if you are happy with your job. They say happiness is bliss, and they couldn't be any more true. Happiness is living in ignorance of the problems around us, ignoring them, being positive despite negatives. A fun fact is that being positive actually takes less energy than being negative, much like smiling uses less muscles than frowning. When we are not happy we are tired, exhausted and drained. Our minds are using so much energy focusing on negatives that we literally tiring ourselves out.

What does all of this have to do with success? Success is a bit like happiness, when we have it most of time we're unaware of it. When we don't, we focus on our failures. Here's an interesting thought, all of us, every last one of us, is successful. How is that possible? Once we are successful can we really be a failure? Doesn't that defy the meaning of success? We have success all around us, but generally we ignore it. All of us are successful in one way or another. Perhaps you landed a new job, graduated college, saved up for a car, made a cool web application or even moved to a new place, that's success.

The more we start to see how successful we are the more successful we'll be. We should start saying to ourselves, "I am successful, and I will always be successful.", because failure does not change our past successes, now does it? When we realize how successful we really are the fear of failure becomes silly.

So start believing, start doing and be. That is success.

Photo Credit: FutUndBeidl via Flickr