I think a lot of people can relate to the fact that their environment is directly linked to productivity. It’s a huge factor of how much work actually gets done. Personally, I know that when the environment I’m in isn’t set up in a way that promotes efficiency, I tend to get distracted and move on to other things rather than staying focused on my task.
The most obvious part of an environment would be the physical space: elements that can be seen or touched, things like the weather, cleanliness, room decor, people, etc. However, the less obvious part would be how these elements are even remotely related to the amount of work that gets done. They don’t seem to be connected at all; the task is the same whether a room is well or poorly decorated, clean or messy, or if it’s raining or sunny. Yet, I can vouch that when I come home to a cluttered room, it becomes a huge distraction. Or when it’s a rainy day, I would much rather curl up on the couch and watch Netflix instead of prioritizing other things.
This is a pretty hot topic among employers because they want to maximize the productivity of their employees. As noted by Jacob Morgan of Forbes, “Employee well-being is strongly correlated to employee productivity and performance and even a small shift in well-being can have a dramatic impact.” By improving the environment in a workspace, the individual employee’s well-being is directly impacted, increasing output. Because this is so important to companies, multiple studies have been done that show the clear relationship between the design and layout of offices and the productivity of the employees in those workspaces.
Headspace is also a significant part of environment, a more mental aspect. Things like stress levels, task organization and even what kind of music is playing are major factors. Perhaps this is more directly connected to productivity because, as most people have likely experienced, mental distraction is honestly one of the worst kinds.
The difficult thing about having the right headspace is that it is often a lot harder to fix than issues with a physical environment. That’s because mental setbacks are often solved by working through them with productivity. For example, consider stress that is caused by school or work. The only way to get through it is to complete the task that is causing stress. Of course, stress can also often be a powerful motivator, but only to a certain extent. Too much, and it can be absolutely debilitating and harmful to efficiency. That’s where organization comes in – knowing exactly what has to be done by when – in order to set expectations for yourself and reduce stress overall.
A lot of the time, I think that people completely disregard their environment as something that affects productivity when really, it’s one of the main factors. Being aware of that and knowing how to create a workspace for yourself with limited distractions is absolutely the key to a life with greater efficiency and focus.