Creating the Environment for Your Success

Julie, here…

So you’ve got a Big Idea. Of course you do… you’re clever and smart and the kind of person who can make the world a better place!

How can you create an environment that will help you succeed? Let’s look at a few ideas.

Your Big Idea

First, define the idea you’re thinking about. Open up a blank document and call it “Brain Dump for My Big Idea,” or some such. Now jot down absolutely everything that comes to mind: your “why,” overarching principles, details, people to talk with regarding your idea, books or articles to read, blogs or podcasts to follow, how you want to feel, how you want others to feel as a result of your pursuing this. Anything that comes to mind, throw it on here. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to capture what’s on your heart and mind. Have an actual paper copy of this… you’ll use it.

Creating the Environment

Now, for a work space. The temptation is great to slump on the couch with your laptop. Not that that’s a bad thing. Lots of creativity can happen when you’re relaxed and feeling all chill. But can you find an actual space that becomes your Command Central?

I get it if space is an issue. I am typing this from our little office space in a corner of our little laundry room in our little house. We hung curtains to separate this 4 x 5 foot area we’re calling an office. We have a shelf bracketed to the wall, and a bookshelf on the opposite wall. We put up a whiteboard and added a lamp. Presto. It’s an office. Remember the brain dump document you created? Mount that on the wall. Duct tape, Scotch tape, chewing gum… whatever it takes to get it where you’ll see it because this is your guiding inspiration.

Organization helps

Keep your work area reasonably tidy. Martha Stewart or your mom won’t be stopping by to inspect. This is for you, not them, anyways. Keeping clutter reduced to a minimum is helpful. Remember the old saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place?” Studies show that a tidy work environment increases productivity. Too much stuff brings unnecessary stress. Meh, who needs that?

Do you have a place to file papers? You can buy a cheap accordion-style file box pretty much anywhere. Or manilla folders lined up alphabetically in a plastic crate (us… we’re fancy like that). Even cooler if you have a nice file cabinet. The point is, bringing structure and order to your work space creates an atmosphere for greater productivity and success. Keeping things tidy maintains easy accessibility what you need, and avoids frustration.

Personalize Your Space

Or maybe you actually do better with some amount of chaos around you. Fine! Know thyself (but don’t lie to thyself because tidying up sounds like too much work). Having a little white space can give you room to create and play with new ideas. Only have out what you need to further your goals.

What are other things that make a great work environment for you? Lighting? Scented candles? Soft music? Photos of loved ones? Inspirational sayings? A colorful vision board? Bookshelves full of works you love? Plants? Splashes of color on the walls, or more neutral tones? A small tabletop water fountain, mimicking the sounds of nature? What inspires YOU, lends to your productivity, but without creating unnecessary stress?

You’re ready to start working on your Big Idea. Set up your own inspirational environment for success.

What About You?

What makes for an ideal work environment for you?

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