It might not seem like your environment holds much say in who you are, but that would be wrong. All the habits you want to put in place and all the changes you want to make in your life won’t be worth anything if you can’t control your environment. Thankfully, making changes to your environment is very easy, and you’ll soon see all the effects in your daily life.
The ‘Easy-Mode’ Environment
Most people want to use the least amount of effort in their daily lives, it’s our default setting, after all, and we structure our environment to support that. For example, let’s say you want to start reading more, and you want to be a reader. You’ve picked out your book, have a reading spot in your living room, and have dedicated thirty minutes a day to reading.
However, you also have a remote, phone, videogame system, and laptop in your living room. All of these distractions are in the path of your reading spot, and then your brain gets to work. “Your phone is right there, your favorite show is on, just one level wouldn’t hurt…” it says, and you fall for it. Once you are being distracted, then your brain keeps you there until you forget all about reading.
Thankfully, your brain always wants to go towards what is most comfortable, and you can use that fact against it. According to Inc.com, “Environmental cues are the objects in our surroundings that trigger certain thoughts and desires.” Control the cues, and you control your brain.
Make Your Goal Easy
The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ comes into play here. If you can put your distractions away, so you don’t see them, then your brain will gravitate towards reading. Simply not seeing your videogame controller or laptop can be enough to get your brain wanting to read, and soon you won’t be able to stop!
Your Environment is Familiar
Whenever you stay in an environment for a long time, it often gets imprinted in your brain as a place to do certain things. For example, you always cook in the kitchen, and once that habit is formed, your brain sees the kitchen as a place to cook. If you always play video games on a particular computer in your home, then it is seen as a gaming computer.
So, when you try to get some work done on that computer, it confuses your brain. You’ve always used this environment for gaming, and your brain doesn’t want that to change, so it pushes you towards distraction.
A familiar environment can have you forming habits on autopilot, and it shapes who you are. While you can cause the brute force to change your environment, it isn’t the easiest thing to do for most people. What often works better is changing your environment.
Going to a Different Place
If you are having trouble working at home, and are being consumed by distractions, then changing your environment can press the reset button on your brain. Instead of working at home, go to a coffee shop or co-working space, and just start working hard. Pretty soon, that location will become a work environment.
It will become much easier to work there, and whenever you go home, you can indulge in fun activities guilt-free.
Respecting Your Environment
Making your environment work for you can be challenging, but it can also skyrocket your productivity and allow you to get more done in a day. Your brain gets distracted and affected by what is around it, and by changing those distractions to something beneficial, you can make the environment work for you.
Just try to change your environment for one month, and you will see some significant changes in your life.