Do you have a goal-supporting environment?
How does your physical or mental space support you in achieving your goals?
Change your environment and you change your behavior and habits.
I’ve been reading “18 Minutes” by Peter Bregman. It’s a fabulous book aimed at increasing productivity in all areas of your life. In a chapter on motivation, I sat upright when Bregman mentioned a concept almost straight out of the organizer’s bible: “Does your environment support your behavior?” As a productivity consultant, I only needed to change one word for the floodgate of ideas to open… “does your environment support your goals?” (“Environment” could be either your physical or your mental space.) Making this one small tweak in the quote takes the principle even further into the arena of changing habits, which is the ultimate goal when we want to make changes in our life (to achieve our goals) or to our systems (to be organized).
Bregman referred to a study on how eating habits are determined by our environment. They concluded that if you’re trying to lose weight you’d use a smaller spoon for your soup rather than a bigger spoon, use a smaller plate rather than a big plate, and you’d move the bowl of M&M’s six feet away so you’d eat fewer of them. The point being that, rather than change your behavior you change your environment – the spoon, plate, location of M&M’s – instead and this is what leads to changes in your behavior.
Other ways to manipulate your environment in support of your goals
· If your goal is to come up with more breakthrough business ideas, you could have colored markers and a designer’s layout pad handy. If you wanted to do this work with a team, you’d prepare a few creative thinking tools for brainstorming sessions.
· If your goal is to be a more present parent or adult child, you’d put your phone away. You could literally get on their level and talk about things in their environment.
· If your goal is to get more work done, you could avoid distractions by putting your phone in airplane mode, disable email and social media notifications, and be clear to others about when you cannot be interrupted (yes, that’s a type of environment!).
· If your goal is to be a more effective leader, you could move the furniture so it supports dialogue, you’d model how to create adequate focus time for important projects. You could delegate in a way that helps your staff achieve their goals.
What do you want to change about the way you work or live in your home?
What is one thing you can do differently that would help you make that change? Do it now! Science has proven that if we act on a thought within 90 seconds of having it, we’re more likely to carry through on it than if we say we’ll do it later.
If you want to make change, why wait?
If you want to change your work methods or physical environment and need a helping hand to get you going, there are some simple things we can do. A number of my clients have found that I get them on their way faster.
VP, for example, has been in the process of updating her home, while also working on her business there full-time. “With the remodel, everything was in a jumble and I felt stuck. My office needed to be set up so I could find papers and work more efficiently. The suggestions that Ellia made for moving furniture and organizing papers completely changed things, and now that room is a delight to be in! Working with Ellia has made such a difference – after the first session, I couldn’t believe how much more at peace I felt!”
Arrange a free phone consult, to see how working with me – either onsite or virtually – could improve your productivity or living environment. You can do that here, or by writing to me at Ellia@MindfulOrganizing.NET.
Onwards, to your success!
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