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  • Writer's pictureSaffron Sumner

Unlocking Productivity with the 'Environment Switching Technique'

Do you sometimes find yourself staring blankly at your screen, wondering why the spark of productivity has dimmed?

Here's a cheeky little secret I've stumbled upon: the "Environment Switching Technique."

[PS, want short and sweet productivity tips? Follow my LinkedIn]

No, it's not a new dance move, but it might get your productivity groove back. Let's delve in, shall we?

What on Earth is the Productivity Environment Switching Technique?

At its core, the idea is ludicrously simple. Different tasks require different vibes. The atmosphere that gets your creative juices flowing might not be the same one that helps you crunch numbers like a maths wizard. The solution? A cheeky change of scenery!

This isn't just a shot in the dark; it's rooted in the principle of environmental conditioning. Essentially, our clever little brains form associations between our environment and the tasks we usually do in that environment. Use this to your advantage!

Deep Work: Crafting Your Very Own Focus Fortress

Ever have one of those days where you're poised to conquer the world, but every little thing seems bent on distracting you?

It could be the postman ringing the doorbell (thrice!) or the unmistakable 'ping' of a WhatsApp message.

When the world outside refuses to pipe down, it's time to retreat into your own sanctum of concentration: your 'Focus Fortress'.

What is a Focus Fortress?

Your Focus Fortress is not just a space; it's a state of mind. It's where external distractions are banished, and you can be at one with your task. Here, the walls reverberate with thoughts, innovations, and progress.

Setting Up Your Focus Fortress

Home Office - The Classic Retreat.

Personalise: Create a space that reflects you. A photo of that holiday in Spain to remind you of why you're working so hard. Or a desk plant named Tula? (Just me? Alright, then!)

Distraction-Proof: Consider noise-cancelling headphones. They won't just block out the outside world; they'll signal to others that you're in the zone and not to be disturbed. (Except in case of a biscuit emergency, of course.)

The Local Library – The Hushed Halls of Focus

Seat Selection: Not all seats are created equal.

Some might be near the children's section where young Timmy is discovering the joy of loud reading. Seek out those quiet corners.

Prep Your Kit: Libraries are generally free from the temptations of your home, but ensure you pack all you need. Chargers, notebooks, a sneaky snack (though munch discreetly!), and perhaps a thermos of your favourite brew.

The Perfect Coffee Shop – The Silent Spectator

Trial and Error: Not all coffee shops are born the same. Some are lively hubs of chatter and clinking cups. Others? Oases of quiet amidst the urban bustle.

Time to embark on a coffee-fuelled quest to find yours.

Regular Residency: Once you've located your spot, become a regular. Not only will you have the pleasure of a familiar workspace, but you might just get the occasional 'on the house' treat. Plus, baristas that remember your 'usual'? Gold.

Nurturing the Fortress Mindset

The physical space is just one aspect of the Focus Fortress. Equally important is cultivating the right mindset.

Set clear goals for each session, and start with a little ritual. A specific playlist, a certain way to organise your desk, or maybe a particular mug for your tea? Over time, these little cues will signal to your brain that it's time to dive deep into work.

To summarise -

The Focus Fortress is not about escaping the world but embracing your work within it. By crafting a space (and mindset) conducive to deep concentration, you're giving your best to every task.

Oh, and about Tula the plant? He's grown two new leaves since moving into my Focus Fortress. Coincidence? I think not.

Love working on yourself? Check out our 'Embracing a Growth Mindset' blog!

Unleashing Creativity & Productivity: Discovering Your Inspiration Oasis

Have you ever sat down, pen poised (or fingers hovering over the keyboard), waiting for a torrent of creativity to flow, only to find... nada?


Nothing but the echoing emptiness of a barren imagination?

Don't fret! It's not that your muse has gone on a permanent holiday; perhaps she's just lounging in a different environment, sipping on a mojito, waiting for you to join. Enter the 'Inspiration Oasis.'

What's an Inspiration Oasis?

Simply put, an Inspiration Oasis is your go-to haven for all things creative.

It's a place bursting with stimuli that ignite the flames of imagination, whether you're brainstorming the next big marketing campaign or penning a heart-wrenching poem about your cat, Mr. Whiskers.

Crafting Your Own Inspiration Oasis

Nature's Embrace – Where Ideas Grow Wild.

Seek Green: Research from the jolly good university folk have shown that green spaces can boost creativity. Whether it's a sprawling park, a quiet garden, or even a tiny balcony filled with potted plants, there's magic in the chlorophyll!

Observe & Absorb: Watch the birds, the fluttering leaves, or the overly-ambitious squirrel. Nature's mini-dramas can be the spark for your next big idea.

Art-Soaked Spaces – A Symphony for the Senses.

Galleries & Exhibitions: Venture to local art exhibitions. Gaze at the brush strokes, the play of light and shade. Let the art narratives weave tales in your mind. And for goodness' sake, resist the urge to become an impromptu art critic, no matter how much wine they serve.

Home, Sweet Artistic Home: Infuse your living space with inspiring art pieces. Posters, sculptures, or maybe a macaroni masterpiece from your niece? It's all art, darling!

Sunlit Sanctuaries – Drenching Ideas in Sunshine

Chase the Golden Hour: There's something about the gentle morning sun or the soft glow of late afternoon that just... stirs the soul.

Find a window, a sunlit café corner, or a rooftop, and let your ideas bask and grow.

Reflect & Shine: Use mirrors, shiny surfaces, or even a strategically placed disco ball to scatter sunlight in your space. A dance of light and shadows might just lead to a waltz of words or ideas.

Minding Your Oasis

Now, while setting up your Inspiration Oasis is pivotal, maintaining its essence is equally crucial. Regularly refresh the elements – change the artworks, introduce new plants, or rearrange the furniture. A little shake-up can wake up dormant creativity.

Wrapping Up -

Remember, your Inspiration Oasis is deeply personal. What sends one person's imagination into overdrive might send another straight to Snoozeville. It's all about finding that unique blend of elements that tickle your fancy and light up the creative bulbs in your noggin.

And as for Mr. Whiskers, he's currently pondering a sequel to his poem from the comfort of a sunny windowsill. Every cat's an artist in the right oasis, after all.

Also - remember, productivity is not aiming for perfection.

Routine Tasks: Reveling in Your Lively Lounge

Ah, routine tasks. The marmite of the work world – you either love them or wish they'd take a long walk off a short pier. Yet, no matter our feelings towards them, they're as inevitable as a rain shower on a British summer day. So, if you can't avoid them, why not jazz them up a tad in a space we'll affectionately dub: the 'Lively Lounge'?

The Essence of a Lively Lounge

It's the place where mundane tasks don't feel like a dreary episode of "Groundhog Day". Instead, they take on a brighter, chirpier rhythm.

Think of it as the background hum and buzz that keeps you grounded, without letting your mind wander off to ponder life's great mysteries, like why toast always lands butter-side down.

Creating Your Very Own Lively Lounge

Kitchen Capers – Where Snacks and Tasks Collide.

The Beauty of Proximity: One word – fruit. Or perhaps yoghurt? The kitchen holds the promise of spontaneous tea breaks and the occasional cheeky treat. And we all know, a snack is the perfect reward for ticking off to-dos!

A Symphony of Household Sounds: The fridge's hum, the mixer's whir, and the occasional kettle whistle can all be oddly comforting. They act as reminders that life's ticking along just fine.

The Buzzing Café Corner – A Cacophony of Productivity

People-Watching Paradise: Ever invent stories for strangers? That man with the funky tie could be a secret agent. The woman typing furiously? Probably penning the next bestseller. Let the world around you inspire micro-breaks of creativity.

A Taste of the Unexpected: From the barista's failed latte art attempts to overheard snippets of the most peculiar conversations, cafés offer a buffet of delightful distractions that somehow make routine tasks more palatable.

Groovy Tunes & You – Finding Your Beat

Curate Your Playlist: From the soothing tunes of classical music to the rhythmic allure of Drum and Base, find tunes that give your tasks tempo without leading you into a full-blown karaoke session.

A Dance Break? Oh, Go On!: Every so often, allow a song to pull you into a mini dance break. It shakes off the monotony and gives you a burst of energy. Just make sure your webcam is off if you're working remotely. Or don't – give 'em a show!

The Secret Ingredient of the Lively Lounge

It's not just about the space or the sounds but the spirit. The Lively Lounge thrives on a balance of focus and fun. Yes, you're getting stuff done, but you're also allowing yourself little moments of levity amidst the routine.

In A Nutshell -

Routine tasks might never make your heart race with excitement, but that doesn't mean they have to be drudgery. By setting up in a Lively Lounge, you're giving these necessary tasks a dash of pizzazz and a sprinkle of joy.

So the next time you're about to dive into a mound of paperwork or trawl through an endless email thread, ask yourself: "Is my Lively Lounge ready?"

In Conclusion -

Productivity isn't just about willpower; it's about setting ourselves up for success. And if that means sipping tea in three different locations in one day, I'm all for it!

If you fancy giving the Environment Switching Technique a go, I'd love to hear about your chosen spots.

Who knows, we might end up being neighbours at the local café. Just remember to bring headphones if Dave's on shift.


Hey, this is at the start of the journey. It would be cool if you would follow the social platforms and join the Facebook Group.

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