Environmental Design

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Someone recently told me: "Oh, working from your home office is so pleasing! Thoughts just... flowed".

And damn, this was a pretty great complement. It means for me that, truly, my workspace is pretty damn well designed, so that not only I feel the results, but even outside people do.

It's easy to call someone a "genius" because of their incredible skills. There have been plenty of geniuses over the centuries. And sure, a better portion of their incredible success can be attributed to their mind. That is clearly undeniable. But, a pretty significant portion of their genius can be also, in my opinion, attributed to wise environment design.

Thinking consciously and actively about the things and people that surround is not something that lies in our nature. We take many things for granted. So many of them are just there. The people around us? Well, they just kinda happened to be here. The things we own? Accumulated from years and years of living.

There are three key elements of environmental design:

  1. Ask questions. What is your goal? What are your values? How can you support them? Want to be working better? Having more honest relationships?
  2. Educate yourself. Read, learn, watch. There is so much good stuff out there on design of physical space: books, courses, podcasts. Everything we own and the way we interact with those things matters more than we think. There's also a lot about picking the right tools, building systems, changing behavior. And, ultimately, a lot has been written and said about building meaningful relations with others. Don't feel like you have to know everything yourself straight out of the blue. Reach for knowledge that is already out there.
  3. Disrupt. No design is perfect without refinement. By mixing and constantly changing things up, you'll discover the parts of your design that are not currently working. Change things just for the sake of change.

There is no standardized recipe for building a good environment; absolutely everyone has their own preferences. Finding one's own niche and style is not easy and takes significant time.

But isn't that worth adding even just 1% to your genius?


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