Your Environment: By Design or Accident?

According to the late Walter Hailey, a behavioral scientist and sales and marketing consultant, “People have 12,367 thoughts per day. Of those, 90 percent are automatic, and 84 percent are negative.” More than 12,000 thoughts! That’s a lot of self‐talking going on. How do you think that might affect your environment, especially if most of your thoughts are negative?

The key is to manage your self‐talk. Infuse it with positivity and confidence.

Jerry Rice, former wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, is one of the greatest receivers of all time. He also had a reputation for having the sharpest uniform on the field. When asked, he said that he had to have everything about his uniform be impeccable. The only thing he wanted to stand out in his environment on the field was catching the ball. He didn’t want any distractions, not even a loose thread on his jersey.

Jerry found a way to quiet those 12,367 thoughts in his head when it came to producing the results he wanted: catching the football. What can you do within your own environment to quiet the noise in your head to allow you to fully focus on the task at hand?

Organize Your Desk: Set up a system to keep your workspace uncluttered and your necessary files easily accessible.

Multitask: If you’re committed to exercise but don’t have time to go to the gym, place a treadmill in front of your TV so that you can work out while watching the morning news or reading reports.

Evaluate Your Environment: Colors and temperature can affect your moods and energy. Take a good look at your workspace. Are your surroundings pleasant? Is the temperature comfortable? It’s important to spend your working hours in an environment that’s pleasing to you.

Stand Up!: A Princeton University study showed that people are 75 percent alert when sitting down and 90 percent alert when standing up. The next time you have an important decision to make or an important telephone call, try  standing.

Make Things Visible: You won’t work on what you don’t see, feel, hear, or somehow sense. Instead of burying your work in a drawer, try using stand‐up files, placing them where they’re easily visible and will call you to work on them. Also, try placing your to‐do list on a small easel on your desk, upright and visible.

If you can become aware of and manage your environment, you can be proactive in what shapes
your actions. Design your environment from the outcomes that you’re committed to accomplishing, and
have your environment call you to effective action.