According to the latest research, it is not only the quality of our social connections that has a direct impact on our happiness but also the environment we spent those 1440 minutes each day in. It is like building a new house: you carefully pick the land, have good reasoning why you are doing it at all, know which outcome you expect and who you select to build and design your new home. The same applies to getting the fundamentals right for your life as a healthy and high-performing individual: you need to get your purpose clear and strategically investigate your social backbone and on top, it is essential that your environment is a reflection of “you”.
The environment has a significant impact on your performance and well-being.
The influence of light, fresh air, high-quality state-of-the-art equipment, taking breaks, and the opportunity to engage socially are considered “the basics” and cannot be stressed enough when it comes to pushing our individual performance to its peak.
Your Workplace is more than space you work in.
Your workplace should be more than merely functional, however; it should also be attractive and reflect your personality. How comfortable do you feel with the style, color, and appearance of your personal work area? While very few people actually have the chance to design or redesign their office or work space according to personal preferences, you can definitely make the most of what you have:
- make sure ergonomics comes first and ensure that your desk/screen/chair positions are correct
- take care of proper lighting and fresh air
- keep your space properly organized and your papers filed—if you need paper at all
- define your own clean-desk-policy: before you leave your desk or work space, put everything back and make it look nice and clean. So the next day you start it is that fresh looking office desk or workstation that encourages you much more to get started than if you had to tidy up the leftovers from the day before!
Create your “free zone” and your favorite spot to hide.
Really beautiful places make us feel better than ugly, messy, dark ones, right? Imagine a stroll on the beach, a hike in the mountains, reading a good book under a palm tree, and positive emotions result and replace negative thoughts. The same is true for your home, your private four walls: walking into your home should feel like entering the most peaceful place, where you are free to be completely yourself, where you can relax, recharge, have fun, and find new ways to live a purposeful life.
The good news is that we can generate these positive emotions anywhere. We simply need to define “free zones, which can simply be a corner where you have your favorite chair, a lovely painting, your best reading table, pieces that bring up good memories—whether it is the coffee mug your best friend gave you years ago, the first picture of your dog when he was still a puppy, some sand from the beach you enjoyed so much during your last vacation or your magic golf club that helped you get your first hole in one. Make this free zone a spot, where you are safe, not to be disturbed, and just surrounded by good emotions. There are people who have used their free zones with such passion that after a while it was enough simply to walk by or to look at this corner of their home or garden and it put a smile on their face.
Your Checklist for more you-ish-ness at home and at work.
Designing your environment in a way that I call “you-ish” means adding your personal color and flavor to your surroundings. It is about leaving a unique footprint, your personal contributions to any situation, to any project, to any relationship, and certainly to any space, you live in. The places we spend our precious time in should reflect our need for creative expression:
- How much do you see of “you” within your private four walls?
- Is your home customized to suit you, and does it really reflect who you are? Do you feel good in your home because it reflects “your style”?
- How unique and customized is your work space?
- Is there an individual space that you have designed “your way”? Think beyond your desk: your clothing, the style of your e-mails, your signature, and your meeting style.
- How much do you customize your leisure activity to “you”?
- Do you read the magazines you really prefer to read, and do you go after the hobbies you want to experience rather than those somebody told you to do?
The more “you-ishness” you bring to your space, the happier you will be as you experience your daily challenges. There is nothing tricky about improving your individual expression in one or all areas of life. Make it happen, and add something more “you.” Right now.
Michaela Lindinger is the creator of the NOWING® Formula, a strategy used internationally by millennial talents to maximize their professional performance and stay healthy in the digital future of work. She is also the founder and CEO of braininspa. Connect with her @ braininspa.com