Atmosphere is EVERYTHING…

Hello! I hope you enjoyed and have been applying the tips you’ve learned so far. This is the 5th of fourteen e-mail tips. I believe you will learn a lot in the following: 

In life, no matter where you are or what you do, the atmosphere of the area sets the stage for what is about to come. It is a kind of soundtrack to your life for that moment. If you arrive at a party and there is a tense and awkward feeling in the air, chances are the party won’t get off the ground unless something changes. Much like in a movie, where the music sets your emotion (is it scary, is it cheerful, is it sad…), at work, your environment is your atmosphere and your soundtrack. Your environment defines your state of mind and, hence, determines whether or not you are able to operate smoothly and productively.
When you work in a noisy, disruptive, unorganized environment, this is the atmosphere set, and your production (if you do actually manage to get anything done) will be limited. 
It is a known fact that power (explained in Tip # 2 – FIFO) gets generated by a concentrated effort on what is being worked on. You can’t push a car while smoking a cigar. You need to get all your attention on ONE thing to generate true power. With anyone successful, if you look, you’ll see they have a high ability to concentrate on one task at a time (refer to Tip #1, You Touch It, You Play It). This is the measurement of efficiency and power.  
Take a step back and think about yesterday’s production. How was it…? How did you operate…? You will probably realize most of your time was spent on “internal noise”. By “internal noise” is meant unnecessary additional clutter or actions (whether it is sounds, a dirty space, people saying things to you all the time, stopping and checking your favorite social networking sites, etc.). This “noise”, or lack of focus = the wrong atmosphere. 
YOU can set yourself up to work in an optimum atmosphere. 
Imagine you had an extra four hours per day… How much more money would you be able to make? How much more could you do and get done?
The following do’s and don’ts will guide you through correctly setting up the atmosphere. This, guaranteed, will increase your productivity, create more time for you to do the things you love, and you will feel GOOD. 
Here they are… 
Do not: 
  1. Have people constantly coming to your office with questions, problems etc. 
  2. Have your phone, Skype, or any other communication devices on while answering your e-mails (or getting any work done, for that matter). 
  3. Have your TV, Facebook, or other internet-related things running in the background.
  4. Have other forms of disruptions or active notifications.
  1. First of all, ensure your computer performs properly.
  2. Have your space clean and neat. Every morning or so, wipe down your desk, your keyboard, your screen. Crazy as it sounds, a clean space makes a huge difference. A clean environment equals a clear state of mind. 
  3. Set up a specific time slot for the handling of e-mails, and, at that time, handle your e-mails. At all other times: produce what you are supposed to be working on and ensure it forwards the company’s strategy
  4. Bonus Note: Most people drop their dreams thinking they were unrealistic in the first place… but, the truth is, they just do a lot of things that don’t forward their original dreams. Therefore, they mistakenly conclude their dreams are not even achievable. People, sadly, keep dropping dreams until, when one drops his or her last dream, the lights go out… This will not happen to you! We’ll be covering it much more in depth on the future tip – TO PLAN OR NOT TO BE.
  5. Work in a space that is separate and quiet if possible. You can also make a simple “Please Do Not Disturb” sign for your door… it works. 
  6. Ensure all your e-mails arrive to one inbox (route Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. to your preferred e-mail program). 
  7. Turn off all communication devices – ensure nothing can disturb you. Yes, phone off, Skype off, etc. 
  8. Turn off the TV and also all internet-related pages. 
  9. Some people enjoy working with music and it doesn’t distract them. Some people can work with music that has no words. Some people get distracted by music. Determine this for yourself. 
  10. If you use a mobile device such as Blackberry, ensure any action done on the mobile device is totally in sync with your computer. In other words, we don’t want double work – If you delete or file an e-mail on your phone or computer, they should both line up, same thing goes for Calendar appointments, etc.
The idea is to be able to work distraction-free – to have a beautiful, paradise work atmosphere so you can GET THINGS DONE efficiently. There may be some things you thought of which haven’t been listed, that’s good – work on those as well! It all sounds simple… and you may be saying, “I already knew that!” Well, have you been doing it?
Looking forward to seeing you next week with Tip #6. Any questions, comments or feedback is more than welcome!
Meir Ezra,
Founder – TimeMaker
This tip was brought to you by TimeMaker – the #1 task and project management software in the world – specializing in saving you time and money.
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