A large part of how quickly you get into the zone and how much work you get done when you're there has to do with your surroundings -- physical aspects like the level of ambient noise around you all the way to psychological distractions. An excellent post over at Hack College on altering your environment to maximise your learning is geared towards people who need to get some serious studying done, whether they're alone or in groups, but the tips work just as well if you're working on a development project, a DIY project, or just trying to whittle down your to-do list.
Some of the items on the list are the basics, like making sure you're working in a quiet room -- or that you have just the right amount of noise in the room to help you focus but not distract you, but others, like making sure you have all of the tools you need ready and at hand for when you need them, are tips that often go overlooked.
They also suggest you make sure you have functional control over your environment, like the ability to close a door, change the temperature, or adjust it to your comfort -- even if you don't need them, you'll feel better and settle in more smoothly knowing that they're available.
Some of the other tips are ones we've mentioned in the past, such as making use of products like RescueTime to track your time and AdBlock to block out distractions on the web, but the whole piece is a great read for students and busy office dwellers. How do you tweak your surroundings to maximise your productivity? If you work in an office where you can't control the temperature or lighting, how do you cope? Share your tips in the comments below.
How To Hack Your Environment For Maximum Learning [Hack College]