Our brains are marvelous tools. It only makes sense, then, that we learn to best use them. By capitalizing on our minds’ natural affinities, we can increase our efficiency and our success.

One of our brains’ tendencies is to be associative. We see it all the time in relationships. With some friends, we’re entertaining talkers; with others, we’re engaged listeners. We slip between the two subconsciously, but we do it nonetheless.

In much the same way, our brains strongly associate spaces with the activities we do while in them. Walking into church, my mind is never on homework; walking into school, my mind is rarely on church.

The same goes for the work we do. If you spend a lot of time at your desk watching YouTube, sitting at that same desk and focusing on schoolwork will prove much harder.

How do we combat this difficulty, you ask?

It’s usually as simple as switching environments. During a normal semester, I strive to complete work on my college campus—often in one particular space. Then, when I come home, I don’t focus on schoolwork, often dedicating that time to relaxation or growth.

By splitting different activities into different environments, I find I’m much more efficient in both. On campus, I’m rarely thinking about watching YouTube; At home, I’m rarely thinking about completing work.

Since COVID began, the ability to leave home has been greatly diminished. But diversifying your work locations still holds true.

A few months ago, I added a second desk to my room. Recognizing that my old one was associated with relaxation, I designated this one for work.

Even I’ve been surprised by the success I’ve found! Switching desks completely changes my focus, despite being less than 10 feet apart. On days where I lack motivation, my success largely depends on which desk I sit at. And, even on the most motivated days, I accomplish more at the work desk than at the leisure one.

While COVID has many of us working in new environments—particularly our homes—there are still ways to mentally distinguish a working space from a leisurely one. Diversify where you work; radically increase your productivity!

Find this helpful? Take advantage of some added accountability. Comment where you’ll start working down below!