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  • Writer's pictureCris

Does the environment you work in impact your mind?


The guy in the picture is László Polgár, a Hungarian chess teacher born in Hungary in 1946. Although he was already well-known as a writer and a great chess player, he became extraordinarily famous after having conducted "one of the most amazing experiments in the history of human education".

He was a pioneer of the theory:

Geniuses are made, not born.

He raised his daughters, Zsuzsa, Zsófia, and Judit, to become chess prodigies to prove his theory.

The result of his experiment was incredible. Zsuzsa and Zsófia became the first two best players in the world, while Judit is considered the best female chest player ever. A curious fact is that she defeated her father when she was only 5.

What's the Polgár sisters' secret? The "dedicated environment" they grew up in. In their little apartment, there were thousands of chess books everywhere, frames of chess matches on the wall, trophies in the living room and plenty of records of chess games.

Easy to understand how the young sisters, over the years, developed a spontaneous passion and dedication for the game of chess.

What about the environment we work in? Does it influence our work?

About four months ago, I selected the elements in my environment thoroughly, and since then, my productivity has rocketed.


That's how my home desk looks now:

It changed a lot during the last weeks (and it will change in the next), but I always keep/remove the same elements:

  1. No phone on the desk. I usually put the desk under the laptop support or charge it in another room.

  2. To-do list at hand. I'm incredibly inefficient without the list next to me. I wander often, and I struggle to focus for a long time.

  3. No notifications. I have a custom "do not disturb" mode on my laptop I love, the "hyperfocus" mode to block all the laptop notifications (emails, telegram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, everything.)

  4. Something relaxing. I usually have a plant (or in this case a lovely zen garden) on my desk (many studies confirm that having something green or relaxin on the desk helps to stay focused)

  5. Pomodoro timer. I use the Pomodoro technique at least four times per day. The Pomodoro technique consists in focusing for 45 minutes on your work and wandering in the 15 minutes left. I usually draw, listen to some music or petting my dog. The amount of work that can be done in just 3 hours of intense work is incredible. Test it to believe it.

Let me know via email if you have other strategies to stay focused!!! Let me know via email your strategies to stay focused!!!





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