Over the past several years, I've published hundreds of episodes of Developer Tea. There are many reasons I have been able to do this, but the one that is most compelling is what I call my “Go Space”.
I can walk into this space, press about three buttons, and start recording. Any time I have an idea, this is where I go. Within a few minutes, I can have the idea translated into something valuable.
What is Your Go Space?
I challenge everyone to create a space for themselves where the barriers between them and their work are drastically reduced.
It’s not a hack; it’s neuroscience! You are wired to recognize and respond to your environment. This goes for all of your environments. If you want to sleep better, one of the best ways you can do that is by creating a specific and repeatable sleeping space for yourself.
Here are a few tips for creating your own Go Space.
1. Figure Out What Stops You Starting
For me, the thing that commonly kept me from recording (before I started this podcast) was that my equipment was in bins in my closet. I didn’t have it set up, so at any point I was at least thirty minutes away from starting recording. This was a huge barrier to my work. Once I found a place to leave the recording gear set up and ready to go, I was able to reduce that time for starting to nearly zero.
2. Learn Your “Start Sequence”
You’ll notice a theme here: the “getting started” part is typically the hardest part. The next biggest barrier for me was actually having an idea to record. Coming up with three ideas in a week isn’t a walk in the park. However, I found a ritual that works well for me.
If I get about thirty minutes of physical activity, I can then hop in the shower. That’s where the ideas start flowing, for me. I don’t leave the shower until I have the title for the next episode.
Your start sequence might be different, but once you find something that works, remember it and use it to your advantage.
3. Make it Yours
Perhaps your space isn’t a physical space, but rather a script you run on your computer to open your music streaming service and your design tools, block Twitter, and start your Pomodoro timer (this is a sequence I use from time to time at work at Whiteboard). Maybe your space is actually a jog around the park, where you get your best ideas. Or maybe it’s five minutes of silence in the morning. Perhaps your space is a really awesome notebook and a great pen. Or maybe it’s a room where you hang your favorite posters. Whatever it is, make it something you enjoy! This is something people get wrong, because they try to make their space match something they think will work for them. Don’t force it; instead, find what helps you feel comfortable and productive, and bring as much of that into this space as possible!
Go on, Now Go
Overall, if you have a Go Space, you will start to recognize how the psychological triggers and sense of flow and comfort can drastically improve your productivity. Furthermore, you will start to see a healthy separation between the focus time you spend on your work, and the diffused time you spend resting and engaging your mind outside of your work.
Editorial Note: This content was originally published in August of 2017. We're sharing it again because our editors have determined that this information is still accurate and relevant.