HomeBench Racing2019Getting in the Mood

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Red Barns in the Snow

Getting in the Mood

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Setting the mood is a valuable tool for success.

This time of year, with all the holiday festivities, the stores, streets, and homes are dressed up with lights and colors.

It sets the mood. Gets you in the holiday spirit. Motivates you to have a fun experience.

The same thing is true for your shop all year round.

I don't mean you should dress it up for the holidays, but many creative people and businesses understand the value of creating a productive environment and do so by setting the mood.

If you want to improve your productivity, you can do the same.

I've done a lot of research on the subject for constructing my Hobby Complex, and although not everyone is cut from the same cloth and will benefit from the same things, there are some general rules of thumb you can follow:

  • Keep everything clean, neat, organized, and simple — think "Zen."
  • Make spaces open, bright, and comfortable to be in through temperature control, sound modulation, and odor management.
  • Create good working environments by having the right furniture in place such as appropriately sized workbenches, tables, and chairs — and even floor space if your work needs it. Keep your tools, equipment, and especially your work, easy to reach — think ergonomic.
  • Don't overlook the anxiety, stress, and mental and physical energy drain from having to worry because your space requires extra work on your part to stay safe. Make the space safe and it will improve your comfort and energy level, as well as your productivity. While you're at it, you may be surprised to find that — beyond a potential health hazard — the vapors produced by many chemicals in your shop can impact your ability to think, reduce your endurance, and make it harder to work. So, keep the chemicals contained and your space properly ventilated.
  • Create inspiring environments through decor choices such as materials, colors, and signs, posters and banners — even choosing the right music or smell can go a long way towards improving your experience. Think restaurant ambience, movie soundtrack, or holiday baking.
  • Lastly, although not in everyone's control, if it is within yours, consider the look, size, and arrangement of your building(s) and the environment in which it resides. Inspiration begins on the way in to work, as well, and a building's size and position can make all the difference in the world to your productivity — not to mention having it properly set up to manage different weather conditions so they don't impact your work.

We may not all be able to build shops in idyllic places like the photo above, with perfect environments, and inspiring decors, but keeping these concepts in mind and applying them where you're able, can make your wrenching experience — and ultimately, your life — that much better.


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