Pardon me while I open a wormhole into your brain and thrust some design advice into it…

Today more than ever before, we make choices based on where things are, not because of what they are and the value they bring to us.  We consistently choose the convenient options.

If you don’t believe me, walk around a grocery store with a three year old… Take them down the cereal aisle, the candy aisle, the juice aisle, and of course the checkout lane.  Did you make it out of the store alive? Of course not.  It’s impossible.

That experience will provide some important context for this formula: (Psychologist Kurt Lewin’s Formula): B = f(P,E).   Behavior is a function of the Person in their Environment.   This formula gives language to the idea that every choice we make is environment dependent.  For example, we all know that store items at eye-level tend to be purchased more than those up at the top of the shelf or down near the floor. The more obviously available a product or service is, the more likely you are to try it.

We all know this by now.  We know that we should never go into the grocery store while we are hungry.  We know that we shouldn’t fill our pantry with cookies if we are on a diet.  We know, we know, we know.

Digital Environment Design:

Today’s world though, is more virtual/digital than ever.  So, for environment design to truly help us, it must extend to our online focus habits.  That’s why every company will give you a discount to receive your email address… They know having access to your email will yield a higher rate of future purchases.  Sacrifice 10% today and have the opportunity to distract you with their products later.  Simple.

Here are a few digital environment design suggestions: 

  • Limit and cautiously select who/what you follow on social media (or just eliminate social media completely).
  • Block certain websites from your browser to keep you from wasting time/money.
  • Carefully select what types of emails you allow into your email inbox.
  • Cancel media subscriptions that aren’t adding value to you.
  • Delete all apps from your phone that are a distraction for you.
  • Turn off most or all phone notifications.
  • Measure how much screen time you are wasting each day (what gets measured gets managed).

In today’s world, becoming a digital minimalist is one of the best ways to get ahead.  Try it for yourself. 

Final Thought: “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” -Henry Ford


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