Remember the last concert you went to? It was probably loud. Maybe your ears were ringing a bit when you got home. But did everyone think it was loud?

Probably not.


Because loudness is entirely subjective.


Sure, some things are objectively loud, like a plane taking off or a bomb exploding. But in general, we all have different perceptions of loud. When it comes to live music, loudness is a perception based on the mix of the music.

How the music is blended will determine how you perceive loudness. For example, I know a guy with a long history in live music. He said he recently ran sound for a live concert that had a higher volume level than people at the venue were accustomed to, but no one said it was too loud. In fact, they said nothing but overwhelmingly positive things about it. Simply because the mix was right.

By now, you may have a hunch as to what live music has to do with your workspace: a cluttered desk does not necessarily indicate laziness or a lack of creativity. It’s all about the mix that’s right for you. 

I regularly see articles on my social media feeds with titles like “The Desk Spaces of Famous Authors” or “Be More Productive By Setting Your Desk Exactly Like These People.” And guess what? You copy what you read, and your work never changes.

Your workspace is just that: yours. When it comes to setting it up for maximum productivity and focus, you need a space that is the right mix for you.

If you’re married, then you know this well. More than likely, you and your spouse have completely different ways of setting up a workspace. My wife is very tidy and organized in how she sets up her desk. Everything is perfectly arranged and put away. My desk, on the other hand, is a bit more chaotic. But I almost always know where everything is located.

If my wife and I were to swap desks, it would be overwhelming. Neither one of us would be able to find things, and we would eventually be unable to think about the work at hand. The mix of the workspace isn’t right for us, and as a result, we can’t get anything done.

Take the time to setup a space that works for you. Once you get it set, then you will have a quiet space. And quiet is just what you need in order to think critically and produce great work.