By: Jason Lake
No matter how good or bad you are at poker, there are things you can do to improve your bottom line that have nothing to do with strategy. Better diet and exercise, for example. But if you're not interested in those things, you can still give your online poker game a boost by improving your workspace environment.
In theory. Thousands of studies have been made on how to improve office productivity – mostly paid for by the companies themselves. And the press releases that follow are often written up by interior designers. It's hard to tell sometimes where the science ends and the advertising begins. But here are three things you can try out that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
1. Play music
If you don't already have music on while you play poker, definitely give it a shot; scientists have touted the benefits for decades. But what kind of music? That's the tricky part. It should be something up-tempo that you enjoy, something that lifts your mood – but not too much, or else you'll lose focus. Also, no lyrics. Words, either sung or spoken, take your attention away from the poker tables. Baroque (think Bach and Handel) is a hit with some productivity gurus. I like King Crimson, personally.
2. Turn up (or down) the thermostat
If you look at the manuals that come with your electronic devices – okay, nobody looks at those manuals – they'll tell you not to use them when it's above or below a certain temperature. Your body works the same way. Cornell University did an ergonomics study in 2004 that found increased productivity at 77 degrees Fahrenheit compared to 68 degrees. Your mileage may vary; find a temperature that works for you.
3. Get a plant
The more your workspace resembles solitary confinement at Riker's, the more miserable you'll be, and the worse your poker will become. In 2014, a study by psychologists at Exeter University found that employees were 15% more productive when they added some house plants to their empty environments. If plants aren't your thing, at least consider painting your walls green – or better yet, blue-green. A University of British Columbia study from 2009 recommends blue and green as calming colors that enhance creativity and innovation. It's almost like you belong outdoors or something.