What a difference your surroundings can make to the quality of your work.
I've felt that repeatedly in Cambridge, and plenty this week.
I held a public speaking workshop with the wonderful students of Newmarket Academy, in the beautiful surroundings of St Catharine's College.
We were asking an intimidating lot of the young people - to put together and give a talk, in the imposing surroundings of a Cambridge College.
But they really rose to the challenge, and did a great job.
Part of the reason, they told me, was the privilege of being in such an ancient and magnificent place. It really helped them to work hard and do their best.
As it did for their tutor, by the way.
Even if I do look like a rogue operative in the picture.
I really must dress more suitably in future. But when did I ever get the hang of clothes?
I'm also fortunate enough to have been taken on by the University's Judge Business School, to help coach the firms of the future in their communication skils.
Turn up for work at a place like that and it certainly gets you on your toes, blood pumping, brain buzzing, and ready for action.
The businesses I'm working with are so full of energy and ideas, and again, how much it helps to have such a terrific place to work in.
This is one of the lecture theatres, where the businesses get to practice their pitching for investment, or customers.
It's quite an imposing environment, but ideal for getting the pulse racing and enhancing your performance.
And yes, it works for the tutors as well.
You can't help but sense the excellence all around, and do your best to live up to the expectations that inhabit the place.
But I know what you're thinking at this point -
Not everyone is lucky enough to have the history and awe of Cambridge to work in.
True enough, but what we do all have is our own loves, inspirations and creativity.
Which means we can always style our own personal workplace in a way to help us perform at our peak -
My study is just a humble corner.
But dress it up with pictures of my family, the books I've written, treasured memories of my times, and complete it with a soundscape of the music I've loved over the years...
And it becomes a corner I delight in, where I can feel comfortable, uplifted and inspired.
Place, productivity and pleasure -
Get them all meshing together, and they're powerful allies in performing at your very best.