I put art all around my desk. It seems to give me ideas.
I don't really "surround" myself. I just sit on my bed with the lights out, listen to my iPod, and pull a thesaurus, a dictionary, an encyclopaedia, a few foreign dictionaries (Gaelic, German, and Latin), and a "Decriptionary" next to me...then start writing.
I need quiet.
Loads and loads of "ThinkPads" as I like to call them. Whether it is a laptop, looseleaf, post-its, a chalk board, or a dry-erase board, or all of them together, as long as I have a way to record my ideas, that is all i need.
Sometimes, when I find myself mobile, my cellphone becomes a "ThinkPad", and I record my ideas down as text message drafts.
Ambient noises also help me, whether it is a tv in the background or music from my favorite bands. Every time and mood is different, so I cannot say what I need exactly in order for me to concentrate.
All of the things in my work area are there to help me NOT concentrate. Books. Art. Yarn and knitting needles. Computer with internet. I suspect that all the things on any desk anywhere facilitate NOT concentrating.
Concentration is an internal skill. Nothing outside the witer can help it.
I usually don't have problems concentrating. I am able to block out distractions.
I am in my own room. I have my computer, bibles, dictionary, transulator, study resources and pictures of all God's creation.
I surround myself with my Bible and some multimedia supplements, websites, etc to help me concentrate on the task at hand.
No matter what kind of work I do, I always have music going. With out it my brain just doesn't engage. Most of the time I'm in a comfy chair or sitting on my bed while I work. As long as I've got some where comfy to sit, and I have my music I am pretty much good to go.
I have a desk lamp whose light is about the only in the room. It just barely shines on the keyboard of my Macbook. I have about seven dictionaries around me, all to come handy when I do translation of poetry from Filipino into English (my other writing work). Most of my books are in my little mezzanine-loft. I have to be connected to the Net--it's a huge research tool and toy.
Good music and a cup of joe
There are all kinds of things in my work area from toys to tools. Bulliten boards, white boards, things that help by providing a little distraction when a block sets in... I don't have a hard time tuning out from my surroundings so I don't always consider that I'm using things to help me concentrate... It's just turned out that way.
Work area? I'm a mobile writer and as long as the phone doesn't ring, I don't lose concentration. I keep my pen in hand with any other task and it helps keep me on track.
Yes, I am able to fix a bottle with my pen in hand. One free minute equates to more words written that way!