What are the most common methods for grounding yourself?

Common methods of properly grounding yourself are prioritized in order of effectiveness below (1 being most effective, etc.):

  1. Anti-static wrist straps – with this method you are grounded 100% of the time, it's not possible to discharge electro static energy to the computer because it is discharged through the metal contact point on the strap.
  2. Grounded ESD mats (for the work bench, not the floor) – ESD mats or flooring are only truly effective if those mats are grounded, this method should be used in conjunction with #1.
  3. Anti-static floor mats, simple rubber flooring is NOT ESD safe – better than carpet, but does not prevent static electricity from building up.
  4. "Discharging" yourself by touching a piece of metal or the case.

A key element commonly disregarded in ensuring you and your computer remain safe from ESD is humidity. Dry atmospheres lend themselves to allowing electro static energy to be accumulated, adding a humidifier to a room or production facility is extremely beneficial in ensuring ESD safety.