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Creativity is the heartbeat of innovation and productivity. It’s the mechanism that precedes success. If you want to be successful in your business or personal life, you need creativity. The question is: How do you consistently put yourself in situations where you can maximize creative thought and ingenuity on a regular basis?
One of the best options is to optimize your office in a way that causes your creative juices to flow. This looks different for every entrepreneur and professional, but you can increase your chances of success by heeding the following tips.
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1. Inject the Right Colors to Promote Creativity
The colors in your physical environment have a direct effect on how you think and feel. Certain colors are even associated with increased creativity.
Research shows that orange and yellow are most likely to inspire creativity, enthusiasm, imagination, and inspiration. However, this is also largely a personal issue. We all have our own preferences and experiences, which means the exact colors that inspire creativity in your mind may differ from another person’s preferred colors.
Some people even prefer simple white walls with a couple of random pops of color. This minimalist approach works by eliminating distractions and keeping you focused on the task at hand.
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2. Upgrade to a Standing Desk
Doctors have been describing “sitting as the new smoking” for several years now. And it’s not just that it negatively affects physical health. It also holds you back creatively. By switching to a standing desk, you can enhance your cognitive functioning and feel more inspired.
In one study, people are shown to be 12 percent more focused and on-task when using standing desks versus traditional seated desks. And as one psychologist explains, “Considerable research indicates that academic behavioral engagement is the most important contributor to student achievement. Simply put, we think better on our feet than in our seats.”
3. Keep It Warm
A study from Cornell University shows that ambient room temperature affects creativity and focus. When temperatures are low (below 68 degrees Fahrenheit), employees make 44 percent more mistakes than they would at optimal room temperature (77 degrees Fahrenheit).
“The problem isn’t just being uncomfortable in cold temperatures, but rather that you are more distracted. If you are feeling cold, you are using a substantial amount of your energy to simply keep warm,” the researchers explain. “Thus, a lot less energy goes towards concentration on creative work. Increasing the temperature in your office, adding more clothing layers or bringing a portable heater to work could make all the difference when it comes to increasing your creativity.”
If your office gets particularly cold when the door is closed (or you work in a building where the employer keeps it colder than you’d like), try using a heater.
4. Prioritize Natural Light…
Lighting is another important element. But rather than using harsh fluorescent overhead lighting, researchers recommend incorporating more natural light. The data shows that employees who have adequate natural light in their offices are 15 percent more creative than those who do not. They also report as much as a 40 percent gain in productivity.
The power of natural light is linked to the way in which it regulates levels of vitamin D, melatonin, and serotonin. When these levels are perfectly balanced, it puts the mind in a place to be creative and inspired.
5. …But Don’t Make It Too Bright
While natural light is a good thing, you don’t want your office to be too bright. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, dimly lit environments are more conducive to optimal creativity than bright rooms with lots of overhead lighting. The research found that dim lighting makes people feel less constrained, while also making them feel free to take “risks.”
The best way to achieve optimal lighting in your office is to install blinds on your office windows that allow you to control the presence of natural light. You can also take a layered lighting approach and install dimmer switches to give you total control over artificial lighting as well.
Turn Your Office Into a Creativity Zone
Your office should be more than a place where you sit down and do work. Ideally, it’s a space where you can let your mind run wild with creative thoughts. If you can learn how to create a space like this, you’ll see significant progress in both your professional and personal lives.
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