How Changing Your Environment Can Help Creativity: Pt. 1

For the original posting, please visit Bar Works’ website.

There’s no better feeling than being in the creative ‘zone’ when working hard on a project about which you’re passionate. Your creative juices are flowing, your thoughts are free-flowing, and you feel a certain level of connectivity with the work that you’re doing. And then, out of nowhere: BAM! You hit a roadblock. Suddenly, not only have you lost the spark, it’s like you’ve lost your ability to even string words together. You quickly begin pondering ways you can regain your creativity; you could take a break, go for a walk, or work on something else to let your subconscious chip away at it. Or, you could change up your scenery. That’s one of the reasons why coworking spaces are so great — when you get stuck in a rut, need a change of scenery, or want to crowd source ideas, you’re in an environment that allows you to do so freely and openly. Here are a few of the things you can change in your environment to help stimulate your creativity.

  • Clean your space.
    • Regardless of whether you’re a stickler for organization or if your style is more “organized chaos,” clutter inhibits your ability to be productive. Princeton University Neuroscience Institute researchers found that an overwhelming amount of visual stimuli — read: clutter — hinders your ability to focus which cuts down on productivity as well as creativity. If your regular workspace is messy and you’re finding you’re having trouble focusing, you can try cleaning up the area to revitalize your attention or try working somewhere less visually stimulating, like an empty desk.
  • Color me different.
    • For years and years people have been using color to modify and influence productiveness and sway thought processes; colors are a specific part of marketing and can impact your shopping and purchasing habits. It’s no surprise that colors can actually affect our work process as well. Colors like red are used to instill a feeling of excitement while cooler colors like blue and green can help boost your imagination and jumpstart your creativity.
  • Let some light in.
    • Are you working indoors, relying on artificial lighting — or even worse, fluorescent lighting — by which to do your work? Try switching your environment to somewhere flooded in natural light. The California Energy Commission conducted a study, and the results show that natural lighting can boost your creativity by 20% and memory and other mental functions by 25%.

Stay tuned next week for part two of How Changing Your Environment Can Help Creativity!

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