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Creating a Creative Workspace

May 17, 2017

 

You might have all the great ideas in the world, but if you can’t focus, you’re not going to get anything done. If you’re looking to create a space that can help you maximize your creativity, we have some suggestions. 

 

Engage the Senses

 

Sight:

Natural light isn’t just flattering; it has a positive effect on your mood. Exposure to sunlight boosts your serotonin levels, which translates to better energy and a more positive attitude. Our windows here at the Joomag office in San Jose face east, giving us plenty of morning sunlight without roasting us in the afternoon heat.Your color choices impact your mentality, too. Warm colors are energizing, but too many might be agitating. On the flip side, cool colors have more of a (literally) chill vibe, but you may not want to be too relaxed. Find the balance that works best for you.

 

Sound:

Sometimes you just need peace and quiet. Having a door you can close to keep the noise of the outside world outside where it belongs is a luxury you should indulge in if you can. But if you have a shared space, you still have options. Noise cancelling headphones can keep the world away even when you can’t slam a door in its face.

 

But speaking of headphones, you don’t have to work in dead silence. Everyone is energized by different kinds of music. I like Broadway ballads because they push me, but I’ve had office-mates that preferred everything from classical to metal. Just be sure to keep your tunes to yourself if you’re in a shared space.

 

Touch:

Let’s think about the chair at your desk. If you have a typical work week, you’re spending about forty hours a week in that seat. Over the course of a year, that’s over two thousand hours! So, don’t skimp on this; consider it an investment, instead.

 

Smell and taste:

A cluttered space is, more often than not, a dusty and musty space. Not exactly the sort of place you expect creativity to flow. By keeping things fresh and the clutter low, you won’t get random office smells. Open a window and get the air moving if things are getting stuffy!

 

What about snacks? Coffee? Even just the smell of the latter can be energizing because it releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and euphoria. On the other hand, one wrong move and you’ll have coffee or crumbs on your keyboard. While I’m definitely guilty of snacking at my desk, I try to stick to things that won’t crumble on my keyboard or leave me with greasy fingers.


Keep it personal, not sterile

 

 

You don’t want to be so organized and streamlined that your space has no personality. What motivates you? Things like keeping a plant on your desk or a photo or two can help make a space yours. I have a hardy little succulent at my desk because they’re hard to kill and I have a notoriously black thumb.

 

I like to keep my favorite tools close at hand, too. While most of my office supplies live in my desk drawers, I always have an open notebook with a Pilot pen to the left of my keyboard. It’s great for when I have to jot some ideas down or when I have a new idea for a blog post and I want to outline it before I start typing it up.

 

The space you work can be a reflection of the work you create. Keep your work as organized you are (or wish you were) without sacrificing your personality!

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