Artists will be able to say how discouraging it can be when they can’t create a decent piece of art. Any writer who has ever had writer’s block will be able to testify how frustrating it is not to be able to scrape two sentences together.
However, many of these blocks in creativity and productivity can be attributed to your working environment. This environment can either act as a haze, or it can spark your creativity and pilot you into work mode.
The question, however, is how your working environment affects you and how you can change it for the better.
Nancy Dawson, the editor of Superior Papers says: ‘’I have experienced this myself. We made a few changes to the workplace and I feel my own productivity has gone up by almost 30% in the past few months. She adds: ‘’My team is certainly more enthusiastic now and they are a big part of this upward pattern in productivity graph.’’
Let us explore what changes you can make to your working environment that can help boost productivity.
Bring a little color to your world
Numerous studies have been done on the effects of color on a person’s mood. There is a pretty clear parallel that can be drawn when applying those principles to your workspace to increase productivity.
Your work area doesn’t need to look like a rainbow ran through it, but a splash of color makes a huge difference. Keep the main color scheme of your office neutral using whites, creams, greys, or browns, but break the neutrality with a bit of color every here and there. You would be surprised at the way it influences the mood of you and your employees.
Kim Lachance Shadrow explains that blue and green are low-wavelength colors which make you more focused and productive. However, red is a high wavelength color that grabs the attention. She recommends that yellow is used in work environments where creativity is exploited. It’s a fresh, invigorating color, and introduces an element of optimism to a workspace.
You’re an individual
As an individual who makes their money based on their ability to express themselves creatively, what works for you might not work for the next freelancer. It’s important to explore your own creative process and what you need to optimize your productivity.
If you prefer quiet, you won’t find yourself in top form in a café or coffee shop. On the other hand, if you find a bit of background noise welcoming, sitting in a silent office space at home might not work for you at all.
Different tasks may require different workspaces. The couch is a great place for reading through a proposal. But it’s not the best idea when it’s time to get down to business and do the work.
Know yourself and what works for you. It might take a bit of experimentation. But once you’ve got the winning combination, you’ll be well on your way to successful and productive times.
Change the scenery
Studies have shown that office workers who do their work in a space with a view, are 25% more productive than those who don’t. Whatever the reasons behind the boost in productivity, an outside view seems to calm the employee and bring more focus to the table.
When you take your eyes off your work for a couple of seconds, it is like a runner catching his breath after a sprint. Your brain seems to relax and regain focus when you need it most.
Not everyone will be able to get a window seat, but there are ways in which you can enhance the inside of the building as well. There are numerous indoor plants which also promote oxygen levels. The décor on the inside could also provide the employee with that momentary distraction.
Less is more
Although the saying might sound like a cliché, there is a lot of truth behind it when it comes to your working space. When your desk or office space is cluttered, your mind also becomes cluttered. It becomes extremely difficult to focus on the tasks at hand and in many cases become so distracting that you lose all sense of productivity.
A cluttered space makes everything blend in. You spend so much time searching for things that are right under your nose and in many cases lose your temper or focus on the task at hand. It is, therefore, extremely important to keep your working space as clutter-free as possible.
If you move around to different spaces to work, make sure you have a ‘go bag’. This bag must contain everything you need to work wherever you might find yourself. Have it organized so that each item has its own place. Double check it before you leave home. The last thing you want is to have your laptop die in a coffee shop and your charger on your desk at home!
Light it up
This is probably the most common aspect of your work environment that needs attention, yet it is one of the areas that gets looked over. You need light to do your work, but not all light is created equal. Some sources of light can hinder your productivity, and some sources boost your productivity. But how does it all work?
All of us have an internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm. This rhythm determines your sleep cycle, stimulation, relaxation and ultimately your productivity at work. Natural light is the best light source. Therefore, your workspace needs to be exposed to as much natural light as possible.
Depending on the working environment you want to create, you will also play around with the lighting. The mood that you want to create or facilitate in your workspace will influence the light scheme you choose. Warm colors are used to create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, whereas cooler colors promote a sense of creativity and alertness.
As a freelancer, you have an advantage over others when it comes to your workspace. You can choose where you work to maximize your productivity. Office workers are often stuck in a drab environment that doesn’t stimulate their creativity.
You would not want your work life also to be as dreary as the buildings and offices these people report to. To feel a change in yourself, to experience increased productivity, try out these changes – colors, lighting, décor, themes, open spaces around you. You’ll start feeling the difference in a matter of days.
Silvia Woolard is a freelance writer and novice entrepreneur from Phoenix, AZ. She mostly writes and works in a field of popular psychology and marketing. You can follow Silvia on her Twitter.