Designers: Is Your Home Office Environment Creative-Friendly?

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Working in an inspiring environment does wonders to boost creativity. Even when you’re not intentionally looking around at the walls, your subconscious mind takes in everything including the paint, windows, and décor. How you arrange your working space matters. The color of your walls matters. Your mood influences your ability to be creative, and your environment influences your mood. Creating a calm space will produce the calm mind needed to tap into your creative powers.

If you haven’t designed your working area to maximize your creativity, now is a great time to get started.

1. Paint your walls a non-distracting color

The color of your walls matters more than anything. Yellow seems like a happy color until it’s all you see in the background while working on the computer. Don’t paint your walls a color that will distract you, even when that color is said to be calming or conducive to productivity.

Choose a color that will blend into your surroundings. It can be light or dark but make sure it’s a color you can handle looking at for long periods of time. Bright colors like orange and red are probably not good choices. Tints and shades of gray or blue are the best colors to consider due to their neutrality.

Visit a hardware store to look at samples and visualize your creative space painted that color before you commit to any specific color. You can also have custom colors created for you on the spot.

2. Be old fashioned

Do you like to curl up on the couch with a good book before bed? These days, reading a book before bed is considered old fashioned. So is using pen and paper to write, but pen and paper are scientifically proven to be more effective. Taking notes with pen and paper forces you to be more selective with what you write down. The same logic applies to brainstorming creative ideas. You’re less likely to waste time writing long-winded ideas and are more likely to get to the point faster.

Instead of staying glued to your computer screen to sketch and record ideas digitally, get out a pen and a notepad and curl up on the couch. Curl up next to a warm fireplace or a pellet stove and forget that your computer exists for a little while. You’ll be amazed with the ideas you’ll come up with when you bypass digital tools.

3. Take breaks with your pet

How often do you take breaks? If you’re like most designers, you don’t break often enough. There’s always so much to do, and you’re always just a few more tweaks away from perfection. However, not taking breaks can have detrimental effects on your health. Sitting for too long isn’t good for blood flow, and if you don’t exercise your muscles can atrophy.

Your beloved pet probably wishes you’d take more breaks. The good news is, taking frequent breaks to play with your dog or cat (or even your reptile) can give you a needed break from stress. Owning a pet has been proven to reduce blood pressure, stress, and anxiety

Your pet won’t know that you’ve been struggling with a design for a picky client and need some love; they’ll just be happy to accept whatever cuddles and scratches you want to give. Besides, how can you resist their cute little face?

4. Splurge a little

You know that $300 office chair you can’t stop thinking about? The one that feels like a dream when you sit in it because it provides the full back support you need? Get it. Splurge and buy that chair.

Imagine how your creativity would increase if you weren’t wiggling around in discomfort all day long. There’s nothing wrong with spending a little money on your office. You need to sit in a chair every day anyway. Why not buy the chair that makes your body feel good?

Whatever you need to buy to create a comfortable office, just do it. You’ll be more creative when your mind isn’t occupied by a distaste for your furnishings.

Are your clients a pleasure to work with?

Last but not least, make sure you’re working with clients you enjoy working with. Don’t take clients just to pay the bills. Raise your standards and your fees if you have to. Nothing kills creativity like a picky client you can’t please.