This week on Idealists in Action, we’re exploring the concept of Home.
As a generally unkempt person, I tend to take issue with the “messy desk, messy mind” principle that tidy folks occasionally bring up (usually with one eyebrow cocked). But it turns out that science is on my side.
New studies are showing that it’s less important to rid your workspace of clutter than it is to design and organize a space that fits with your personal tastes. When we have control over the look and feel of our workspaces, it increases our productivity and all-around efficiency.
Psychologist-turned-writer Dr. Christian Jarrett explains this—and other new workspace organization research—in the 99U article “The Perfect Workspace (According to Science)“.
Though he asserts that individual tastes rule, Jarrett does have some decor ideas that work well for most people. Try working these into your own personal decorating scheme:
Choose rounded furniture and arrange it wisely
If you have the luxury of designing your own workspace, consider choosing a layout and furniture that is curved and rounded rather than sharp and straight-edged.
Creating this environment has been linked with positive emotions, which is known to be beneficial for creativity and productivity (added bonus: there’s also less chance of knocking an elbow or knee on a sharp corner).
Take advantage of color, light, and space
Choosing the right color and lighting scheme for your office is one of the simplest ways your environment can enhance your performance.
For instance, exposure to both blue and green has been shown to enhance performance on tasks that require generating new ideas. However, the color red has been linked with superior performance on tasks involving attention to detail.
Make use of plants and windows
If you only do one thing to optimize your workspace, invest in a green plant or two.
But however you decide to decorate or organize your space, says Dr. Jarrett, the most important thing is to do whatever you can to create “an office space that you feel happy and comfortable in.”
Messy desk, it is!
What kind of space do you do your best work in? Share with us in the comments.
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