Creating a creative environment (part 4)

365 texts creative environment creativity
Reflections and drafts

Goal of the day: 849 words. Written: 944.

And here's a fact: an environment full of chaos really does stimulate creativity. As the Chaos and Research from the University of Minnesota, USA.

But here's the problem...

...While a chaotic environment increases creativity... it does not increase creative productivity. Or, to put it more simply, yes, we have a million ideas... But we only implement a few.

In fact, several of my friends have a similar problem - they come up with millions of ideas in their chaotic homes. But most of them die.

|| So what do you suggest, Daniel?

I'm proposing an old idea, but new to a lot of people (maybe you too?): create two work surfaces for yourself. Two desks.

And while it sounds complicated (well - doubly so, since there are now two surfaces!), it's not that hard to implement. The writer I mentioned, Austin Kleon, in his book Steal like an artist, talks about how he made it happen by simply bringing a second desk into his workroom. He filled the first one with handwritten papers and left the second one empty except for the computer.

But if you can't bring a second table into your room, don't worry. There's another way to solve the problem of two desks - by moving from one creative space to another. Let me explain... 😉

Let's say you work from home. In your kitchen. It's tidy, it's clean, it's nice, it's not cluttered, because the kitchen is nice when it's tidy. Let's say it's surface A.

Where could your surface B be? Your chaos-filled work corner, where you could, for example, go to create even things that are not directly related to work?

There are many options. It could be your garage if you have one. It could be a table in your salon, covered with pictures of children. Maybe even a desk in your child's room, if they are young and you don't let them go to kindergarten? The added plus is that you would have more contact with your child(!).

It can even be a public space. And you don't have to rent a table for a Talent Garden - a library reading room will do. Here, for example, I can show you a picture of a moment in time, gathering ideas (using the Cloud method) for this article you are reading.

So what? Did someone come and tell you that you shouldn't relax in the reading room? In the library? Nobody said that. Although I do it many times. And if I did get kicked out, I would go to a café or leave the chaos at home and look for order in the city. On the contrary.

So the principle is simple: don't just have a tidy or creative desk. Because while a tidy desk helps you concentrate, a chaotic one helps you create ideas...

...And you need both to create. An idea without implementation, however, is worth nothing. And implementation requires concentration.

(By the way: I recommend reading this Joel Runyon's article on the Workplace Popcorn system. This approach to productivity and alternating creative spaces fascinated me! And I use this system myself.)

But the components of a creative environment don't end there...

A few more parts of a crazy creative environment.

So what else do scientists and creative super-powered people urge us to consider when building a creative fortress?

Well, here's what...

No. 1 - Oras.

While some people think it's a critically important aspect of a good life, others don't think it's important at all... The truth, as always, lives in its favourite place - in the middle.

Technical University of Denmark carried out a whole series of experiments back in 1999 and 2004to determine the effect of air on our performance and thinking skills...

...And found that the effects of air, while relatively small (i.e. less than those of noise, for example), are still worthy of attention. It turns out that working in a polluted environment can reduce our working capacity by 6-9%. Other studies have reported exposure ranging from 5 to 10%.

So, working in a - pardon the pun - overcrowded environment, we lose up to a tenth of our creative abilities.

|| So what would you advise me to do?

An open window or an opportunity to buy an air conditioner (and an air purifier) is your decision.

Personally, since I live very close to the suburbs of Kaunas, I just open my window in the summer and spring. Of course, I have to close the window soon because of the noise from the dogs, but those few minutes, say, at lunchtime, are enough to air out the room.

If I do go to work in libraries or cafés, I choose one with proper ventilation. In some of them, the lack of fresh air literally makes you sleepy. Which, let's face it, isn't very helpful for creating... 😉

No. 2 - Personal space.

If you're going to create (or have already created) your workspace at home, the personalisation effect will come to you. Inevitably.

But it's a different matter if you work, or are about to work, in a place that is not your home. For example: an office, a library, a café, a creative environment, or something similar.

In 2010, Craig Knight and Alexander Haslam from the University of Exeter found that office workers who got the chance to decorate their workplaces did just that... They were even 32% more productive than those who didn't get the chance.

One third more! Just because they got the chance to put up a photo of a loved one, bring a tiny flower, or stick a picture of their heir on the wall.

Here's a question: why can't we make the most of this without having a permanent office?

Answer. And who is to stop us?

And really, when you go to a café, who can stop you from putting a picture of your beloved muse on the same table as your computer? Or to bring a tiny statue of, say, the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower to remind you what holiday you're trying to earn money for?

It may seem a bit strange in other people's eyes, but why should you care if it helps you create?

So no matter where you create your creative corner, personalise it. 🙂

No 3 - Plants and windows.

And when it comes to air and a pleasant place to work... don't forget plants and windows. Although I've already mentioned both, but:

If you want to optimise your workspace, you shouldn't forget about plants. Already in several studies [1], [2], [3]In offices, it has been found that they have not only helped to reduce the level of indoor pollution, but have also helped to reduce the stress levels of employees.

It turns out that even a few small glances at the plants or a few moments of care (e.g. watering) can help to reduce psychological stress and help you get back into a working routine.

|| Well, what do windows have to do with it?

And to the fact that large windows look out onto the natural landscape, or even, in the city, onto the ingenious and beautiful architecture or just a few trees, According to research, it also helps you recover.

Not to mention the fact that you can open the windows and breathe in fresh or fresher air if your workplace doesn't have adequate air ventilation. 😉


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