It does not matter if I am working on a new website design, a logo for a business or even a personal art project like a painting – there always comes a time when I have trouble being creative and coming up with ideas. A few years ago this was a real problem for me, so I spent a lot of time reading up on how to foster creativity based on your environment.
What I learned really helped me to turn around my productivity problem. And these days, I rarely have any issue at all when it comes to getting into that creative zone. So, I want to share some of the things that have helped me over the years to create the perfect little creative bubble both in my environment (work space) and my life in general.
Change Your Diet
I love junk food. Pizza, fries, burgers, ice cream, chocolate – you name it and I probably love it. But we all know that eating like this is not really very good for our bodies, right? When I was looking for ways to increase my creativity, one thing that I kept seeing what that eating a healthy diet really improved your mental clarity, which resulted in more creative bursts for people like me and you. So, I grudgingly started eliminating all that yummy junk food and replacing it with healthier options. I even started doing some juice fasting after reading this article and now I even have some green juice every morning.
Sure, I still eat some of that junk food from time to time, but it no longer makes up my entire meal plan like it used to. And I can tell you first hand that changing what I was eating really did result in some big changes in the way that my mind works and how much creativity I can get out of a work day. I definitely recommend it.
Get Better Sleep
Just like my junk food habit, I also used to have terrible sleep habits. I would often end up sleeping way more than 8 hours a night just because I loved being lazy in bed. I also would go to sleep at different times each night, with many nights seeing me going to bed well after 1:00 a.m. because I had gotten up late or because I was drinking too much soda (caffeine) close to bed time. I ended up doing a lot of research on sleep patterns and how it affects you brain, which resulted in more changes for me.
After reading this article on sleep tips, the first thing that I did was create a set time for sleeping. That means that I started going to bed at the same time every night regardless of how tired I was (or was not) and what time I had gotten up that day.
As you might imagine, when I first started this it was difficult to actually fall asleep since my brain and body was not yet trained to go to sleep at the same time each night. So, I read this list of ways to get better sleep and started implementing them right away. After a few days time, I started seeing some improvements in how quickly I could fall asleep.
And by the end of the month, it because just another normal part of my day. I went to bed and got up at roughly the same times each day, which really helped tremendously in giving me structure for my daily routine. And this resulted in me being more focused on my work and being able to get a LOT more done during my waking hours.
Sweat Out Those Toxins
Another thing that I read is that exercise boosts your creativity. And let me just say that while I think staying fit is great, I am also not really a fan of working out. I know , a lot of people feel that way, right? Well, I figured that I needed to give this a shot since so many articles were saying that it actually worked.
Since I hate working out, I knew that going to a gym was not going to cut it for me. Instead, I knew that I needed something that I could do without leaving home but that still gives me a good workout. And I knew that it would have to be something that I enjoy or I would not stick to it. That means no treadmill and no elliptical machine cause I really get bored on those. That is when I happened on a fitness site that was offering rowing machine reviews and that peaked my interest. After watching one of the videos, it seemed like a fun thing to do and I ordered one for myself.
Thankfully, it is a machine that does not bore me to tears and I actually have been doing it almost daily for about 7 months now. It really gets you to sweating in no time and I find that it clears my mind and helps me think more clearly. After my workout, I take a quick shower and have some of my most productive sessions on the days that I use the machine. I also have a kettlebell at home that I use for some strength training a few days a week. I’m not certain that it offers the same type of benefits though. I just do it to tone up my arms a bit.
Setting Up The Perfect Environment
Of course, I still was not satisfied because I was certain that there were some additional hacks that I could employ to boost my creative burst even more. So, I kept on reading and come across this article where realized that maybe I needed to work on perfecting my home work space to optimize it for creativity.
So, taking the tips from that article I moved all of my project related stuff out of the bedroom and living room and put it all in the room that I had originally made a home office but rarely used. Then, I sat down to make a list of all the reasons why I was not using this room so that I could make any changes.
First up, improve the lighting. The room only had a single light in the center of the ceiling and it was a bit dim for my liking. So, I took the globe off the light and replace the bulb with a brighter one. I decided to leave the globe off the light too. Then, I went to IKEA and bought a few lamps to place around the room and brighten it up a bit. That helped some.
Next up, I cleared away some of the clutter in the room. Since I had not really been using it for work, my family had just been storing junk in the room. So, the bookshelves and closet were full of things that I did not need and that just interfered with my creative juices.
Then, I hopped onto my computer and ordered up some inspiring art prints from Art.com to brighten up the space some so that the artwork would give me some design inspiration. As soon as those arrived, I put them up on the walls and that really did a lot to change the vibe of the room since it was all boring and drab. I also got a funky cool rug for the floor that brought some additional splash of color to the room.
And my final obstacle with this room was dealing with the noise that came in from outside. The room has a nice big window, which is great for natural light but bad for letting in outside noises since the room is close to the road outside. I considered covering the window to soundproof it, but that would result in me losing the natural light. My buddy Frank suggesting that I try a white noise machine, but I am not really a fan of the sound of white noise. Luckily as I was reading over some noise cancelling machine reviews, I realized that you could get these machines with other sounds like a waterfall or rain or ocean waves and I was sold on that idea immediately. I am all about the sounds of the ocean waves while working – especially since I cannot afford ocean front property!