With more people working from home and having to convert their home spaces into work spaces, here are five psychologically proven ways to become more improve your productivity at home.
1. Splash some blue around your work area
Colours are able to change your behaviour and moods.
Corporations have been using colour to induce different behaviours in people for a long time. Most famously is perhaps McDonalds, using a combination of red for passion and yellow for hunger to induce passionate hunger!
The colour that has been found to induce the most productivity is blue, although, according to colour psychologist Angela Wright, only if you are doing “mind-y” type work. She also suggests adding in some oranges to bring some emotion and passion into your work and day.
Try taping a blue sheet against the wall if you don’t want to start a new paint job and add some fresh orange flowers on or near your desk.
Holidays are refreshing, relaxing and give you new insights and inspirations. That’s actually because you are taken out of your regular routines and have freed up mental space for new ideas.
You can also create similar effects by changing up your home.
You might think that you are consciously moving throughout your day making decisions based on new scenarios and information coming to you, however, a whopping 90% of what we think are repeated thoughts. We are actually very limited creatures and so changing things up interrupts our thought patterns and behaviours and causes us to have new ideas and make new connections. A new idea could be the idea that gets you out of your thinking rut.
Rearranging your bedroom, adding a new painting on a wall or doing your work in a different part of the house while being a fun activity can also double as a way to refresh your mood and ideas.
3. Indulge and activate your senses with some aromatherapy
Similar to colour psychology, companies have also been using scents to improve our overall sensory experience while we shop and hence influence us to spend more in their stores.
Our sense of smell is one of our strongest senses and can stimulate more brain activity and change your mood. Just think of smelling flowers, your favourite cologne or the aroma of favourite meal wafting through the house to get a feel for how much smell can change your mood and behaviour.
The list of scents that promote more productivity is long but our faves are every type of citrus, rosemary, peppermint, jasmine and cinnamon.
4. Give yourself a reward
This is the oldest trick in the book but it does have its merits.
Do you love going to the gym?
You’re either going to be one of two camps. The first one absolutely loves going to the gym and the other one hates it. The big deciding difference between the two groups is what you associate with going to the gym. If you have positive associations with the gym, you’re going to love going. If you have negative associations with the gym, you won’t.
It’s a simple concept but if you are more positively associated with something, the more likely you are to do more of it. Giving yourself a reward after a long hard working session releases dopamine and you will start wiring your mind to start looking forward to working.
5. The Hour of Power
Working from home can be challenging for some with urges to put on the kettle, raid the pantry, put on a load of washing or start the slow cooker for a delectable dinner. There is no end to the many ideas your brain will give you to procrastinate to which you will have varying degrees of success in resisting.
The Hour of Power is a simple technique you can use where you switch off all distractions. Turn off the wi-fi modem at the powerpoint, switch off the phone, tell your family and housemates that you should not be disturbed and then give yourself an entire hour to work with focus.
If any thought or ideas come up which threaten to distract you, write it down on the side of your paper as something to come back to later.
The idea behind this is removing the triggers that would usually cause you to become distracted. It’s the very first stage of a habit loop. When you remove the triggers that usually lead to the bad habits, your mind doesn’t go into the automatic response of doing the habit.
Stay productive and safe, all.
Want more? Click here for How to Keep Your New Interests Going Post Lockdown and here for the Ultimate At-Home Day Spa.￼