I’ve recently started meditating using the HeadSpace App and one of the exercises is to really pay attention to everything around you. Close your eyes and tap into what you’re hearing, how you feel, what you’re smelling and what your feet feel like on the floor. It’s a tedious practice at first but this attention can really do wonders in the long run. The same idea goes for your workspace.
We all have our favorite places to work, but have you ever thought about why? Whether you realize it or not, the five senses do more than just provide us with nice smells and pleasant tastes—they actually influence our productivity habits.
Next time you go to sit down in your office, here’s how you can use the five senses to impact your productivity:
1. Sight: Next time you paint your walls, remember that blue is the most productive color. Moredays.com says it stimulates a high work performance, which can keep you plugging along for long periods of time. Blue provides a calming and soothing effect, which helps to improve the mind too.Blue is even the recommended color to wear on a job interview because it symbolizes loyalty!
If you can’t change the color scheme in your office, add a small desk plant. While desk plants help to spruce up a workplace, two recent studies show that plants actually help to improve productivity, as well. Nature helps brighten moods and regain focus, but if you don’t have time in your schedule to go for a walk outside, a desk plant will do the trick.
2. Smell: You can even make your workplace smell like productivity. According to the Scent Psychology, lemon helps increase concentration and boosts your energy. It can also reduce stress and improve moods without lowering energy and alertness. Put purchasing a lemon air freshener on your to-do list!
3. Sound: There’s a reason people are always found working in coffee shops. Productivitypro.com finds ambient noise, such as inside coffee shop, enhances creativity compared to both low and high levels of noise. Moderate background noise provides just enough distractions to let our imagination wander, which triggers our minds to think creatively.
If you can’t turn your office into a coffee shop, there are many apps and websites that provide ambient noise generators to help you set the scene and focus. I like to turn on Pandora radio whenever I need to get to work — it gets me pumped up to get started. (Bruno Mars Radio is my new fave.)
4. Taste: For all of you with a sweet tooth out there— dark chocolate can actually enhance productivity. Yes!! I read in TheBusinessInsider.com that it has a natural stimulant, similar to caffeine, which strengthens concentration. Don’t feel guilty to treat yourself during any long workday! I try to have a square or two a day.
5. Touch: The minute we walk in to an office, we can immediately tell if it has a warm and cozy feel. Convene.com notes that often times, natural materials, like hardwood floors, provide a warm feeling when balanced with a soft, wool rug. The contrasting textures make the office space inviting, which is known to boost productivity. A brightly colored rug can help keep your mind awake when balanced against your newly painted blue walls!
Engage your five senses to increase your productivity— starting in your office!