If you work in a creative job as I do, you won’t be surprised by the latest findings that morale impacts our ability to get things done. According to the study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, focusing on negative aspects will cause defensiveness and fatigue. Instead, focus on actionable solutions and ideas that improve the situation.
As a graphic designer, I have more ideas when clients and staff have a positive attitude. When the inevitable changes come through, I feel most productive when the client focuses on the next step rather than lamenting on what’s wrong with an earlier version.
In a study on the trade off between office privacy and communication published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, found that a sense of privacy changed the perceived level of workplace satisfaction. Authors Jungsoo Kim and Richard de Dear of The University of Sydney noted that each type of office layouts had noted similar quality issues with their work. Those who had private offices were most likely to be satisfied with the level of distraction and proximity. Making interaction between team members easier was a small benefit to open floor plans, yet this minimal gain wasn’t offset by the many problems that arise.
Even if you happen to work in an open office space, it’s helpful to be able to have some private areas. I happen to have a private office and have found that others who are in more open areas tend to use my office or the conference room when they need an escape
You might be surprised to find out that your diet can make you more or less creative. A study from British Psychological Society found a diet higher in fruit and vegetable consumption correlates with a greater sense of curiosity and creativity. On days when they ate more fruits and vegetables, the sample group of 405 young adults reported a greater feeling of creativity compared to when they ate less. The data analysis found no carry-over of consumption to the next day.
Humor and laughter during regular team meetings was found to increase productivity. Not just in the immediate sense, either. This continues to help with performance up to two years later according to the study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. How can you apply this to your work as an artists? I’ve found that building the ideas of improv, lightening up about my work, and yeah even making jokes about myself have made me more likely to tackle my art. When I’m working on art, I’ll remember a joke and laugh. Give it a try.
If that helped you any, then you’ll definitely enjoy reading my post about how our habits, gender, and brain waves change how we produce art. In the meantime, here’s AsapSCIENCE’s video on The Science of Productivity:
Try this: Stop Multitasking. Focus on one task at a time. One aspect of one task. Multitasking even hurts well-practiced habits. A 1990's experiment on productivity demonstrated that switching between two tasks slowed participants. The experiment was shared by the American Psychological Association. If a participated repeated the same task again and again, they were better at it. Bilingual individuals matched colors and numbers in their native language versus a second language. Working in their native language became more difficult. Switching goals and changing trains of thoughts is hard! Notice when you get distracted and choose to refocus on one ... Read more
1. Play well with others Social and group contexts contribute significantly to the creative process, according to Harvard Business Review. Users, customers, and audiences play an important role especially in commercial fields like graphic design. Companies and individuals must learn from internal and external influences. Workers are more motivated by challenge than financial incentives and salary. “Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of ... Read more
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.