I like to change things up occasionally at home. I find that it gives me a burst of creativity. (I don’t have the problem much at my workplace, where management amuses itself by having me move cubes every few weeks.) But at home, my desk space can quickly stale and become a place of blockage rather than creativity.
So I like to change things up. I shuffled things around yesterday, and immediately was able to get past a writing block I had. Here are the five things I change to stir up creativity:
Change the Environment
Clear Your Workspace
Clutter on my desk is a big problem for me, both in collection and distraction. By cleaning off the top of my desk, emptying my bins and putting things away, I feel much more focused.
If things are really bad, I dump everything into a box and deal with it later. But for the most part, I follow the process I outlined in Getting Rid of Clutter in the Visual Field, which has pictures of my actual working space.
Clear Your Walls
It is easy for me to accumulate things on the wall, particularly with a bulletin board in front of my desk, and a calendar next to the desk. A few years ago I had many more framed certificates and awards on the wall. I took them down in favor of my diploma, framed with a picture of scenes of my university. Not only did this declutter the wall, it also removed reminders of organizations I no longer had an interest in belonging to.
I purposefully keep the calendar to the right of my desk area empty. I use it to reference days, but the appointments and things live on my computer. I find that this helps me focus because I do not have a constant reminder of upcoming events.
Change Your Pen Color
Sometimes little things can make a difference. I like to change pen colors to keep it fresh. The root of this habit was when I was working for a company where my co-workers would take my pens and pencils. I started writing in pink ink, and the pens never disappeared again. But what I found is that a different color of pen in the morning can set the whole day up for creativity. Today I’m using green.
Change Your Wallpaper
If you spend a lot of time working on a computer, changing the wallpaper can make things seem fresh. You can either do this manually, or use one of the many programs to change wallpaper automatically (see Lifehacker’s article Keep Your Wallpaper Fresh with Cross-Platform Wally). I flag my favorite photos in Flickr and select a new favorite for the wallpaper each day.
Change Your Default Font
Sometimes the text just seems to go on forever. If you are typing something only you will see, why not use a fun font? Check out the default fonts that come with your computer. Choose something a bit off your beaten path and see if it doesn’t inspire you.
I am always looking for ways to give myself a bit of a creative boost. Do you have anything that works? Leave a comment below.
Photo by h.koppdelaney