How many times have you sat down at your desk, a list of to-do’s staring at you, only to find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your Twitter feed five minutes later?
It’s easy to say that you’re going to focus on your tasks today – but to truly be consistent is another thing entirely. Too many distractions lurk at every corner, whether you’re working on flexible hours at the office or as a freelancer at home. There’s social media, your pet, the fridge, or the TV.
When excessive caffeine is not enough to help you concentrate, use the power of colors to steer you in the right mindset. After all, the psychology behind colors has been used throughout different industries for all kinds of purposes (i.e. increase appetite, welcome new customers, soothe patients, and yes – boost your productivity).
It’s YOUR turn to take advantage of it. Here are five quick tips to get started:
1. Add orange to hasten meetings.
This bright mix of yellow and red often represents encouragement and enthusiasm. Similar to yellow or red, orange is a “hot” hue that helps stimulate the brain with its invigorating effect. Need a little push during a brainstorming session? Try adding an orange accent into the meeting room (like an orange vase or candles). Even better: hold your meetings in an orange room if your office has one.
Just don’t forget to provide snacks as this color tends to stimulate appetite, too!
2. Boost your productivity, make deadlines red.
Associated with danger, blood, and determination, this commanding color is great for immediately attracting attention. That’s why wearing red clothing, accessories, or make-up can help you stand out in parties. If you’re having trouble following deadlines, mark them in red to make them appear urgent. Write down important events/reminders using red marker or pens in your calendar and planners.
You can also implement this trick on online management tools, like Trello. Just go to their settings tab to assign colors to cards or boards.
3. Rest your eyes on something green.
Exhausting yourself is NOT going to boost your productivity. On the contrary, it’s going to burn you out even before the day is over. If you want to get more done, take small, strategic breaks so your mind stays refreshed and ready to take on anything. Soothe your tired eyes during these short periods by looking at something green. Try visiting a nearby park or simply rest your eyes on a cute, potted plant.
For those working on digital devices (such as PCs or tablets), experts recommend the 20-20-20 rule. This means looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes. This prevents eye strain and fatigue in the long run.
4. Scribble ideas on yellow notes for creativity.
Ever wondered why Post-Its are yellow?
Aside from the fact that it was an accident; the hue was a ‘good contrast to most colors (like white)’, and ‘had a strong connection with users’. Yellow typically represents cheerfulness and creativity. That’s why things like the sun, lemons, and sunflowers are linked with feelings of happiness and energy. Just the thing to boost your productivity.
Looking for inspiration for your next project? Scribble down your thoughts on canary yellow Post-It notes to get the juices flowing.
5. Wear blue for collaboration.
Blue is not only a universally favorite color, it’s also a hue of trust, wisdom, and confidence. This explains why business men, police officers, and healthcare workers normally wear blue uniforms. It also has a calming effect on the mind and body. That’s why healthcare establishments are painted in shades of blue.
Take advantage of this dominant hue by dressing up in blue for meetings when you need people to cooperate with your ideas. Feeling sick? Don’t let coworkers feel grossed out. Don blue to assure them that you’re fine. No blue dress or shirts? Use blue accents such as a scarf, necktie, vest, or cardigan for the same effect.
It’s amazing that our favorite colors not only lift our moods, but can also improve our experience at work. Whether you’re at work or you just need someone to agree with your plan, colors can put the odds in your favor. Try any of these tips and see how they boost your productivity.
Plus, it gives you a good reason to bring your potted plant at the office.