How to spark creativity with nature

Published in ColoradoBiz Magazine

Present day workplaces have a tendency to be hectic and jam-packed. In marketing or public relations, every position has the opportunity to be creative in their own unique way. Unfortunately, sitting in front of your computer and focusing on one task can stifle your creative process.

We are finding ourselves so entrenched in our work that we are not taking breaks, or worse, just not getting up from our desks out of routine. Employees underestimate the importance of getting away from his or her desk to alleviate the stresses of work and daily life.

As a designer, it is especially important to have an open workspace. It is so easy to lose track of time working on one tedious task or making menial edits that you may lose the bigger picture. If you have the freedom or flexibility to get away from your desk, take that opportunity to clear your mind. It will allow you refresh and you will find that you are much more efficient when getting back into the nitty-gritty.

A new study illustrates the importance of breaking out of the routine and getting back to the great outdoors. The University of Kansas and University of Utah did a study with a group of backpackers by putting them in the outdoors for 4 days unplugged from their electronics. After returning, these backpackers scored on average 50 percent higher on creativity tests prior to being out in nature.

“It provides a rationale for trying to understand what is a healthy way to interact in the world, and that burying yourself in front of a computer 24/7 may have costs that can be remediated by taking a hike in nature,” says David Strayer, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah.

Granted, we working folks can’t always get away for four days to go backpacking to increase our creativity, but getting outside for even 15 to 30 minutes a day can help nurture your mind. Whether it’s going out to lunch, taking a hike on the weekends to reset, or even just taking a few moments to stand up and stretch your legs, the smallest escape will help.

To view this article published in ColoradoBiz Magazine, click here.

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