Developing a Learning Culture

Discover 4 Ways to Find Your Creative Zen at Work

Feng shui and meditation aside, tapping into your office zen doesn’t necessarily mean yoga at your desk. Instead, it’s a state of mind that allows you to be calm and creative, even when you work in a high-stakes position. Whether it’s in preparation for learning or getting into the zone to check off your to-do list, your surroundings and equipment definitely have a bearing on your creative process. Here are some of the areas to check before you get started.

1. Clear Your Space; Clear Your Mind

Some people swear by the chaos of an overloaded desk, but for many miscellaneous papers, cables, and mess can really mess with your creative zen. Taking the time to clear your space helps you feel calmer and more focused which will make your mounting to-do list less stressful.

So, start your work by making sure that your desk is prepped. File papers away or stack them in a pile where you can address them later. Hide cords and even add a plant if your desk is thirsting for some organic matter. Then, add a few things to your desk that really inspire you to be creative. Maybe it’s an award you received or an encouraging note. Maybe it’s a picture of your cat. Hey, we don’t judge: it’s all about creating a space that allows you to focus on your goals.

If you’re ready to start thinking a learning project to tap into your learners zen, contact us here.

2. Tech Specs

Talking about creative zen doesn’t usually conjure images of your ear buds and computer monitor, but you’d be surprised at how much of a bearing your tech can have on your overall creative process. When your tech is outdated, slow, inaccessible, or inconvenient, it can seriously disrupt your creative juices. You never want to stop your flow because your eyes are strained, your wrists hurt, or your tech is causing you problems.

Adjust your monitor so that it’s at eye level. Experiment with the height of your keyboard and mouse for maximum comfort. Invest in quality tech that runs smoothly so that when you do find your zen, your computer is the last thing that you’re thinking about. It should support your process–not disrupt it.

3. Let’s Not Get Physical

The more distractions you have during the creative process, the less chance you’ll have to discover that mind-blowing, problem-solving, genius idea. While it’s good to get up and move throughout your workday (think walking meetings; getting outside for lunch; periodic stretching) make sure that you’re not constantly stopping and starting your work–especially when you’re onto something.

Gather up everything you need ahead of time. Minimize distractions by finding a quiet place and letting others know that you’re not available for talking about last night’s game (we’re not above popping in a pair of silent earbuds if that’s what it takes). Take five minutes to prep your space and materials so that nothing takes you out of the zone once you find your zen.

4. The Sound of Music 

Finally, utilize sound as a way to help trigger creative thought processes. In most cases, instrumental music works well. It signals the brain to focus without the disruption of lyrics. Classical music is great, but you can also find great film scores and even instrumental pop and hip hop if that’s more your speed.

Can’t stand the sound of music while you try and concentrate? Some of our employees swear by ambient sounds, like white noise or even the background symphony of a Starbucks. You can find apps and radio channels offering a bevy of creativity-friendly sounds to help get you in the mood.

Being creative is hard; being creative in the face of distractions is almost impossible. Make it easier on yourself and find your zen. In the end, whatever lets you feel calm, confident, and creative is the process you’ll want to adopt time and time again.