Trying to put our nose to the grindstone, focus, and increase our ability to do more in those 40 hours is a pursuit for which there are many answers. A quick Google search tells you all you need to know. There is no shortage of ideas out there for boosting productivity. But here’s one that maybe you haven’t heard.
Use your lights.
It’s no secret that lighting has a significant impact on mood, mental focus, and by extension, productivity. So if you’re looking to boost productivity in your office or home, it may be time to ditch the extra coffee and energy drinks and screw in the right light bulb.
Believe it or not, the temperature of your lights have a significant impact on mood and productivity. Warmer colors tend to promote a relaxing, more comfortable atmosphere. This is great for the breakroom; not so great for the workstation.
Cold lights tend to promote alertness and mental focus. At this temperature, your body’s melatonin levels reduce. If that sounds like an over-the-counter sleep medication, it is! Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body which aids in regulating both sleep and wakefulness. When melatonin levels are lower in the body, fatigue is reduced.
Cool temperatures (not cold, not hot) are somewhere in the middle in terms of productivity. Experiment with your lights temperature in the ELA app and find the right balance that works for you. For your workstation, try a colder setting. For common areas, go warmer.
Enhance Your Space
There’s something romanticized about burning the midnight oil (literally) with a single light flickering away as you’re the last one in the office cranking out work. However, darkness is a mood reducer. It also aids in promoting fatigue, aka being really, really tired.
You’ll want to illuminate your workspace fully, with fresh, cool light to help aid productivity. Don’t huddle in the darkness around a single bulb. Our bodies react strongly to our environment and a single light at your desk, no matter how powerful, isn’t fooling your body.
Turn Them Off!
That’s right. Eventually, the work is done and it’s actually time to go to sleep. Studies have shown that improper sleep can impair your body almost as much as being intoxicated. You wouldn’t go to work drunk (we hope!) so don’t go to work tired.
Your body likes to be on a schedule, and frequent late nights or early awakenings can throw off your circadian rhythm; the body’s own internal sleep/wake regulator. Explore the Bio-Clock feature in the ELA app to tune your lights to the normal day/night cycle including light temperature and brightness. This can help restore your circadian rhythm and promote a healthy sleep cycle.
Tune your body to the right station, use proper light settings in the workplace, and you’ll be well on your way to a happier, healthier, and more productive way of life.