“Décor matters. Do you cringe at cloying posters of adorable kittens? Get over it. Several recent studies have made the peculiar claim that cute imagery enhances mental focus. The first, published in 2009, came out of the University of Virginia’s psychology department and showed that viewing ‘very cute images’ of puppies and kittens enhanced fine motor skills. […] Viewing cute images doesn’t just heighten our evolutionary instinct to be physically careful around babies. It makes us mentally careful, too.” –InBusiness Magazine, “Get More Done,” April 2013 issue.
This is just a short excerpt from an article in InBusiness Magazine’s April 2013 issue of which I found entertaining, yet more useful when thinking of productivity within an office space. I know, I know. A lot of people believe that a room with four walls, a desk, and a computer is all they need to get their work done. I find it difficult, though, to hold this “belief” when there are hard facts that fly in the face of it all. Studies at Universities by experts in the field are physical evidence that décor and environment clearly affects how somebody works and the quality of that work delivered. What’s notable about “viewing very cute images” to heighten our overall work output is that it is becoming a popular notion amongst hard-working people. A perfect example: As soon as I read the above excerpt, I thought of a particular motif in the film Collateral. In the film, Jamie Foxx’s character plays a cab driver who holds onto a photo he coins as his “vacation.” At certain moments of the day, Foxx glances at the picture to clear his mind, enhancing his performance as a worker, but more so as a human being. He passes the picture to another character in the movie when he notices that work-related stress is affecting her time away from work. The passing of the picture proved to me that this “vacation” notion is being interwoven into the white and blue collar work world not only via magazines like InBusiness, but through multiple avenues; the film industry included. A cab driver, a CEO – we all need a personal escape and we all need to pass on the knowledge.
Whether it’s a picture of your fluffy pet kitten or a video of a memorable vacation, take a moment or two to relax and clear your mind throughout the day. In this hectic work world, we all admire a hard worker, but be aware of the finer, perhaps overlooked elements involved in becoming one. Make your own “vacation.”