If you feel an extra jolt of creativity when you work in a coffee shop, it may not be from the caffeine: The recently launched website Coffitivity.com lets you stream java store ambient noise because they say it helps boost creative thinking.
Research from 2012 published in The Journal of Consumer Research shows that while a loud room is distracting—as you might expect—a room with a moderate level of a noise sparks creativity because it gets you thinking more abstractly than a quiet room.
Coffitivity’s team ran with those results—all the way to the coffee shop. According to their website, “the mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing.” So now, with Coffitivity.com, you can bring the humdrum of the coffee shop to your own workplace. People are definitely jumping on the Coffitivity train: On March 4, the first day the site was live, it got a little more than 100 page views—but four months in, it now gets between 10,000 and 20,000 a day, says co-founder ACe Callwood.
Visit Coffitivity.com to see if it helps you do some out-of-the-box thinking—and consider adding some ambiance to your workspace in these other ways, all of which are proven to amp up your creativity:
Dim the lights
You should turn the room’s brightness down a notch when you want to do your best brainstorming: According to a recent German study, the dimness makes you feel less constricted. Easy enough!
Bust out some blue
The color gets you thinking creatively, according to research out of the University of British Columbia. In the study, participants did work on a colored computer monitor. Find a cute blue desktop pattern and do the same, or stock your cube with some blue decorations.
…And go green
In an eight month-long study, people got more innovative in a flora-filled office environment, compared to ones with sculptures or no décor. So go ahead and splurge on some nice flowers or plants—maybe you can even write it off as a business expense.
Planning to fly over the holidays? Better hope you sit next to a woman. Turns out, men and women have completely different travel habits, according to airline data and interviews with airline crews and frequent flyers reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Women prefer the window seat, men prefer the aisle, and no one likes the middle seat (no surprise there). While women tend to curl up in their seat to avoid touching anything or anyone, men often sprawl out, taking up as much legroom and arm room as they can. But changes in on-flight behavior aren’t the only differences between genders. “Women who travel a lot say one of the biggest frustrations is that men often assume women don’t have the top-tier elite status or first-class seat for early boarding,” according to the article. Because of this, women tend to get cut in line, jostled around, and sometimes pushed out of the way while boarding.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to combat the jostling, especially in line. But the good news is flying doesn’t have to be complete bedlam. Use these tips from Lee Abbamonte, travel blogger for the Huffington Post who’s been featured as a Travel Channel expert, to make your next plane ride as pleasant and stress-free as possible.
“This is the number one thing I see women having trouble with,” Abbamonte says. “Women pack too much, and then they can’t lift their bags up into the overhead compartment.” His rule of thumb: A carry-on bag should weigh about 15 lbs or less. An easy way to drop some weight? Leave your hair dryers, flat irons, and unnecessary cosmetics behind.
Choose your outfits wisely
Would you rather your seat mate chat you up, or leave you alone to read the latest Women’s Health in peace? If you want to avoid chit-chat, consider dressing more conservatively, Abbamonte says. He has often seen—and often hears about this from his readers—that men will talk to a less conservatively dressed woman throughout the entire flight.
Claim your space
“The person in the middle should get the armrest,” Abbamonte says. But a woman in the middle seat can often end up with no armrest whatsoever—especially if she’s sitting between two guys. The solution? “Firmly stake your claim to the space,” he says. If you nicely put your elbow up on the armrest, it’s pretty unlikely that the person sitting next to you is going to shove you out of the way.
More from WH:
Holiday Gifts for the Girl (or Guy) On the Go
How to Beat Travel Fat Traps
The Travel-Friendly CrossFit-Inspired Workout
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