Everyone loves beautiful things. Whether they are clothes, jewellery, artwork, flowers or electronics, attractive and clean looking things nourish and calm us. I realise how materialistic and shallow this sounds however I believe it to be true.
Before you stop reading in disgust at the above paragraph, I want to explain that when I talk about beautiful things, I am not necessarily referring to expensive things. Nor, for that matter, do I necessarily mean tangible objects. Beauty can be found all around us: in nature, in uncluttered spaces, clean lines, soothing sounds and luscious smells.
Multiple studies suggest that there is a correlation between less clutter (read, more space and more beauty) and productivity. Roy Baumeister, in his book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, suggests that when people are surrounded by a working environment they enjoy or feel at home in, they have more willpower and are therefore more likely to work harder or spend longer hours at their desk. The same principle applies for aesthetically pleasing websites – users of clean, clear looking websites were more likely to return than those who visited cluttered, messy and distracting sites.
Google has tapped into this vein in their global offices. Staff are given an allowance in their salary to beautify their desk, cubicle or office all in the name of productivity and efficiency. It seems beauty really does pay off.
Surrounding yourself with beauty doesn’t have to be difficult. Below are a few tips to help you embellish your life:
- Surround yourself with nature. Get outside as much as possible and soak in the sights, sounds and smells. Can’t get outside? Bring nature to you. Buy a hardy plant for your office, grow herbs in small pots on your windowsill or simply pick up a bunch of your favourite flowers each week to display in a gorgeous vase.
- Treat yourself to some expensive candles and burn them when you need a pick-me-up. I personally love Diptyque candles. Indulge in one when you feel down.
- Free yourself of clutter. Get rid of those documents on your desk that don’t require immediate attention and deal with the ones that do. Leave work each day with a clean desk and therefore a clean palate ready for a fresh start the next day.
- Bring your iPod dock to work and softly play your favourite music in your office (if this isn’t possible, pop in your earphones if allowed). Pump your ears full of soothing music and drown out the noise and chit-chat of your co-workers.
- Smile at strangers and watch them smile back. It is amazing how this simple pleasure can fill you with feelings of joy.
- Buy some writing paper and write a long hand letter to someone you love. Enclose it in a beautiful envelope and send it. The exercise in itself is graceful and calming and will be sure to delight its recipient.
It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but it isn’t difficult to make your surroundings more elegant, charming and radiant. A few small things can make a mammoth difference in your mood and work ethic so indulge in something ravishing today.