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What Does a Change of Perspective do for Creativity?

May 25, 2022

Whether you're a knowledge worker, startup founder, researcher or student, your answer to the question, "Where do you work?" undoubtedly isn't the same as it was even a year ago.

For us Orbiters, that question spawned even more questions and our answers to them energized the lightbulb moment that led us to launch the Orbit ecosystem of affordable, inspiring and creative-boosting workspaces.

Just like you, we need to balance focus with creativity: we know that we need to become experts at embracing and integrating change, all the while maintaining our focus.

We know that enabling our customers to physically change their location and work environment isn't going to be enough to put us at the forefront of facilitating hybrid work culture. 

In the words of Jørgen Flaa, Orbit's Commercial Director,

"Culture is not about the office, but about people."

We're sold on the Orbit Spaces idea. We work here (and there, and over there). We're a rebellious, spirited gang of  change-makers but we didn't invent the concept of working remotely. Thousands of creators have blazed the trail for us. Here are four:

4 B.C. (Before COVID) Creative Space Creators

Marketer, teacher and triathlete, Bonnie Herron wrote her entire first novel,"My Courage Rises," a story that works its courageous way from Scotland to Vancouver Island to the Big Apple, in the Cook Street Village Starbucks in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Self-confessed nomadic novelist, Australian author, Jenn J. McLeod writes small-town fiction from her workspace in a 7-metre-long caravan that she affectionately calls Myrtle the Turtle.

Born on April 21, 1838 in East Lothian, Scotland, John Muir's family immigrated to Portage, Wisconsin in 1949. He recovered from being blinded in a factory accident in 1867 and went on to found the Sierra Club and the world's first national park, Yosemite. Arguably a bit old school, "John of the Mountains" shared his workspace with mountains, valleys, forests and skies. He was a meditative kind of guy, except when he'd been a month without coffee or decent Wi-Fi. 

Former Norwegian footballer, musician, economist and reporter, Jo Nesbø, began work on the first of his bestselling Harry Hole novels on a plane from Oslo to Sydney, continued — jetlagged —  in a hotel room Down Under, and finished it in his living room in Norway.

If you can't quite manage a daily commute to Yosemite National Park, the Pacific Coast of North America, any coast of Australia or a four-wheeled workspace, fear not:

Get the free Orbit app and discover amazing creative spaces.

Existing holistically in Asana, Slack, Trello, Zoom and pyjamas with a view of a sinkful of dishes or laundry (hopefully not a sinkful of laundry) is neither sustainable nor pretty. Orbit Spaces are a blend of both. We've designed them to evolve alongside, and revolve around, your work style. Regardless of your desk du jour, whether it's your WFH day or your WFO (Work from Orbit) day, here are a handful of hacks you can leverage to focus your perspective and fuel your inner creator in this new world of work fusion:

5 Perspective and Creativity Hacks for New Space Explorers

1. The Phenomenon of Fixation


To paraphrase Columbia University's Yung-Yi Juliet Chou and Barbara Tversky1, what we're doing with Orbit, and what you're doing in your Orbit space, is taking old ideas about the relationship between work and place and recombining and transforming them. We're disrupting the idea that workspaces are places where people only collaborate to achieve a single entity's mission; and you're gathering — either with coworkers, fellow nomads or students, to leverage the synergy of human connection to achieve many goals of often disparate initiatives — not even necessarily through collaboration — by collective inspiration.

In their 2020 Cognitive Science report, Changing Perspective: Building Creative Mindsets, researchers Chou and Tversky compared the mind-wandering mindset to the perspective-taking mindset and found the latter generated more ideas and originality. "Mind-wandering and world-wandering are just that, wandering, not systematic [...]." "The search for new ideas often frustratingly cycles back to old ones, a phenomenon known as fixation." "[...] so overcoming fixation by creating new associations is often the key to innovation."

In other words, focused perspective (see also hack #2) in delightful, engaging and unfamiliar spaces can yield fixation-busting results.

2. The Focus of Yoga's Drishti


Drishti2 is a yoga word that means focused gaze. There's a lot going on in our minds when we start a new job or start working from a new venue (see also hack #3). Our brains go into survival mode because work equals being able to afford food and shelter. But it's difficult, if not impossible, to create or learn in survival mode. You can use drishti to centre yourself in a new workspace by pausing before you begin your work or study and bringing your attention to a focal point in the space — a painting, a flower, a pattern on wallpaper, the sun icon or your keyboard's brightness key (but not the coffee machine!) — and taking a few deep breaths to anchor yourself. Remember your chosen focal point and come back to it every time you find yourself getting distracted. Namaste.

3. Shyness and Impostor Syndrome


You are not alone. In her 2012 TED Talk (64,000,000 views), "Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are," and her 2015 book, "Presence, Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges," social psychologist Amy Cuddy3 brings a modern-day spin to the two age-old terrors of insecurity and lack of confidence. She suggests that our body language can change how we see ourselves. The media dubbed her technique The Wonder Woman Pose and it's as simple as finding a private place — an elevator, office, bathroom stall — and reframing your posture for two minutes before you face the day, an interview or a brand new space, by putting your hands on your hips, and standing tall, proud and powerful.

4. Take Effective Breaks


Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after every two hours of screen viewing. Look at an object in the distance every 20 minutes for 20 seconds (see also hack #2)4.

5. Don't Leave Home Without It


Hybrid working involves taking work home so bring easy-to-carry keepsakes, tokens, photos from home to work with you. We like Minions because the small, yellow creatures evolved from single-celled organisms into beings that exist only to serve history's most evil masters.5 A humorous perspective.

See the Further Reading section of this post for the links to the 4 Creative Space Creators backstories. We put them there so you'd have fewer distractions on your journey to the end of this story.

At the time of writing, Orbit had ## spaces in incredible places — none of them in camper vans, national parks, globe-spanning planes or retail coffee shops, however most Orbit Spaces have Scandinavian coffee culture paradises baked in.

Get the free Orbit app and discover amazing creative spaces.

Further Reading

Author Bonnie Herron

https://www.mycouragerises.com/

https://stories.starbucks.com/stories/2014/i-wrote-my-book-in-starbucks/

Novelist Jenn J. McLeod

https://www.jennjmcleod.com/

https://www.betterreading.com.au/news/book-life/authors-on-the-go-roving-authors-and-the-unusual-places-they-write-from/

Naturalist, philosopher and author, John Muir

https://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/life/chronology.aspx

https://npansw.org.au/2017/09/01/which-was-the-worlds-first-national-park/

Footballer turned bestselling author, Jo Nesbø

https://jonesbo.com/jo-nesbo/biography/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Nesb%C3%B8

Creativity and Focus Hacks Sources

  1. Chou, Yung-Yi Juliet., Tversky, Barbara. (2020, March 31). Changing Perspective: Building Creative Mindsets. Cognitive Science, A Multidisciplinary Journal. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12820
  2. Drishti (yoga). (Updated 2021, November 5). Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drishti_(yoga)
  3. Cuddy, Amy. (2012, June). Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_may_shape_who_you_are; (2015, December). Presence, Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges. Little, Brown and Company.
  4. American Optometric Association. (2016, February 17). 20-20-20 Rule. Retrieved from https://www.aoa.org/AOA/Images/Patients/Eye%20Conditions/20-20-20-rule.pdf
  5. Minions (film). (Updated 2022, May 19). Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minions_(film)

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