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Improve Productivity with the Psychology of Colors


Colours stimulate emotional responses and have psychological effects on people. Thus, colours can be used to achieve desired outcomes in many areas. Some may say that colours are not important in our daily lives, but they have seemed to ignore the effects of colours on various things—traffic lights, emergency exit signs, and many more. There are many important applications of colours in our daily lives, with many acting on our subconsciousness, and without us realizing. Have you ever felt calmed after looking at green-potted plants or felt energized after looking at sunflowers when you are lethargic? Now, let’s delve further into the world of colours and learn how we can apply different colours to varying activities to maximise our productivity.



Warm colours

Warm colours like–red, yellow, and orange colours, tend to stimulate our senses. There are many things that the red colour is related to—passion, danger, and strength. It drives a sense of urgency in people and people have a higher tendency to display impulsive behaviours since it is visually stimulating. While orange is the colour that is related to courage and hospitality and making one feel friendly and energetic. Similarly, yellow drives attention as it is the brightest colour on the colour wheel. However, it may induce fatigue to the eyes due to a large amount of light reflected into the eyes. Hence, warm colours are effective at grabbing our attention and making bold statements. They are used extensively in fast-food restaurants like McDonalds and KFC to make consumers feel hungry and stimulate purchases immediately.



Cool colours

On the other hand, cool colours like–green, blue and violet are better at creating a peaceful and restful state-of-mind. They are good for those people who are constantly involved in intellectual activities. Green is often at times associated with nature and referred to as a refreshing and tranquil colour, as it helps to calm one’s emotions. While blue helps to ease the feelings of tension and nervousness as people tend to associate it with skies and ocean. People are more likely to unleash their creativity and think out of the box when they are encountering with a blue colour.  Lastly, we have purple. Many elite royal families favour purple as it represents royalty, power, and wealth. Lighter shades of purple are interpreted as more femininity and romantic; while darker shades of purple are seen to be more mysterious and ambitious. Since they possess the ability to calm people down, cool colours are more suited when it comes to initial stages of brainstorming and allow people to generate more innovative ideas.



Neutral colours

Lastly, we can’t miss out the neutral colours. Black, white, and brown are some examples of the neutral colours that we usually see. These neutral colours are not on the colour wheel, but they are equally powerful and go well with most colours. In the case of white, it is usually associated with righteousness, purity, and cleanliness. One example would be how doctors usually wear white lab coats to portray a professional image and demonstrate their expertise. For the case of brown colour, it leaves the impression of one to be more reliable, dependable, and trustworthy due to its close association with earth. It reminds people of the natural, organic, and wooden products. Furthermore, the natural elements of wood induce the sensation of being more relaxed and cozier. Lastly, black is often associated with power, strength, and dominance. It is the go-to colour for many conglomerates like Adidas, Apple, and Nike to give a classy and premium feel to their brands. Moreover, black is a popular colour in the fashion industry, as many choose to wear black to look more professional and competent. Hence, neutral colours can be used to create a cleaner and more organized look.


Cultural significance

However, colours do not have universal meanings across the world. The colour psychology is dependent on the cultural context that people are living in. Personal experiences can influence how the same colour can be interpreted differently by people of different cultural and social backgrounds. For example, the white colour is a symbol of purity and cleanliness in some European countries. However, it is a sombre colour in most Asian communities because it is commonly employed during funerals. Although colours do have psychological impacts on humans, the meanings would be influenced by one’s cultural context and social norms.


Gender Differences

Interestingly, gender differences affect how people react to different colours. In a study done by Angelo State University, men tend to have a higher recall for words which are written on yellow-coloured papers; while women have higher retention for words written on blue-coloured paper. The biological differences of how men prefer visually stimulating colours like yellow are contrasted with women’s anxiety and when being confronted with the same colour. While blue colour, on the other hand, provides a more restful and calm emotion in women that allow them to have higher retention rates. Thus, the same colour may induce different effects on people depending on their biological differences and cultural backgrounds.

In conclusion, do take these considerations into account when choosing your planners as they could potentially affect your workplace productivity. If you need to accomplish urgent tasks, write them down in notebooks with warm colours to ensure that you will have a sense of urgency, and be able to finish it in time. If you need to generate creative ideas, get one notebook with cool colours so that it can help to induce more innovative outputs. Go for neutral colours if you want a notebook that matches your workplace environment easily. Here at Craftwerkz, we customise planners and paper-products to suit your needs. Hence, you can get creative and productive with notebooks that are uniquely yours.

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