Picture this. You have been sitting for what seems like an eternity, trying to come up with a good idea or a clever line. But inspiration continues to elude you, and a fifth cup of coffee does not help.
What should you do?
Ideally, you should step out and take a stroll in the woods, by the beach, or in a parkóbecause spending time with nature can boost your cognitive performance by more than 20 percent, say scientists at the University of Michigan.
But what if your office is set in the middle of the city with nary a tree in sight — not even an indoor plant in the cubicle?
Change the screen saver on your computer: it might help you think smarter.
In the Michigan University study, participants showed improvement in cognitive performance after simply looking at photos of a forested area for a few minutes. Walking down a busy city street during an office break, on the other hand, showed no such improvement.
The study concluded that connecting with nature even for a brief period mitigates the negative impact of living in a bleak urban environment.
So, if you have a visually jarring graphic or a clever but uninspiring quote on your screen, replace it with a set of nature scenes that keep changing. When stressed and out of ideas, spend a few minutes enjoying the slideshow. †It could restore the mental clarity that has been eluding you.