You are creative — even if you don’t think so!
Creativity does not solely consist of things like writing a novel, painting a picture, composing a song, or some other task that is pure ‘art’. Instead, creativity takes a wide variety of forms.
Creativity at work does not only have to manifest in visuals and design. It could also be responding to a problem with a fresh perspective – like showing emotional creativity in finding a way to engage and connect with a colleague who is new to the team, for example, or coming up with original solutions to common challenges experienced by your business or its customers.
The benefits of displaying creativity in the workplace are many and varied. So if you’re keen to reap the rewards of boosting your creativity, imagination, and inspiration at work, why not try the following five simple tips!
1. Rest More Effectively
Few things are more likely to kill your creativity than feeling tired, stressed, or overwhelmed.
When this happens, the body and brain focus on achieving the bare minimum of tasks – the essentials that will get you through the day and out the door – instead of ways to optimise your processes, grow your business, and achieve your true potential.
Creativity takes mental effort even more than it takes time. If you are feeling refreshed and energised, it’s far easier to get creative than when you’re exhausted. Accordingly, if you want to see your creativity soar, start by doing less, not more, and aim to rest more effectively.
Quality sleep is especially important in this, but meaningful rest goes beyond the physical and extends to the mental and emotional too. For example, you could start by trying to create a clearer separation between your work and home life – perhaps by planning specific days off for you to recharge and unwind with your favourite pastimes.
Resting effectively will have a great impact on your creativity – whether that means responding more effectively to existing challenges at work, or making progress with a personal, artistic project.
2. Stay In Touch
While it is important to disconnect from the bombardment of social media, emails, and media consumption from time to time, staying connected with others is an important part of creativity. This involves communicating with your team at work, as well as with those who you value at home. By doing this, you can share ideas, get a greater sense of perspective, and see a problem through fresh eyes.
Staying in touch can also extend to being selective and discerning about the media, news, and current affairs you keep up with. Why not select some reputable or exciting news outlets in your industry, and check them only at certain times of the day, or on specific days of the week?
That way, you are still staying abreast of topical issues, but are not in danger of becoming distracted by a constant flow of news.
3. Take A Field Trip
outing for the sake of it — whether for work, or as a day off? Field trips were often the highlight of school or university, only to be forgotten when we became professionals.
If possible, you could suggest or schedule a field trip — either alone or with colleagues — and choose whether you want it to be work-related (such as going to an industry conference, for example) or completely unrelated (like going to an art gallery or outdoor attraction, perhaps).
A change in your daily routine can be a great way to awaken inspiration and feel refreshed. Even something that feels entirely unconnected to work can give you a completely new way to approach something, or a much-needed energy boost.
Perhaps you will be inspired by the dedication of an artist, for example, or the originality of a musician, or by the courage of a figure from history?
4. Develop A Hobby
When committed to our work — whether as an employee or an entrepreneur — it is easy to consider leisure time as wasted time. But nothing could be further from the truth.
The old adage says that you cannot pour from an empty cup. The more
that we ‘fill our own cup’ with things that enrich our lives, the more energy we will have to give to others – both in the workplace and at home. As such, your fun and enjoyment is an investment in your working life, not a distraction from it.
Many people find that they have gained more transferable skills from their hobbies than they realised. Attention to detail, perseverance, originality, and patience are all often developed when engaging in our hobbies, yet are indispensable in the workplace too.
Therefore, devoting time to your hobby can be a valuable part of developing your creativity – so if you don’t already have a hobby, now is a great time to find one!
5. Schedule Time For Creativity
It may sound counterintuitive, but a great way to boost your creativity is to schedule time for it. You may think that creativity cannot be turned on and off, but it can in fact be trained and strengthened like a muscle.
For example, some of the most famous writers in history swore by keeping to a strict writing routine – whether or not they felt inspired. In short, by making the time and space for creativity to happen, inspiration is far more likely to strike.
At home, this might mean setting aside an hour to read, draw, keep a journal, or even just to think. In the workplace, this might involve scheduling time with colleagues that you will use to collaborate on ideas for a project. Keep the atmosphere light and supportive, and let your imagination run wild! Sometimes the best solutions come from unexpected sources and suggestions.
With space, patience, and optimism — as well by understanding that creativity takes many forms — you can embrace your creative potential and allow it to surface at work, at home, and wherever else it chooses!