Quick! What do you immediately think of when you hear the word, ‘creativity?’
Most of our minds minds might conjure up images of lofty forms of art, such as…
But we probably aren’t imaging something a bit more ordinary, like this…
Creativity isn’t a special skill reserved for the stage or a stuffy museum. In reality, creativity is defined simply as, “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.”
Yet, depending on your job, creativity may not seem like an important aspect of your day-to-day work. Documentation and spreadsheets, regularly scheduled meetings and the on-going effects of the daily grind can turn even the most interesting of roles into a predictable pattern of bland, everyday activities. When you’re knee deep in data-filled reports and rushing to meet deadlines, ‘creativity’ might seem like a frivolous, out of reach concept.
However, there are opportunities to be creative every day if you know where to find them. Old processes and everyday occurrences can feel new again with a few small adjustments, and the motivational boost from a creative change of pace never hurts!
Here are some ways to start being more creative at your job, no matter what you do:
As quickly as an idea is born, it disappears. Don’t let inspiration pass you by! Always have a notepad and pencil, or other writing tools, handy for when a moment of creativity strikes. Even if the idea isn’t fully realized yet or you have concerns about its practicality, write it down. There will always be time to refine your ideas, but physically writing them down is the first step towards making them a reality. Hurry, before it’s too late!
Find opportunities to translate otherwise bland information – numbers, names, dates – into visual representations. Charts, graphs and infographics allow you to take data from dull black and white figures, and transform it into an eye-opening representations. If an email or phone conversation is not quite expressing a concept fully to your team, schedule some time in a room that has a whiteboard or other presentational tools. Hands-on visualization can kick start creative ideas!
Think Out Loud More
When it comes to a new idea, sometimes saying it out loud is just as important as writing it down. A brainstorming session with your team is a great way to flesh out ideas and hear what your ideas sound like outside of your head. Brainstorming is no different than any other creative process; the first step is often the most difficult! Be sure to start talking early and keep talking as a team (even if the ideas do not seem to make complete sense right away) in order to foster free-fire idea generation.
In Brainstorming, especially, and throughout all creative processes, remember to be positive! Ideas cannot thrive under the negative cloud of, “no!” Rather than dismissing new or strange ideas, take the time to actively listening to the idea fully, then work to expand upon it. Say, “Yes and…” to accept and build upon creative inspiration, rather than, “no, although…” to nit-pick and derail innovation before it even starts.
Your schedule is a ballet.
Your spreadsheet is a symphony.
Your career is a work of art.
Find ways to let your creativity shine today, no matter what you do! How do you keep creative at work? Share your techniques with us in the comment section below.