Being Creative at Work: Part 2

By: Marie Donlon

Being Creative at Work continued.

Brainstorming Sessions

If time allows, indulge in a brainstorming session. Be it a word association exercise or simply daydreaming, jot down whatever comes to you in that moment. It might prove useful later (while making absolutely no sense now). Likewise, as you write down your thoughts, other words or ideas may emerge.

Abandon or Edit?

Have you been so hung up on one idea or plan that the idea of starting from scratch reduces you to tears? Don’t be afraid of abandoning an idea when you can’t seem to find a way to make it work. You might surprise yourself with what innovation is born from starting all over again.

Likewise, don’t be afraid to change details that don’t seem to be working for your project or plan. Don’t be afraid to pare down your idea.

Don’t Overthink It

When we get too caught up in an idea or plan, sometimes it is just best to stop thinking about it. Again, this might seem counterintuitive, but overthinking a project or plan can act as a roadblock to creativity. Consider stepping away and returning later with fresh eyes.

Exercise

Many ideas can come from simply moving around. Use your lunch break to break a sweat. Movement might not only clear your head, the exhilaration that (allegedly) comes with exertion might lead to unexpected ideas.

Change of Scenery

Instead of feeling shackled to your desk, consider working from a separate location. If you have both the equipment (a laptop) and a connection, leave your office to work from locations such as a coffee house or even from your own yard.

Other Tips:

  • Get to work before everyone else. Getting to work early will give you a chance to clear your mind uninterrupted, thereby leaving room for creative thought.

  • Keep a notebook of ideas where you can jot down details. Set aside time each day to do it so that it becomes habitual.

  • Work with a mentor or other coworker whose input you value.

  • Draw your ideas. Give them life. A sketch might very well change how you are viewing an issue.

  • Like anything else, get enough sleep and enough to eat. If you are hungry, tired, or both, you will not be in a state to do much of anything, let alone create. Creativity will be impossible with other matters such as sleepiness and hunger gnawing at you.

  • Is there anyone in your life you find inspiring? Or maybe you idolize someone from afar? Take a moment to imagine how they might come up with a creative solution to a problem or challenge.

Resources

Huffington Post—100 Ways to Be More Creative at Work

The Muse—10 Ways You Can Innovate at Work Every Single Day—No Matter How “Boring” Your Job Title

The Muse—21 Quick Ways to Kick-Start Your Creativity and Come Up With Brilliant Ideas