Creativity is the new buzzword – you are constantly reminded that you need to showcase creative thinking in your workplace, to ‘think outside the box’. However, no one tells you how intimidating unleashing your creativity is and it remains one of those scary things for many jobs since it involves shaking things up and trying new things.
That means letting go of older, inefficient systems, all in order to solve new problems that are increasing in their complexity. You never know how vital a new way of thinking is until you face a problem that cannot be solved using the tried and true methods of the past.
Many reasons exist that necessitate the need for creativity in the workplace – needing to resolve problems, a requirement for something new, and a need to communicate with others. Innovation is the lifeblood of any organization or business, so here are some ways that will help you increase your creativity.
Sometimes, disregarding the rules is good.
The next time you get together with your team and brainstorm, it is a good idea to enforce a ‘no barring of ideas’ session. Encourage everyone in the team to come up with ideas, even those that seem far-fetched or nonsensical. Even in these ideas is a bit of wisdom, so make it even better by assigning someone to police any negative phrases that may be said, and encourage honesty from everyone as well.
Become visual in thinking
Becoming a visual thinker is a good thing, regardless of the industry you work in, or the role that you are operating in. visualizing ideas is an excellent way to get you and the team thinking on new levels, so leave the phone alone, get into a room and use a board or your notebook – at least until your hand hurts from all the drawing or writing of ideas.
Propose a finished idea, then work backwards
You have a scenario you find ideal, and it happens 20 years later? Present it to the group, and you can work backwards with everyone to figure out what to do to make that dream a reality. However, do not choose to focus on the ‘how’ you will make it happen, and watch your road map unravel itself.
Write down everything you hear or think
When brainstorming and thinking about creative ways to do your job, understand and remember that no idea is too small for consideration. Keep in mind that even the most far-fetched ideas have some value to your business, and you can use them down the line.
After all, you never know the exact phrase or word that will spark the next great idea, so make sure you note all of them down. You can then display it somewhere prominent in your office, such as a dashboard, and remind yourself of these ideas.
Turn idea sharing into an interesting game
To promote the flow of creative juices, you can set up a game during the next meeting. For instance, having everyone present to write an idea and toss them to the table, you can pick a random idea and read it out loud. Another way is to switch roles, and you can ask one of the other employees what they would do if they were in your position.
Mental breaks are important
The perception we all have of social media and things like playing a random game of monopoly or Sudoku may seem like time wasters – after all, society teaches you that you should be actively participating in bringing more money and investing more time in your work.
However, no one tells you that the most productive people in the workforce take regular mental breaks – you are not a machine, you are a human. Give yourself time to rest and recover from your work – it is impossible to produce creative ideas when you are exhausted or lacking morale.
Encourage yourself to go for an exercise session
The problem with sedentary jobs is the lack of physical activity. However, exercise does not only serve to keep you healthy, it also encourages a boost of creativity.
At least once a day, take a break from your job. Go outside for a walk, a run, or whatever suits you and your schedule. You can even get outside and smell the fresh air, or go and say hello to other people outside your office.
That break has many benefits on your mind, and it will allow you to tackle an idea or a problem with a fresh mindset. You may even get inspiration in the middle of a break.
Maximize your strengths
Most people think that creative thinking in the workplace is the preserve of the ‘chosen few’ that have creative roles in your workplace, while the rest of the workers are logical-minded and dull thinkers. However, contrary to popular opinion, any skill that you have can be useful in a creative way.For instance, do you shine at using Microsoft PowerPoint? You can put your ideas in a presentation format, create graphs and charts to analyze them and see brainstorming sessions begin.
Initiate the conversation
The most difficult part of all brainstorming and creative thinking sessions is initializing the whole process in the first place. Regardless of whether you are in a group or alone, getting the ball rolling is not the easiest task.
The solution is simpler than you think – start writing or talking, or even doodling your ideas. Once you get the words down, even though they seem nonsensical in the beginning, you have gotten past that initial hurdle and ideas will begin to flow.
Take some time to relax
Your workday is mostly spent when you have your tea or coffee mug beside you. However, do you realize that a small amount of alcohol can help you out in brainstorming?
Do not use this as an excuse to drink yourself silly though and land yourself in AL alcohol addiction treatment facility,for instance –a glass of wine is enough to relax the mind, help you to stop focusing on negative outcomes too much, and instead focus on the positives.
Creativity in the workplace is not the preserve of a few gifted individuals, but anyone can exercise it. The key to increasing creative output is to relax your mind, and convincing yourself that your thoughts are not impossible to attain.