Smart Ways to Create Something of Value
By Sandy Schroeder
All of us like to feel we are effective when we are working. Sometimes we know it when we find the perfect project, or chair a really great meeting. Other times we may struggle and wonder.
When we struggle it’s important to pause and regroup. Think about your skills. Then consider this advice from Lifehacker.
Stop telling yourself no – In a critical, rather combative age, it is all too easy to reject your ideas before you really give them a chance. Brainstorming can be a beautiful way to create new projects. As new ideas burst forward, they will need polishing. Enjoy that process in everything you do. Jot down ideas. Make notes after you listen to key sources. But most important, let the ideas flow.
There is no need to justify yourself – If you do this a lot, you may be wasting creative time circling around the issues. Develop a work mode that focuses on the key subjects, and go from there. Use your intuition and creative skills to produce meaningful work. Watch what plays well.
One on one contact teaches more – We all live in a world of news and opinions. That can be informative. But basing most of your choices on direct experience will keep you grounded to work better. Look for strong contacts on the job. Reach out in your community to meet interesting people. Take the time to ask questions and build networks.
Learn to think outside the box – It is easy to slip into a groove as we polish our skills. But when we read widely, ask questions a lot, and keep looking for the latest changes; creativity is inevitable.
Keep on working – Sometimes we can become too tightly focused on perfection, reworking the same project. The goal is quality, but progress may lag. Think of the busiest people you know. Often they have a hand in a dozen different projects. They may not all turn out to be stars. But often a few will.
Relax to let the ideas flow – Sometimes deadlines loom and creativity stops. That’s the time to go for a walk, or talk to a friend. Sometimes the more we force the issue the less we achieve. Then we relax and free up the mind. Then the ideas just show up.
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