How to Keep Reinventing Your Creativity
By Sandy Schroeder
Sometimes creativity on the job just keeps happening. Other times, the door slams shut and creativity becomes an uphill battle. If you have been in both places, you know you need ways to stimulate creativity to keep everything moving.
That's where Forbes comes in with some tips on how to give creativity a push when deadlines loom and key ideas are missing. Here are some good triggers.
Create a comfortable playground - When we need new ideas it helps to have lots of sketch pads, notepads, and colored pens around. Current magazines, posters, small favorite pieces of art, and plants will also make the workplace an inviting retreat. Bring in whatever pleases you, and use the spot as a creative refuge.
Allow for breaks in your schedule - Nothing stifles creativity more than a relentless schedule that keeps us pinned to our desks. Plan your work so you have an occasional afternoon off, or some time in the morning, to just talk about work without pinpointing specific projects. Those open moments can become breakthroughs that lead to fresh ideas.
Keep your schedule flexible - You may have a wonderful groove going that also benefits from some changes here and there. Coming in early, staying late, or taking a mid-afternoon break may make life easier and creativity more likely. My best ideas usually pop up after I have been out for a walk after lunch. Yours might show up when you come in early and the office is totally quiet.
Change your attitude about meetings - Most of us get trapped in them, but never see them as terribly productive. If it works for you and your group, see if you can move them outdoors or make them walking meetings. When meetings lose their mandatory look, they sometimes produce a whole new set of comments and ideas. Think about the people involved and see if you can find ways to get everybody involved and communicating.
Retrace your steps - Think about your most creative ideas and projects. Remember how they started and what worked best. Those same principles might be worth using in your current work.
Accept down days and keep moving - Sometimes it is just not going to be a creative day. Give yourself the option of cleaning up the office, taking the afternoon off, or doing some new research. When I do this, I usually wake up at two in the morning with a brand new idea. It just needed time to hatch. Keeping life flexible can make room for a lot of innovation. We just have to remember to be open to the moment.
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