Creativity is defined as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods [and] interpretations.”1 We all know that creativity is desirable in a lot of career positions, but the question then becomes how do we attain it?
Getting your creative juices flowing at work can be harder than you might think, particularly if you’re feeling burnt out or stagnant. But don’t worry! Stimulating creative thought is definitely not impossible, and there are many strategies you can use to get those outside-of-the-box ideas. Check out our list of top five ways to get your creative side going at work:
1) Brainstorming Session
Being creative sometimes requires a little outside help, and that’s why it’s so valuable to be able to collaborate with co-workers and bounce ideas off of one another. A brainstorming session is a great way to do just that! By holding an interactive workshop that gets people talking, asking the right questions and making key connections, you’re more likely to be able to come up with innovative thoughts that you wouldn’t have reached on your own. Plus, you never know if something small that you say might spark a larger idea in someone else. If you’re looking for some specific team brainstorming techniques, take a look here.
2) Go for a Walk
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: walking is proven to boost creativity! Sitting at a desk all day can make you tired and drained, which is not a great place to be when you’re trying to think up inventive ideas for a new project. Walking, on the other hand, gets your blood pumping, allowing more oxygen to the brain and bringing you into that creative headspace. I don’t know about you, but often some of my best thinking is done while out for a long walk. So next time you’re waiting for inspiration to strike, try hopping on the WalkTop rather than sitting at that desk!
3) Write it Down
Sometimes the best way to arrive at a new idea is by simply writing down what you already know. If all of your thoughts are floating aimlessly around in your head, it can be difficult to sort through them in a way that makes sense. If you take the time to write down what you know, you can visually see the information laid out and create valuable connections that can spur a creative idea for something new. Methods like mind mapping, venn diagrams and flow charts can all organize your ideas in a more comprehensive way.
4) Take a Break
As counterintuitive as it may sound, in some cases the best way to move forward with a creative idea is to take a break from the project. If you get too caught up in the stress or minutiae of trying to come up with a creative thought and end up spending hours on it, it can actually become too much. After a certain point, you just feel drained on the subject and your brain draws a complete blank. By taking a step back and perhaps even sleeping on it, you give yourself a much-needed breather that lets you gain a fresh perspective. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had a “Eureka!” moment after I’ve taken a break from a project for a few hours.
5) Switch Up Your Routine
Last but not least, another strategy to break through those mundane ideas is to switch up your regular routine. If you constantly follow the exact same routine in your work flow, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of similar thinking too. In order to reach for those next-level, ground-breaking ideas, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. So don’t just sit down at your desk like every other day: take that walk, try that new strategy or work in a different environment. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes!
If you’re feeling stale or unoriginal with your ideas lately, these strategies are sure to help. Take creativity to a new level at work!