Stuck at work? Out of ideas? Facing a huge problem and you can’t find any solution that might fix it? Then you are probably unable to use your creativity and potential. Problems with creative thinking do not sound serious until they are the cause of burnout or even getting fired. Let’s look at what can be done to avoid such issues.
Creativity – what exactly is that?
Creativity is the process of thinking in which we perceive the world in a non-standard way. The process allows us to find new solutions and discover innovative ways. We are finding patterns that didn’t seem to exist and make connections between things where most thought to be none.
„Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand”. – Albert Einstein
Creativity is the process of thinking in which we perceive the world in a non-standard way
One of the smartest people to ever walk this planet put imagination above knowledge. Since imagination is tightly related to creativity it would be almost impossible to disregard the statement that creativity is. In fact, one of the most important attributes that humans possess.
More and more employers find the skill of creative thinking extremely valuable or even crucial when finding new employees. Many jobs require this skill – and not only those artistic ones. Also those in the world of science and business value creativity a lot.
8 ways to help you become more creative at work:
If you need new creative ideas, organise a meeting or find a colleague that will be willing to help out. Brainstorming is much easier and more fun with other people around. You can get inspired by each other and, if one is feeling stuck, the other might give a needed push.
However, when you stuck even in a group, consider doing an activity that brings out creative thinking, like solving riddles together. Afterward, when you come back to your work project, you should have unblocked the pathway in your brain that lets you use your creative thinking.
2. Get out of the office
Stepping out of your everyday scenario and changing the surroundings will help you get a new perspective. You will get different stimuli: different noises, views, smells, etc. Who knows what will inspire you and help become more creative. Additionally, being in the same place where you have used similar methods might have you clinging on to the old ways of thinking.
3. Hold stand-up meetings
Change your dull sit-down meetings into stand-up meetings. They naturally encourage heightened energy level, as people get more engaged standing up. They also tend to be much shorter. However, due to their vibrant atmosphere they also happen more often.
People have much easier time staying concentrated, as they eliminate distractions, such the view outside the window or the painting on the wall. It can also keep people focused on the activity of standing up which is enough to keep them occupied. This way they can address rest of their attention and energy onto the topic of the meeting.
Creativity is the process that allows us to find new solutions and discover innovative ways
Since, from now on, meetings will happen more often but will be shorter, it will allow introducing new ideas more often. You will also have more time to think of innovative solutions in between those meetings, and to face any issues that might come up much sooner, avoiding feeling stuck.
4. Scribble, doodle & squiggle
Keep a clean notebook or some loose papers on your work desk, where you will be able to quickly draw a sketch or scribble something down. When you feel like your creativity is abandoning you that might just be the way to get it back. You will engage in something that forces you to become more creative. Additionally, even a minor activity like moving your hand might take your mind off the burden of your work and problems you are facing. And the truth is that stress is very often behind blocked creativity.
Drawing turns your attention elsewhere and opens pathways in the brain. That can help find new and innovative solutions. Furthermore, you will get a few minutes break from doing your usual work, which might just be enough to recharge.
5. Create a work space of a 5-year old
Keep toys on your desk. Even though it might sound a bit ridiculous, these fun addition might help us keep onto a good mood and create an environment that is richer in shapes and colours, and these factors are a huge influence on our capability to think creatively. Furthermore, if you are bored then you can always occupy yourself with a Rubik’s cube or any other plaything.
Keeping your hands occupied when thinking is very helpful in the process of finding new solutions. And remember, the more ‘kid’ is in you, the more creative you can be, so when you feel a creativity drain start building or play with your Hot Wheel, and take no shame in it.
If you work on a project for your customers and have trouble figuring out what features would make it ideal for your clientele, on the next stand-up meeting try role-playing. Create a few profiles that match your target group and put people at your company, working on this project, in the customer’s shoes. Getting into the role of someone else will get people in the meetings more engaged and acting will awaken imagination and creativity. You will get rid of boredom and very likely come up with plenty of new ideas.
7. Create a ‘playground’ environment
Kids are extremely creative and the reason for that is that they do not fear failure, embarrassment, or judgement from their peers. That’s why creating a ‘playground’ environment at your work or home office might help you become more creative in your profession.
Have you noticed how cool Google offices are? They create a sort of an adult playground. There are ping pong tables to keep workers moving, they are colourful, and to move between floors they have installed slides and even fireman poles! Simulating ‘kid environment’ might help us feel merrily and airily once again, brake barriers that society imposes on us, open ourselves to every possibility and encourage creativity.
8. Let go of your assumptions
If you turn down every idea you have, it might be because of the assumptions you made about the results that solution might bring. Constant doubting yourself, especially when being a perfectionist, is common when you care about your work, but not good for you nor the project you are working on. Of course, some ideas truly are too crazy to ever see the light of day. However, the assumptions you are making and the fear of failure tends to hold back our creativity.
The assumptions and the fear of failure hold back our creativity.
Help yourself let the assumptions go. Consider asking your trusted colleagues whether your ideas might work. Organise a meeting to discuss possible solutions. Or, if you are doing a project for a certain target group, do a questioner aimed at that group. Many of what most thought to be crazy or unnecessary ideas turned out to be exactly what people wanted or needed at the time and generally were a huge success.
Learning something new in life is extremely difficult. The same is with becoming more creative at work. However, no matter how challenging the new task is, if you do it regularly it will become a habit and soon you will be able to do it effortlessly. That is due to our brain’s chemistry, the synapses physically curve a channel in the brain for each skill. If you want creative thinking to become something natural and effortless then follow tips mentioned above. W hope that in no time you will begin to see the effects and how you become more and more creative at your work.
Nowadays, jobs requiring creativity are extremely valued because they cannot be replaced by automation and computerization. Do you want to know in which professions creative thinking will be especially useful? In this article you will find the list of 10 the most creative jobs in the 21st century.