There are always excuses for lack of creativity.
In the winter, it’s the cold temperatures and the longing to just stay inside and relax.
In the summer, it’s the “I’d rather be anywhere but work” mood that hits your coworkers every warm afternoon.
In short, there are always reasons to be lazy and there will always be factors that stifle creativity at your job.
So, how do you spark creativity in the place that creates those long days? Whether you have the deepest passion for your job or dislike it so much that you are itching to find a new one, creativity can come and go.
So what’s the best way to get the wheels turning when you feel artistically stuck? I have a few ideas.
Get off social media.
Nothing stifles your creative mind like endless scrolling through your high school acquaintances’ Facebook page. While social media offers some interesting content, overall, it just drains us. If you think going on Twitter, Instagram or others will give you some extra energy, skip it.
Instead of scrolling through your social apps, try using your computer for other kinds of creative media. Trying out music (or a new playlist, like Deep Focus on Spotify) is a great way to get the juices flowing.
If you’re looking for something more visual, I guarantee the internet isn’t short of videos–anything from dogs dancing to talk shows to academic lectures. Try all genres–it may be an interesting TED Talk (here are our favorites) that gets your brain pumping, or it may be a funny dog video.
Whatever media shakes up your routine and gets your brain wandering and wondering, that’s what you need.
Or, get off the computer altogether.
Before computers, when dinosaurs roamed the earth ? , there were these crazy things called pencils and paper. No electronic hookup involved.
I KNOW it sounds insane–but sometimes, unplugging is just the way to renew your mind. An overload of news, emails and social updates can clutter your creativity and make you lose your edge–definitely not something a twenty-something wants to deal with on the job.
Adult coloring books might be way more popular than we ever expected, but they sure are popular for a reason–people see their effects. Clearing your mind with a pack of colored pencils and a designer coloring book might just give you your next great idea. You may just find your favorite quote and create a masterpiece for your desk or workspace.
Get your coworkers talking.
While it’s easy to use distraction time as a way to chat and gossip with coworkers, you can try to spark creativity by mixing the conversation up.
Get your coworkers involved in different discussions than you normally do–talk about creative problem solving happening in the world. Take these discussions to the next level by thinking about creative problem solving NOT happening in the world.
Think about the biggest issues in the news right now and how you’d each work to uniquely fix them.
Take a walk.
…but not as you normally do. Walk a completely different route than you normally do. Grab some caffeine at a close coffee or dessert shop for a little afternoon pick-me-up. Walk to a nearby art gallery on your lunch break and do some looking around.
If you can’t find anything too special, walk around your office building or neighborhood and explore the companies and businesses you’ve never heard of. It may sound dull, but learning about what your neighbors are doing and the problems they’re solving can bring a new sense of innovation to the table.
For some people, creativity comes easy and new ideas pop up all the time, but for many it is a skill that requires constant hard work and fostering.
Many of these suggestions might seem contradictory because finding the spark of creativity is different for everyone. While some people might find clearing their mind unplugged with a sheet of paper helpful, others will stare at the piece of paper blankly, needing motivational media or content to spark something.
Fostering and furthering creativity in the workplace is a matter of trial and error; it all depends on what works for you and your mind.
Cut the excuses and get going! Your creativity depends on it.