Shake things up this week and try out these four simple tricks for injecting some creativity into your work…
1. Monday Morning Part 1: Map out your goals for the week before checking your inbox
This is Productivity 101 but it has a massive impact on creativity too. Responding to emails like a robot answering commands removes your ability to think creatively, because you aren’t thinking for yourself – you’re taking orders.
This is reactive thinking and it will allow outside influences to dictate your focus and smother your creativity. So, decide what you want to achieve or explore this week and plan time for it before you open that inbox.
2. Monday Morning Part 2: Swap your routine list for a blank canvas
Do you usually get out your planner and make a To Do list every morning? Or maybe it’s a Mind Map template? Scrap it this week. No templates, no pre-structured lists. A routine or system has its efficiency perks, but you might as well put blinkers on if you are trying to come up with fresh ideas within one. Start with a blank canvas tomorrow morning and figure out what you have to work with before trying to make it fit into your neat little layout.
3. Stare into space for a while
Seriously. Lean back, kick your shoes off, put your feet up and just zone out. Daydreaming is one of the most sadly underused creativity tools available and yet it is highly effective and totally free.
Pick one problem that you want to work on this week, review all of the information and then get ready to daydream. Sit back from your computer or, even better, go for a walk outside and just let your mind wander. Mull over the facts and see what thoughts bubble up when you aren’t trying to force them.
4. Try the storm before the storm
It all seems very creative and definitely fun when you gather the team into the meeting room for a big brainstorming session – bouncing ideas off each other, fuelled by a tide of inspiration. How could you fail to come up with something genius? Well, quite easily actually. When one person puts forward an idea the whole group becomes focused on reacting to it and analysing it. That one idea has set the course for the whole session and generative thinking is dead in the water.
This week, all try jotting down your thoughts and suggestions before the meeting, when you’re on your own and uninfluenced by other opinions or perspectives. We guarantee you will get a bigger and better pool of ideas to draw from.
Those are just a few small ways you can kickstart some more creative thinking this week, but do you have any other techniques you use to start thinking outside the box?