How to Stay Creative in a Busy Workplace
May 11, 2017
Have you ever thought about the role that creativity plays in your work? It can come under many different headings, disguising itself as innovation or perhaps progressive thinking. Whatever heading it falls under, creativity plays a key role in the success of a business. It’s keeping creativity alive in a hectic work life that is tricky.
Remember when you were a kid? When you would make castles out of cardboard boxes, the stuffed teddy bear was your trusty steed and you were covered in an armour made of toilet rolls. You would take on dragons and monsters that were larger than life and you would win! And it was all a part of your imagination.
That kind of creativity is hard to hold onto as we move through all of life’s stages, but so important to remember. That kind of creativity is what we strive for as adults, what becomes so valuable in all kinds of contexts.
Creativity in the real world is just as important as it was in the imaginary world of our childhood adventures. Creativity is what takes a business to the next level, it’s what engages audiences and advances careers.
It’s easy to think about creativity just being about design, branding and marketing strategies, but creativity also falls into many other areas of workplace operations. ‘Innovation’ is a very big and important word when it comes to growing a business, a word that is nearly synonymical with creativity. Innovation is absolutely essential for businesses to progress and move with modern technology and ideas.
In a busy workplace, it can be difficult to get your head in the right place to be creative. Email inboxes overflowing, deadlines looming, that pile of paperwork on your desk that never seems to stop growing. There are way too many things in the workplace that can stunt our creativity. And it is often when we are busy that we need our creativity most! There are, however, a few ways you can boost creativity in the workplace. We’ve come up with a few that we can all work towards.
Connect with people who are in different roles with different perspectives
Sometimes we can get so stuck in our own heads that we cannot see past our own ideas about a topic. Talking to people in different departments or who are working on a project totally different to the one you’re entrenched in can help get a different train of thought started.
Continuous learning, always look for ways to further your knowledge and skillset
Learning new things about a trade you’ve gotten very used to can be inspiring. When you see someone doing the same job as you but at a different level or with a different technique it can give you a boost in motivation to push ahead in your own work.
Be a sponge, when you’re not at the office, pay attention to the world around you - what’s popular in culture and current trends in all things.
I think we’re all guilty of a little bit of people-watching sometimes, humans are fascinating creatures! The truth is, that being observant to the goings on around you can actually promote new ideas. Whether you see an outrageous outfit, overhear a funny conversation or notice a kid flying down the street on a hoverboard, paying attention to the trends and happenings of the world is a great way to fuel creativity. If you’re really committed you’ll get engrossed in a bit of pop culture too, absorbing references, common humour and entertainment.
Create the right space - relaxing, visually stimulating, open spaces work well for ease of communication.
The space you work in is a massive factor in how you feel about the work you’re doing. And by space, I also mean the atmosphere and the people that you work with. All these ingredients go together to create the ideal workspace where creativity and innovation are nurtured. Some ideas for making your office more creative could be,
Opening up your desk arrangements, open plan offices encourage communication and makes people feel less alone, like they have a team around them.
Use your walls as a visual space to encourage new ideas, regularly fill your walls with new inspirational material. This will look different in every industry, but will ultimately motivate people in this space to push for these standards.
Create a space to step away, a comfortable, re-energising space to clear your mind and take a minute to let everything go. Going back to your desk with a clear head can refocus the task at hand.
Take a break! Recharge, refreshing yourself mentally helps to reset your thinking, give you new momentum.
I may have just mentioned this in the previous point, but taking some time away from the desk is a BIG factor in cultivating those creative juices. When you’re staring at the same piece of work for hours on end, your head gets stuck in a loop, going around the same thoughts and ideas over and over.
Step away from the computer. Go for a walk around the block, make yourself a cup of tea, find a nice spot to sit and take some deep breaths for a minute, hell, you can even try meditating if you want! Take the time you need to completely clear your mind of what you’ve been stuck in, release whatever tension has been building up while you’ve been searching for ideas. Coming back to your work after a break from an intense project can create a new perspective and give you fresh ideas and approaches.
All in all, there are many ways you can encourage creativity in your workplace. Putting some of these actions in place could mean that your business becomes more innovative and pushes ahead in its industry. It could also mean that you are happier and feel more satisfied with your work. All of these things lead to a more productive workplace, which is always a good thing! We just have to remember to take the steps we need to maintain creativity in a busy environment.