Creativity does not come naturally to every person. It is not something that can be forced. The environment, mood and situation must all be right for creative juices to start flowing.
It is a good idea to have inspirational elements around your workspace to help promote creativity.
1. Step Out of the Office
Getting your mind off of the task at hand may be just what your brain needs to get creative. Go somewhere else and do something different for a short amount of time. Pay attention to what is going on around you and a thought may just come to you. Experiencing life for a little while can help bring you back to earth to perform your job and come up with new and exciting ideas for products, services, and/or company growth.
Most of the time people are telling you not to procrastinate because it hinders productivity. In this case, procrastination is a great idea. The less time you have to do something, the more creative you will be in figuring out a plan to tackle the task. Some of the most popular products and best ideas have come from split-second decisions being made.
Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest procrastinators known as it took years to complete the Mona Lisa. He dabbled with progress a little at a time and made a final push shortly before his death in 1519. The Mona Lisa is one of the most famous pieces of art known in history.
3. Spruce Up the Office
Make your workspace a happy, fun, and creative space. Consider adding a live plant or two as well, the oxygen helps keep your brain waves moving. Happy colors, organized desk spaces and being comfortable in your space are important. Consider artwork that is inspirational and several books of art and industry-related content too. Creative references often spark ideas.
4. Schedule More Short Breaks
Even if you have a full schedule, sitting at a desk for hours on end is tedious and boring. Consider a 5 to 10 minute break every 60 to 90 minutes. You can avoid the 11th-hour problem, which is known to reduce productivity and efficiency, by taking a couple of extra breaks. When you take your break, get up and move around. Go to a different part of the building or even outside for fresh air.
Take the time to clear your mind and restructure your train of thought. There may be something on your mind in one of those gray areas that is hindering your creativity. On one of your breaks, you may see something inspiring that may help you complete your project.
5. Try Something New
New tools and applications are released rather frequently. The use of a new tool may help give you the inspiration that you need to complete a creative-driven project. Once you see that you have new things to play with and tweak, new visions will arise. Not only will this help your productivity, it may become the next trend in your respective industry.
6. Take Inspiration from Music
Music causes the mind to wander, most of the time in a positive way. You may be working on a difficult project and just cannot come up with a logo, motto or general slogan that the product would be known by. Musical references can be of great assistance in these scenarios. Listen to something a little different than your genre of choice to really open up your mind.
7. Allow and Adapt from Failures
Failure is necessary to be successful. When you fail, take time to do a few brain exercises. The 30 circles test is proven to assist with creativity. When you draw 30 circles on a piece of paper, your mind is forced to come up with a different design for each circle. Now, if you happen to fail with making each circle unique, it is time for a break and a change of atmosphere. Once your mind is clear, you’ve accepted the failure and are ready to proceed – try the test again using inspiration from around your immediate space. This time around, you should reach success.
Boredom seems unproductive to most, but can actually help creativity. When you get bored, you think of ways to make a situation more engaging, which can lead to creative genius coming through. If being creative is your main task, time off may be needed to decompress and refocus. Take time to read a little bit and watch television shows or movies related to your industry as these can help with creativity too.
About the Author
I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify