Let’s face it. We all kind of need to hit the refresh button when the New Year rolls around. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on milestones and mishaps, while being able to plan ahead & set goals. We are making conscious decisions to make improvements in different areas of our lives.
One thing I find myself thinking about a lot is how to incorporate new, exciting, fresh ideas into my work environment & even my personal life. It’s important to have these things on the back of your mind, and find ways that work for you to keep the creative energy going. Here are 16 tidbits that might just help motivate you or give you a little push to think outside the box in 2016.
1. Mindfulness: Research on practicing mindfulness has shown to decrease stress, and help us objectively analyze ourselves and situations. Taking a moment to focus, and be in the present moment lends to being more conscious of your surroundings. I believe it also encourages to be more open to reflection and growth.
2. Getting outside the comfort zone: One of the most refreshing ways to find creativity is trying something new. It’s getting outside of your routine, and going to that class you’ve had on your radar, spending more time on one of your favorite hobbies, and meeting new people in the process.
3. Collaboration: This can be a great strategy to boost your creative flow! Engaging in conversation, brainstorming, and getting others’ perspectives is highly effective when it comes to bringing new ideas to the table. It challenges you to think a little bigger, and increases productivity.
4. Inspirational Outlet: Having that go-to person, place, or thing that gives you a refreshing sense of purpose can curate new ways of thinking. We are able to appreciate & admire those certain things that can result in intellectual development, and a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve. Find something that gives you that balance and ease of mind in your daily routine.
5. Reflection: When you reflect on your experiences, you are actively taking what you already know & working towards improvement or a new goal. It has an affect on your performance by stimulating the link between learning-by-thinking. This helps when it comes to creativity because you’re able to build and expand your ideas.
6. Your Workspace: From your desk to your hard drive- There can be benefits to having a tidy desk vs. a bit of a mess. A study showed that some clutter can’t hurt. It can actually produce fresh insight, and more creativity. However, having things in order limits stress & distraction. (keep it clean, up to date, organized, make it your own- from the desk to your hard drive)
7. Rest: Give yourself a break! Continuous work can steer you in the opposite direction of accomplishing tasks. Being able to unplug and step away will let things simmer for a bit, so you can come back and give it all your energy.Recent studies show that our mental capacity starts to diminish after an full hour of ongoing work. Relax and take a breather.
8. Plan of Attack: Even creatives need to go in with a mission. Whether it be a project, or deadline it’s important to know what you can handle & complete on time. Planning ahead and allotting enough time can help you deliver.
9. Create a Framework: Having a fine tuned business model is of the utmost importance. Cover all your bases, set your goals, and keep the work flow going. When you have this down, you’re able to spend so much more time on the creative side.
10. Take some risks: According to evolutionary psychologist, Daniel Kruger, risk are “activities with uncertain outcomes.” While it may seem uneasy, how exciting is it to know that there are so many possibilities out there. Listen to your inner self and give it a go. Try something new, take the pressure off, let loose… because you won’t know until you find out.
11. Get Feedback: Receiving constructive criticism can be beneficial to help strengthen your work & your mentality. It helps you see other perspectives, think through your process & deliver the best execution of a project. This also enables more open conversations, and trust in the project & your team.
12. Make Mistakes: This is one sure way to see how you truly learn and grow in the process. Things aren’t always going to go according to plan, you just have to know how to handle the situations as best you can. When you see things get a little messy, you can take those lessons learned and use them to your benefit in the future.
13. Collect Ideas: Whether it be a mental note, or you write it down somewhere… keep track of these! It can be helpful when you’re feeling stuck and need a refresher. From passion projects, stylistic ideas, branding inspiration, etc. you won’t have to feel like “Oh why didn’t I think of that?”, because in fact it might be somewhere in the back of your mind.
14. New places & new faces: Get out there. Travel. Meet new people. Share your story… You already know all this & all the richness that comes with it. Being able to broaden your horizons and get a glimpse of the bigger picture not only helps to put things into perspective, but helps you think bigger & dream bigger. Have appreciation for all the things that this world and people have to offer.
15. Don’t Force It: Things will occur that we may or may not have control over. It’s important to remind yourself that it will work out the way that it’s supposed to. You have to give & take a little in order for it to turn into something great.
16. Finish something: This comes full circle back to setting goals. You’re able to define & measure your progress and completion of a project. It’s a satisfying reward seeing the final product. Knowing all the hours and work that went into it can be beneficial to plan out your strategy, execute the process, and achieve your goals. It will feel good to mark that off the list & move on to the next big thing!
Having creative freedom is such a wonderful thing. Anything is possible! These tidbits have helped remind me of that. We are always trying to push the boundaries, and grow in the process. At the beginning of the year, we talked about what we wanted to focus on… I think this is a good description of how we plan on taking on the rest of the year. Incorporating these different elements into our business & daily lives will benefit us in all the things to come! We’re ready!
Photo: Brad Neathery