Creative, who has time to be creative at work?
Every workday it’s the same routine; you remove your jacket, place your bag in the lower right drawer of your desk, and turn on the computer.
And while the computer is booting up, you search for coffee- a quick boost to get your day started. And then it’s retrieving phone messages, reading email, and checking your calendar for meetings. Does this sound like your day–boring, right?
Einstein was correct; creativity is the magic elixir for solving problems.
Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.—Albert Einstein
And now is the perfect time to chuck boring to the curb, May is Creative Beginnings Month, and great reason to begin to inject a little creativity into your work life.
Are you ready to start mixing up a creative cure for all that ails your work boredom? Here are five creative ideas to get you started:
Creativity Elixir #1: Do a Little Dance
Dancing gets out of our thinking minds and into our bodies. Try getting up and dancing around your office the next time you’re on a conference call. It can be a slow dance like the waltz or even something fast like some bold hip-hop steps. This will get your blood moving and increase your energy level, you might even chose to start simple and just move your body to the rhythm of voices on the call. Creative side note: You might want to mute the phone line if you’re prone to getting out of breath with your dance moves.
Creativity Elixir #2: Just Sing, Sing a Song
Okay, just go with me on this one. It may not be fun to sing alone at the office, so ask a few co-workers to join in share a refrain from one of your favorite songs. You don’t have to be the next Adele, just sing something simple like the Itsy Bitsy Spider or Do Your Ears Hang Low or even Old MacDonald and have fun. Creative side note: If it feels too silly to sing in your office, go to the restroom and sing, just sing.
Creativity Elixir #3: Smile-a-While
Have a smiling fest; ask five of your favorite colleagues to enter into a contest with you. The rules are simple: You offer as many smiles as possible over the course of the workday to others and for every smile that is returned you get one point. The person with the least amount of points at the end of the day brings treats for everyone the following day. Creative side note: This elixir can get very interesting; people may really begin to wonder what you’re up to, and start asking lots of questions-simply smile.
Creativity Elixir #4: Blind Drawing
Take out a piece of paper and a pencil; pencils are important here, trust me on this one. Next, find an object to draw from your desk: a calculator, a tape dispenser, or even a simple photograph. Then begin looking at your object and begin drawing, the key here is to not look at the paper while you draw, this is way it’s called a blind contour drawing- just focus on the object and don’t lift your pencil from the page. Creative side note: Allow your pencil to glide across the paper and don’t be tempted to use the eraser.
Creativity Elixir #5: Journal Mania
It only takes five minutes, paper, and a pen. Set the timer and begin to write about anything-from what you had for breakfast yesterday to describing the clothes that you are wearing, to outlining your to-do list for the day. Allow whatever comes into your mind to spill out onto the page. There are no rules here—throw grammar and punctuation out the window. Creative side note: If at any time while you’re writing and you seem to run out of ideas, simply write, “I don’t know what to write.” until the next thought comes.
And there you have it, five simple creative elixirs to make a boring workday more fun. And every single time I’ve tried one of these magic potions at work, I’ve had a break-through: a new idea came to me; an answer to a problem dropped in, or even a colleague that could help appeared in my mind’s eye. Einstein was right, creative thinking changes everything!