Making time to be creative isn’t an add-on to your job – it IS your job

pexels-photo-17I believe that creativity is something that we are all capable of. As human beings we are skilled at using our imagination and of generating original ideas to create something; which according the Oxford English dictionary is the definition of creativity.

Yet when asked if we are creative few people really believe in their own creative abilities.

How creativity manifests itself is different for everyone. Some of us are artists, musicians, wordsmiths or chefs, some people see beauty in numbers and others in connecting previously unconnected ideas, some of us can see solutions in complex data, others are creative storytellers. We are all unique.

How we tap into, or access our creative self is also different for each of us. When I ask people where they have their best ideas, most people tell me about times when they are not working, or feeling relaxed, popular places are in the shower, walking the dog, driving, running, cycling or on the toilet.

For may of us the pressure and adrenalin of a looming deadline helps to focus the mind, but the most enjoyable creativity involves people working alone and working together and building on each others ideas which are incubated over time.

The question I get asked a lot is, ‘How do you make time to be creative when you have a busy day job?’

My answer is that making time to be creative isn’t something you do in addition to your day job – IT IS YOUR DAY JOB.

Whatever your role you are going to be up against a changing environment; economic uncertainty, political turmoil, changing demographics, fast-moving technology and changing customer needs. If as an individual, team or organisation you are not carving out time as part of ‘business as usual’ to think creatively about how you can provide the best products and services in your industry, delight your customers and add more value to the world than your competition, then at best you are missing an opportunity, and at worst you will be left behind and before too long waking up to your own Kodak moment.

I’m not saying that it’s easy to just ‘be creative’, but I am saying that its essential to make it part of your day job.

Four tips for making creativity part of your day job

  • Put regular time in your diary to think creatively. Treat it like you are booking a very important meeting with yourself that cannot be moved.
  • Get out of the office, go for a walk or to a museum or gallery, walk the dog or sit on the toilet. Just go to your place where you can relax and think clearly without interruption.
  • Avoid distractions by taking a digital detox. Switch off your phone, laptop or tablet. Get a notebook to write notes in. Focus on the problem in hand and do not get distracted by anything else.
  • Do this things regularly, rain or shine so that you eventually make it a habit.

If you are interested in honing your creativity skills, get in touch. Lucidity offers a free innovation toolkit as well as half-day and one-day workshops to help your team turn on their creative thinking to get better results. Check out the Lucidity website for more information or drop me a line.

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