Bella, one of my good friends and the manager at one of the startups in my city, looked tense when she met me yesterday. We’ve been good friends for quite some time now. I know her since the days she started her career as an intern with my previous organization.
She is a jolly fellow, but this time around she was a little perplexed and looked out of sorts. On talking to her for a while, I figured out that she was going through the same creative mental block that employees usually get stuck with. In her words, “I am completely out of ideas about the new project. I simply fail to motivate the team because I really have no idea how to get out of this mental block.”
This was not the first time that I had come across such a situation, where one of my friends needed guidance to come out of the creative mental block.
I am going to share the tips that I shared with her, and helped her. I am hopeful that these will help everyone reading this post who is going through a similar situation -
White walls generally bring a negative effect on employees. Certain colors like blue, yellow, red and green can induce creativity and inspire certain moods. Paint a portion of the area with some bright color like yellow or orange or give highlights, this will boost employee energy and promote creativity. In a study from the University of Texas was found that light colors induced feelings of sadness and depression. Any color is better than white. So, it’s time to paint!
Introducing creative breaks will not only improve employee productivity, but also induce creativity. Many leaders believe social media and other sites are just a waste of time and they fail to realize it's important for a mental break. When the brain gets tired it becomes pretty impossible to promote creativity. And in such case mental breaks will help to develop employees’ creative side and can do wonders for team’s energy and mindset.
Creative work is a brainstorming process of basically creating something out of nothing. Your team members might not be confident enough to follow their ideas because of the fear of failure. For boosting creativity at work and for the team it becomes important to overcome this fear which is a major blocker. The team should be involved in decision making process and should be given a chance to freely express their views. Bringing out the ideas is one of the best ways to grow critical thinking and encourage employees to think in new ways.
Make a room in the office for creativity and use objects related to hobbies, vision boards, dart game, foosball table and featuring other possible projects. You never know when the next million dollar idea might strike. The pressure of strict deadlines and distractions could kill your creativity. This is where engaging in activities like writing, drawing, and painting can be therapeutic and for a few minutes the team can take their mind off from the work. You can place a canvas in a room and make it free for everyone. It will help promote unity in office and create room for more brainstorming and creative ideas.
There is a profound effect of light and darkness on creative performance at work. Some people get a little frustrated in dark as they have to focus on just work with no other distractions. A research was found that proved dim lighting can improve creative performance as our subconscious will feel free to explore and boost creativity.
Many of us are morning larks or night owls and we try to focus at particular times of the day and for them, the creative ideas grow better at non-optimal times. Morning people might try working at night and night owls could try getting to work early, which can promote creativity when you are tired. According to a research, it has been revealed that we all are better at divergent thinking at our nonoptimal times. In fact, during nonoptimal times of the day, the results have shown that there is consistently greater insight problem-solving performance.
It is quite amazing how our brain works and how it develops ideas and solve creative problems. It is all about collecting the materials that our brain needs to grow new ideas. We need to create an enclosure around our life to have the right place where our creativity can emerge.
Are you aware of some other tricks to boost your creativity levels? Have you discovered something similar to these in the past? Let me know.
Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub — a project management software for your growing business needs. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016, and is also a contributor for The Next Web, Huffington Post & Your Story. She is also a top writer in Leadership & Productivity on Medium. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
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