The monotonous repetition and visual sameness found in the common office space could suck the creativity out of Picasso. The environment you inhabit has a powerful affect on the way you think and feel. If everything around you looks the same, your mind will eventually grow numb. Likewise, if you do the same exact thing in the same exact way at the same exact location every day, you may very well think the same exact thoughts over and over again.
Your creativity relies heavily on your attitude, and your attitude relies on your enthusiasm, motivation and positivity. Trying to maintain a positive attitude in a monotonous business environment can be tough. And if your creativity is stifled because your attitude sucks, your effective productivity rate will plunge as well.
So what can you do to spark your business-minded creativity at the office? I love to play around with innovative ways of approaching life at work. Not everyone gets a chance to escape the 9 to 5 office space environment, but that doesn’t mean they can’t escape the monotony by exploiting their creative edge within it.
Here are 10 business creativity tips to help you get your mind on track:
- Be a Visitor in Your Own Office – Sit in the guest chair on the opposite side of your desk for an hour or so. It will give you a fresh visual perspective on the same old environment. If you don’t have a guest chair or your own office, roll your work chair to a new location and bring your laptop and supplies with you. Even the slightest change in your physical setting can stimulate your senses and your creativity. Don’t be afraid to switch locations a few times a day. It may sound strange, but it makes a world of difference.
- Rotate Your Artwork and Photographs – First things first, buy some artwork you like. Also, frame a few photographs of the important people in your life and place them throughout your personal office space. Rotate the wall art from wall to wall every two weeks. Do the same with the photos. Occasionally swap out the artwork and photos for new ones. You could even exchange them with others you already have at your house.
- Get a Cool Chair (or Chairs) – Just like moving around, swapping that boring grey desk chair for a cool, comfortable Aeron or HAG Capisco can keep your senses refreshed and your creative edge alive. If funds aren’t an issue, get both and switch it up every few hours.
- Re-purpose Unused Office Space – Poll your coworkers for the most creative (and applicable) use of the unused space. How about a sitting area with comfortable chairs, a few live plants, some inspirational artwork and a dry erase board? Make sure you get your superiors on board with the idea. Sell them on the benefits of a creative work environment.
- Play Musical Chairs at Meetings – Break out of the foolish grade school habit of continually sitting in the same seat. Sit next to different people, participate in their conversations and become more conscious of what each of them brings to the table. They may surprise you and open your mind to new ideas.
- Write Down Every Idea – Simple ideas fuel creativity. Write down everything and anything that crosses your mind, even the simple ideas that seem stupid. A critical part of having a good idea is the act of capturing every idea you have. Capturing other people’s ideas is also a beneficial practice. Maintain an idea list and then mindfully sort through them at an alternate location and time.
- Take Short Stimulation Breaks – Read some quotes that inspire you. Watch a motivational video clip. Listen to one of your favorite tunes. Or, you could create a small play space with some mind stimulating puzzles and games.
- Break Your Routines – Routines can serve a useful purpose, but they also close the door on creativity. Small changes in your routines can lead to fresh, invigorating experiences and creative thought patterns. For instance, instead of driving to work, take the bus or carpool. Go out to lunch with different people. Try new things.
- Mandate Personal Brainstorming Sessions – Brainstorming is essential to creative thinking. Set enough time aside to brainstorm at least once a day. Don’t stop until you have at least 10 points written down. Add these points to the idea list I discussed above.
- Buy Fun Supplies – I’m certainly not an advocate of needless spending, but I do support the occasional creativity / productivity enhancing purchase. Need some ideas? How about a colorful set of dry erase markers, a calendar themed to your liking, a gigantic bulletin board, and an art-styled writing table?