Unless you are someone who was obliged to work over the weekend or who simply cannot let go of work, chances are you have had some time over the weekend to relax and recharge. Taking aside household chores and other related tasks, you will have done something that has nothing to do with work: hung out with friends and family, pursued a hobby, exercised, watched a movie, read a book, had some alone time and did nothing (hopefully). On Sunday afternoon you will have felt refreshed and may have had some insights and ideas into things you were too busy to contemplate during the week.
Today, on Monday afternoon, your brain will very likely already be back in ‘business as usual’ mode.
How inspired do you feel when you look at the week ahead? Do you see a long to do list to-do there any room for doing something that is fresh and new? And if creativity is part of your everyday job, how fired up are you when you think about the project you are working on?
Here are a few tips to keep the creative juices flowing:
- Most importantly, to keep your brain flexible, vary your daily routine. Drive to work taking a different route, eat some unfamiliar foods, wear two different socks or something else that mismatches. Shake up your routine. Do something that is outside your comfort zone and become comfortable with the unknown. This way your brain develops a risk-friendly attitude – and that’s really useful when you want to come up with new ideas.
- Spend some time early in the morning doing something creative. Wake up your brain by doing something that shakes it up. Read something inspiring or do a brain teaser exercise. Exercising and dancing help too.
- Have your idea generation or brainstorming sessions in the morning. The earlier, the better. Later in the day, when your brain is in routine mode, it finds it challenging to generate fresh ideas.
- Change environments. If you do your idea generation in the same room, sitting in the same chair, brainstorming with the same people (if a team is involved), you’ll end up going down the same path every time and new insights will be harder to come by. So go into different spaces (I have conducted creative thinking sessions in car parks, on the beach, and in parks). Bring people into the group who have nothing to do with the project. Shake it up by introducing unknown elements.
If you have a different method or hack that works for you to boost your creativity, let me know. I would love to hear them.
Enjoy your stimulating and inspiring week!