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7 quick and easy tips to make you more creative at work

creative creativity
Yessi Bello Perez
Story by
Yessi Bello Perez

Senior Writer, Growth QuartersYessi leads the writing efforts at TNW’s Growth Quarters. Yessi leads the writing efforts at TNW’s Growth Quarters.

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With more and more companies discovering the positives of remote work, the days of the stifling office environment may be numbered — meaning spending countless hours staring into space in a stuffy, noisy, office may soon be a thing of the past.

This change of environment is the perfect opportunity to reset our brains and embrace the innovation that often comes with increased creativity.

Creativity, like a muscle, needs to be flexed. Some people are inherently creative while others have to work at it every single day. Regardless of whether you are on the spectrum, here are a few simple tips to help you be more creative at work.

[Read: Why your website’s lack of accessibility options is opening you up to lawsuits]

Make the space work for you

If you’re in an office you may not have the luxury of customizing an entire room or area but you can certainly make your desk more inspiring. First of all, keep it tidy, and then add whatever tickles your fancy: photos, mood boards, flowers, candles, stationary — the world is your oyster. 

On the other hand, if you have a home office or designated work space in your house, you can totally go wild. 

Try and ensure you can work near a window or any other source of natural light. Decorate as you wish and make use of the space that’s truly yours. If you can’t stand the idea of working from the same space every day, grab your laptop and move around. Basically do whatever works for you. 

Brainstorm on the fly

You may be under the impression that you need to brainstorm as part of a group but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

I would recommend having a whiteboard — or a pin board — where you can jot down all your ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem at the time. 

Make use of the notes app on your phone and write stuff down as soon as it pops into your head. This doesn’t have to be a tidy, curated list but rather a stream of consciousness which you can edit and adapt as you see fit.

There’s no right way to be creative so don’t restrict yourself to a space, an object, or a medium.

Take inspiration when it comes and engage with the world around you both online and offline. 

Be an individual

You are unique so embrace every single part of you. Celebrate being different, thinking differently, looking at things from a different perspective — but most importantly, be aware of others’ differences and embrace those too. 

Think outside the box, question the status quo, and don’t settle. You don’t need to take everything to the extreme, but it’s important that you take a wider perspective and oscillate between mainstream content and thoughts, and those of a more niche nature. 

Look at what you enjoy doing outside of work and try to incorporate it into your job. For example, do you work in marketing and have passion for calligraphy? This will give you a unique perspective which may prove useful if you’re working on a branding or marketing campaign. 

Walk the talk

You need to take matters into your own hands. Coming up with ideas is great, but it’s easy to let these fall by the wayside and you should hold yourself accountable. 

So, don’t just think about how to change or improve something, actually do it. You’ll undoubtedly come across countless challenges and roadblocks but see these as an additional opportunity to be creative. 

Learn from every experience and whatever you do, don’t work in a silo. 

Disrupt existing processes

Once you’ve figured out how to boost your individual creativity, look at the wider picture: is your team being as creative as it could? If not, think about what you can do to help.

For example, are your weekly team meetings becoming a little stale? Is there any way you can motivate the team to contribute more original ideas? For example, it might help if you lead by example and share some thoughts to help spur creativity across the team.

Don’t fear creativity

As I said earlier, there will be times when creativity will be blocked by specific challenges, but the trick here is to acknowledge them and keep going.

You will of course need to be reasonable and realistic but this doesn’t mean you should allow your creativity to be stifled.

If you believe in something, stick to your guns, and find ways to make others see what you can see. Use your time and language creatively, make sure you’re inclusive of others around you, and listen. You will have lots of ideas but it’s also important to bounce these of each other.

Get outside

Last but by no means least, make sure you take full advantage of your surroundings. 

Don’t get too caught up in your own reality or fall into the trap of being constantly hooked to your computer or phone screens. 

Go outside, look up, take in the shapes, colors, and differences in nature and use them to spark new thoughts and ideas. 

Learn about different cultures and ways of doing things, engage, and take an interest — it’ll pay off in the long run.

How do you motivate your team to be more creative? And why do you foster creativity? Share your experience with the Growth Quarters community

Published July 13, 2020 — 09:00 UTC

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