Creativity? Who has time for THAT!
How many times in the last month did you hear yourself say, "I don't have time!" or "I need more hours in the day!"? If you are a Type-A adrenaline junkie like me, you feel most alive under pressure. And despite saying you wish for more time, you would just fill the extra hours back up with the 1,000 things you wish to do.
The upside of this work-style is you are analytical and get a TON accomplished on any given day. Your friends and colleagues think you are superhuman. Your left brain is saying, "That's right, I'm a stud."
The downside is busy-ness is the ultimate creativity killer. When you move at warp speed all the time, you are suffocating your right brain. It keeps your thinking linear and more narrow than it could be. Regardless of your profession, that is not good!
Creativity is not just about the arts. Creative thinking allows us to see possibilities and opportunities we may have otherwise missed. Sitting at our desks surrounded by the same 4 walls keeps us tethered to solving problems the way we always have, and seeing the same answers we always saw.
Now you might say, "I'm not the creative type." While that may not be your default style, we all have the ability to awaken our creative, right brain. Here are a few simple things you can do to activate the other side of your brain to expand how you see the world and solve problems.
- Move your body: Go for a walk outside, do yoga, stretch, or play Twister!
- Listen to something new: A new-to-you genre of music, people speaking in a foreign language, the sound of the ocean (real or digital), or the sound of an airplane passing overhead.
- Hydrate! Believe it or not, drinking water helps brain function. When your body gets a full 80 ounces of water a day, you will think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity. And no, coffee doesn't count!
- Seek out stimulating visuals: Go to a museum, draw your attention to the architecture of the buildings around you, or people watch! Bring your awareness to the subtle things you may usually overlook like the buttons on a stranger's coat, or color!
- Practice neurobics: A term coined by the late neurobiologist Lawrence Katz, neurobics is about engaging different parts of the brain to do familiar tasks. Writing your name upside down, taking an alternate path to get to work, and brushing your teeth with your non-dominate hand are all simple examples.
While routine is a part of life, and being good at our routines got us to where we are, we could make small changes in our day to day to see more possibilities. Creativity is not superfluous, it is the enabler. Adopt this mindset and share it with your colleagues.
So start your day with a glass of water, a little Telemundo, and bust out your best downward dog... and see how your mind opens to new possibilities and solutions. :-)