How to Develop a Proclivity for Creativity (even when your business keeps you busy, busy, busy)

Author: Danielle Elliott

Creativity

Remaining creative in business is essential. From ideas for new products to enhancements of already existing services, from brand new ways to present what might be the same old items to fresh perspectives on customer acquisitions, and in countless other ways, creativity spells the difference between those who stay relevant and those who are eventually forgotten. And if the latter occurs, well, crapo smoke yuh pipe.

In this age of information, with the competition in every industry growing and the attention span of consumers shrinking, it is ALWAYS going to be necessary to stay relevant, to be compelling, to innovate. And yet the day-to-day running of a business can be enough to keep your head spinning, and that’s on a good day when you’re just trying to implement already-existing ideas.

So how do busy entrepreneurs generate new and innovative ideas to ensure that their ventures stay successful?

In upcoming issues, we’ll address some key aspects to consider in keeping you and your business venture growing creatively.  For now, let’s start with ways to develop and nurture enough headspace to take on being creative in the first place.

Here are 5 activities proven to help develop greater creativity. Adopt them today and practice them (almost) every day.

  • Take mental breaks. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a few minutes of mindful meditation, taking a mini-mental vacation from your full list of tasks for the day is a simple way to increase creativity.  If that walk is outside in nature, all the better — and no sneaking your phone to send an email while you stroll.Regular mental breaks signal to the mind that you’re trying to make space amidst the crowd of thoughts. That’s just the kind of space that allows new ideas to germinate and grow. 🌱
  • Declutter your physical and virtual spaces. Yup, that goes for both your desktop and the desktop (or laptop) that sits on your desktop. Take a look around your workspace — if there are old, infrequently used files, materials and the like, organization experts argue that that clutters the mind. Too much of the old sitting stagnant eventually prevents you from being able to come up with what’s new or next.  The same goes for your virtual spaces. They might not be 3-D, but old files presented in disorganised ways lend to blocks to creativity.
  • Question your own status quo. Have you found yourself thinking or saying, “that’s the way we’ve always done it?” Then that’s a good red flag. If you and your team frequently get curious enough to hypothetically wonder aloud, “What if we threw out this whole process and started from scratch?” that will have you all thinking in new ways on a regular basis.
  • Stay curious: read, look, listen.  Countless books, magazines, business sites, eh hem…like ours truly, are great sources of ways to walk a mile in another entrepreneur’s shoes without any risk of sore feet. Check out, for instance, books that changed the lives of 30 successful entrepreneurs’ to compile your next reading list. And get curious about innovation in industries outside of your own or about businesses different than yours. There is also a growing number of podcasts originating right here in the Caribbean. Think of this as a whole new way to acquainted with your customers, your colleagues and your competition, and what makes them tick. We humbly recommend Uptick.
  • Keep note of your ideas. Whether you do a daily brain dump or spend time every couple days free-writing, doesn’t matter.  What’s important is finding a way to keep record of things that inspire you, catch your eye, capture your imagination. Take notes all the time in your phone app or old school in a pocket-sized notebook. Then review these notes monthly or quarterly.  You’ll be surprised at the increase in creativity that simply keeping thoughtful notes gives rise to in the long run. Nuff said.

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