By Clare Kumar
Out of the box, thinking is necessary to generate new ideas and even problem solve in our daily tasks. Since time is always limited, we have to be efficient even in our creativity.
Here are four ways to boost your creativity at work.
1. Inject fun
Use toys or objects not normally found in the office environment to trigger broader thinking. Incorporating toys in a meeting or brainstorming exercise can often create humourous situations. Laughter is invigorating and leads to freer thoughts.
2. Employ colour
Use a whiteboard and markers in a variety of colours to capture ideas. Give meaning to each colour. I use four colours, one for each area of my business. The use of colour makes the content more visually interesting, faster to read and easier to retain.
3. Use tools to change your thinking
There are a variety of tools that can help you find new ways to think.
Mind maps allow for the capture of associated thoughts without forcing priority and are often used for brainstorming and note-taking. Use paper or a whiteboard and coloured pens or markers. Write a word or idea in the centre of the page, and then connect other ideas to it. Branch out as you flesh out your ideas.
Shift Gears is a free online tool that increases the likelihood of connecting previously unconnected thoughts or shifting your knowledge through changing your perceptions. To shift gears, you start by stating your business challenge. Then you look at a provided image and note your reactions to it. The last step entails using those reactions as clues to solve your challenge.
4. Change your location
Even in a space designed for creative thinking, it can help to have a change of scenery. Find another place to work, perhaps a boardroom or even outside. The change of environment can spur new ideas.
Invest in your own set of dry-erase markers in colours you like to use to avoid disappointment in another location. Portable easels and whiteboards help capture your ideas wherever you choose to work.
Coming up next in the series: Time Management Strategies
ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.