Nuturing Your Creative Side

brainThe end of the year is a busy season for many people. Between work, family, school and getting ready for the holidays, the days come and go quickly. This time of year, shopping is top of mind for most everyone as they make their lists and check them twice.

When it comes to gift-giving, there are certain folks who just seem to have a knack for it. There are a lot of things that go into finding that perfect gift, but high on the list is being creative.

Creativity is a vital force in many areas of life and plays a big role in the workplace. Your business depends on the fresh, relevant and unique services you offer, and you are able to offer them only because you have imaginative and innovative staff members.

During such a busy time how can employees and employers stay creative? Here are four tips to help keep the fresh ideas flowing:

1. Bounce Your Ideas Off Others
While we’ve all been in brainstorming sessions that might not have been as productive as we’d like, it’s true that bouncing your ideas off someone else helps. Knowledge-sharing and instant feedback can enhance innovation and allow you to explore your thoughts in a safe space. Plus, the other person can build on your idea and offer suggestions that might take it far beyond your original concept.

2. Make Time for Creativity
This is a tough one, because it may seem silly to add “time for creative thinking” to your already overflowing to-do list. But you won’t be able to maintain your creativity if you expect it to work like the light in your office. You need to be intentional about finding spaces in your schedule for creative thinking, or simply do small projects that will engage all your senses.

3. Who Inspires You?
There are many things that can inspire you—music, art, literature, yoga, a sunset—but don’t forget about the people who inspire you. Many of the world’s great minds and creative types became the world’s great minds and creative types because they think in a different way. Learn more about the ones you admire—what they did and how they worked—and borrow a page from their playbook.

4. Move, Walk, Get Out of Your Chair
Experts often point to the correlation between physical movement and creativity. Your activity can be as basic as getting out of your chair every hour and leaving your desk, or as energetic as walking outdoors during lunch. Research shows that moving helps with abstract processes and can allow you to overcome fixated thinking. A simple change of venue can make a big difference.

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