I’m just not that creative ...
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say ‘I’m not creative’ I could live the rest of my days on a tropical beach paradise and happily support an expensive shoe habit. Just because you can’t draw, paint or sing doesn’t mean you aren’t creative. Conversely, working in a ‘creative’ industry like advertising, marketing or media doesn’t guarantee creative status either.
The Oxford Dictionary defines creativity as ‘the use of imagination or original ideas to create something’. But it’s more than that. It’s about letting your brain play with different concepts and seemingly abstract ideas to find new ways of approaching a particular problem. This extends beyond traditional creative fields and into corporate life.
In this connected, digital age organisations need to innovate and find new efficiencies or they’ll become irrelevant; superseded by newer, more agile competitors. The only way that happens is by hiring people who think creatively – and that’s why there’ll always be a need for people who want to push the boundaries, irrespective of their area of expertise or industry.
So in the spirit of being creative, here’s some advice on embracing your inner source of genius –
Try something new. It sounds cliché but it’s true – when you break routine and do something unexpected, your brain wakes up from auto pilot. Something as simple as taking a new route to work, mixing up your workout routine or swapping your chill out music for some classical tunes will kick your brain into an active state as it processes the different environment.
Challenge everything. There’s nothing more dangerous to a business than complacency. This breeds an environment where we just do things because ‘that’s how they’ve always been’, and people become accustomed to just plodding along, and leaving the innovating to someone else. In this age, that’s not going to cut it anymore. We’re all responsible for creative change, so instead of saying ‘yes’ next time you’re given a task – ask ‘why’.
Let your mind wander. Never before have we been more connected, in all sense of the word. Between laptops, tablets, smart phones and wearables we’re constantly switched on, at the mercy of our devices and the onslaught of information.
So how can this be detrimental to creative thought?
Easy – we’re not actually processing the information anymore, instead we’ve become accustomed to skimming this influx of data we’re constantly being presented with and as a result not really absorbing any of it. This creates a mish-mash of fragmented thoughts, and doesn’t let our brains really work through anything.
So unplug, turn off the notifications and let your brain just wander and you’ll be surprised by what it comes up with.
Jasmina is a Senior Employment Brand Specialist at the Telstra Careers Centre