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by Sarah Landrum via Fairygodboss | September 05, 2018


creative workspace

When you perform the same tasks day in and day out, your imagination can become stuck and stagnant. So here are several tips for expanding your imagination and improving your creativity at work.

1. Chew on bite-sized goals

Focusing on the big picture can be stressful and thus kill your creativity. It also doesn’t make you a pleasant person to work with. So when tasks and details overwhelm, chew on bite-sized goals. Break each goal into smaller actionable goals that excite you. You'll find that this will free your mind of worry and make you more creative.

2. Stand on your head

It helps your creativity to get the blood flowing back to your brain and circulating in your body. So break out those office asanas and breathing techniques. Jog around the building twice. Walk around for a change of scene. Release the power of endorphins and you'll find that your imagination will be activated.

3. Get back to nature

Sitting in the same chair at the same desk with the same gray walls or too-bright environment gets to you after a while. Your brain likes variation, and humans belong to nature. So expose yourself to nature in whatever dose you can find it in. One study found that backpackers were 50 percent more inspired after four days out on the trail. But you don't have to climb Mount Rainier to get a creativity boost; other studies show that you can get a boost in under 30 minutes. So find a treee. Walk through greenways in the mornings, evenings, and during your lunch break. Or just create a succulent garden on your desk.

4. Cultivate disciplined creativity

Order and creativity seem at odds with one another, but structure can allow innovation to seep in. According to expert and professional speaker Erik Wahl, the wildest of minds need order to get the space they require to roam free without distraction. Wahl shares how Beethoven sat down from daybreak to mid-afternoon and composed, Kafka’s go-to time was sitting down to write at 11:30 p.m., and Mozart achieved a work and creative life balance by teaching lessons in the mornings and composing in the evenings. By following similar practices, you can also unleash your imagination.

5. Envision rather than assume

You know what happens when you assume, so don’t do that to yourself, your team, or your clients. When you get caught up in a downward spiral of negative thinking, return to your original vision, and take the art of visualization further. Use it in a way that works for you. Create a vision board of motivation or envisioning the positive payoff when you succeed. Maybe walk yourself through the worst-case scenario and reassure yourself that you have the support you need. Think of visualization as a walking mental meditation and let it assist you in your brainstorming process. Don’t assume. Envision.

6. Sing while brainstorming

For ages, music has served humanity as a source of expression and inspiration. Most people have a playlist for when they work out, so why not make a playlist for work? Certain types of music make you feel specific ways. Match songs to a client project and sing under your breath as you brainstorm. Many students use softer melodies to get started and faster-paced music to match their inspiration, impact, and execution levels. And what’s a good song if you don’t sing along? Of course, you don’t want to disturb your coworkers, so sing to yourself (silently) while you work through ideas.

A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.


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