The bright light bulb above our head takes more effort than flipping a switch. Although brilliantly creative ideas seem to come from nowhere, these insights are no accident.
Todd Henry, author of “The Accidental Creative,” says seemingly “accidental” ah-ha moments take significant preparation. Henry describes an accidental creative, as someone who, “chooses to build structure into their life in order to increase the likelihood of creative accidents.” He argues that the workplace often pressures us with two opposing forces: be creative, yet meet deadlines. Understanding this predicament will help us learn the best strategies to set us up for creative success. It’s time to get your mind, body and office ready for creative inspiration.
Psych up your creative mind. With the right preparation, creative ideas are more likely to naturally appear. To train your mind for creative thinking, Henry says you must define the problem, refine your work and structure your life. As you work and find your computer screen as blank as your mind, take a mental break. Try to find inspiration in unexpected places. Go for a walk, page through a magazine or look at artwork. Your mind can use your surroundings to inspire your creativity, so try looking at the ordinary in a new way.
Get your body into creative shape. The daily pressures we experience wear on us, not only mentally, but also physically. To get your mind ready for creative inspiration, your body needs to be equally prepared. Creative “accidents” will more likely happen when you are well-rested, recharged and alert during the day. You never know when a creative idea will strike you, so release your tension and dedicate time for relaxation.
Your office is a creative oasis. The design of an office space is another opportunity to encourage creative thinking. Let ideas flow everywhere. Have paper, markers, notebooks and computers readily available to invite the flow of ideas and encourage people to share their creative thoughts in whatever way best suits them. The office space, like a mini-city, can be divided into zones to give people the choice of where to be creative. The use of games and greenery is another way an office can boost creativity. Sports and activities waken people from their work mindset and let ideas come naturally. Although just a small change, adding plants and natural lighting or materials also has health benefits and fosters creativity.
Taking time to prepare your mind, body and office space can set you up for creative success. With the proper planning, the most brilliantly creative moments will seem less “accidental” and more intentional.
How does your mind, body and office space encourage your creativity?