Get Creativity Fit and Conquer the Workplace Resistors of The Vice – Week of November 22, 2021
…gets us in his extreme time pressure iron grasp and squeezes us hard twice time; he steals our precious time for creativity and then provides us with logical sounding excuses to boot: ‘I just don’t have the luxury of time on my side to think about new ideas.’ I’ve got to focus on the fundamentals, the blocking and tackling and can’t be distracted from my day job.’ And the beat goes on…the beat goes on!
His Workplace Resistive Powers are:
- Extreme Time Pressures
- Unrealistic Expectations for Creative Productivity
- Distractions from Creative Work
Take these actions this week to Get Creativity Fit, strengthen your creative thinking muscle, anchor the creative habit to be repeatable…and conquer the Workplace Resistive Powers of The Vice!
- To conquer the Resistive Powers of Extreme Time Pressures (real and/or perceived), how about letting creative work cut the line and schedule it as your first task of the day? Knock it out first thing – a focused, energetic 30-60 minutes. Make it a two-for-one combo and integrate it with a physical workout. Zero in on where you want to focus your creative thinking and then conduct your workout. Get the blood pumping, elevate the endorphins and let the natural positive effects of exercise go to work and improve your alertness, attention and motivation. At the end of the workout capture the ideas, alternatives and options you generated. In addition to the positive effects exercise has on the body, the more we exercise the stronger and more versatile our brain becomes – natural fuel for creativity and innovation!
- To combat the Resistive Powers of Unrealistic Expectations for Creative Productivity, (e.g., the pressure to continuously think ‘out-of-the- box’) set SMART creativity and innovation goals: Make sure the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. The art/science here is to find the sweet spot between setting the bar too high…or too low. And analogous to exercise, you build this muscle over time. For example, you could start by setting a goal of generating a minimum of ten ideas/week against a well-defined problem statement. Over time, you can raise the bar and generate twenty-one ideas/week – 3 per day. What is the point of the game if we are not keeping score?
- To manage the Resistive Powers of Distractions from Creative Work, adopt a Play to Win Mindset over a Pay not to Lose Mindset. We all have many tasks to accomplish every week in our busy lives, no doubt about it. The challenge is to not become so absorbed with the tasks – to not allow using the convenient excuse of busyness as a substitute for creative productivity. Also, challenge where you are spending non-productive time – e.g., surfing the web, working on non-impactful tasks, etc., and using these as safe distractions. These kind of tasks constitute a Play not to Lose Mindset – playing it safe, where you might lose – not taking a risk. Conversely with a Play to Win Mindset we focus in on our growth, our potential – taking smart risks and recognizing that creative work is inherently risky because we cannot predict the outcome. It takes courage, it is exciting, liberating, invigorating and rewarding. The choice is yours – use distractions as a cover, a shield…or be confident and get in the arena and create!