Creativity, unlike good hair, is not a you-have-it-or-you-don’t situation. Ideas don’t come shooting from the sky like lightning, creating isn’t all doodling and romping around in the park, and unlimited resources actually aren’t that helpful when it comes to fostering creativity. Who would’ve known? Well, the author of this comic, I suppose.
Are the creative juices flowing yet?
You know creativity’s not something you’re born with. But aside from observing children—which can get pretty dicey if you don’t have a toddler in the neighborhood—how can you help develop your creative powers?
According to Psychology Today, factors like conductive environments (think clean, quiet spaces where you can focus and experiment), ideal collaborators (who get your work style and can motivate you within it), spirituality, and a bit of serendipity are associated with creativity. Taking breaks and letting your mind wander are good ideas, as is changing your routine.
And don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ve got to be some kind of genius to have valuable, creative ideas: a Harvard professor says that because work and life are more collaborative than ever—the internet holds all of human knowledge and we can communicate new problems and new solutions instantly—more and more innovations will be made by ordinary people. That means it’s time to step up, y’all.
Being creative at work
Want to encourage your team to bring their best creative thinking to the office? Try these tips, like stealing the “yes, and…” approach from improv teams to create judgment-free brainstorming sessions and chasing the Medici effect by inviting employees from different departments—with different responsibility sets—to collaborate together.
And when it’s just not working, take a break and laugh about it.
Comics plus time tracking equals our jam
This comic was commissioned by Toggl. We fund our comics by making a great, simple to use time-tracking app that works on all devices.
But don’t believe us. The Wirecutter called Toggl “the best time-tracking application for freelancers,” and Allison from Twitter called us “the real MVP.” Dave on Reddit only thinks we’re fine. But that’s ok! We think he’ll come around.
Toggl is totally free for creative people (and their less-creative friends) to sign up and use, so why not start tracking and see how much time you really spend brainstorming? It’s probably longer than you think.