Staying Creative = Staying Happy at Work
The day-to-day demands that plague our calendars and minds can take a toll in more ways than one. Becoming stressed and feeling like there’s no time to create or be innovative is the easiest way to reach career dissatisfaction, so it is imperative that all professionals, no matter how busy, carve out time in their daily schedule to reflect. Pressing the pause button and focusing on personal growth and idea development is a great way to shake the cobwebs off and get back to working efficiently, even if it does mean taking time out of your schedule. The idea is to work smarter and take the time you need to feed the creativity that sometimes lays dormant as you go about your daily grind. Here are a few ways to dedicate time to nurturing your brain without disrupting your daily output of work:
Refrain from flooding your schedule with meetings, as they can be too disruptive to get real work done. Communication in the workplace is important, but a day full of meetings doesn’t allow you to get quality work done, much less take the time to reflect and brainstorm. Try scheduling non-meeting time. This time is sacred and cannot be interrupted by meetings.
Take at least 20 minutes a day for quiet reflection and brainstorming. Taking some solo time seems simple, but it’s not enough to simply make a promise to yourself that you’ll do it. Find a way to make it part of your routine. Do it first things in the morning, or just before bed. Alternatively, set an alarm, put it in your notes, do whatever you have to do to remind yourself of the importance of this quiet time. Like a machine, the brain needs time to cool down to work at maximum efficiency.
Unplug electronically for at least an hour a day. Studies show that limiting our exposure to screens and processing information right after clocking out for the day is vital to thought processing and memory retention. It’s definitely more of a chore to unplug, but it allows the brain some rest and time for focus.