Creatives are faced with the constant challenge of producing innovative work. Creativity is required when building your brand and talking about your product or service. The reality is that it’s ongoing and there is never a shortage of demand for creative ideas. Keeping that creative work fun and inspiring can be a challenge. Factors such as your work environment, schedule, daily activities and the ways you spend your down-time can influence the efficiency of idea execution and high-level creativity.

So, what factors influence the creative process and how could you make it easier?

Work vs. Fun – Finding a Balance

People have a natural hunger for novelty and inspiration. The root of this inspiration usually stems from observing real-life events, people and situations. There is also some self-interest mixed in with a little curiosity (check out our post on cultivating a beginner’s mindset to bolster creativity). We are motivated by the drive to buy a new house, to take that vacation to the islands or to get recognized by that industry award you value. While ideas can not be executed without work, play can contribute to higher quality ideas and more efficient execution. In light of this, here are some tips on nurturing the balance between work and fun.

  • Identify the top 5 non-work activities that relieve stress and make you happy. Set aside 2-4 hours each week to participate in these activities.
  • Take a break once a day to step back from your work, reflect on progress and acknowledge what you have achieved or where you can do more tomorrow.
  • Create a fun work environment, whether at home or in the office. Add the pictures that inspire you to your walls, move the dog’s bed to where you can see him, or add a record player to your area so the team can enjoy music. 
  • Reward yourself based on goals. Often times we don’t stop to acknowledge the wins when we are moving so fast. When you finish a big project, celebrate with the team. Take the afternoon off to have drinks or take off Friday and spend it doing on of your favorite things.
  • Eat right, exercise and live healthy. Some of the most successful people are also very healthy. Keeping you body healthy makes you feel better and less stressful.

Fun vs. Creativity – Bringing Your Ideas to Life

One of the hardest parts about generating ideas is just picking something and sticking with it. Sometimes the brainstorming process can become counter-productive due simply to that fact that no real decisions are being made. It is beneficial to use fun and real life experiences for creative inspiration but structure is also vital on the journey to creating a final product. These are ways you can get your creative project rolling.

  • Define the criteria for your creative idea. Identify targets such as the desired outcome and comparable concepts that have previously been executed with success.
  • Break your creative project in phases. Phase one will include your brainstorming and idea creation. You will need to identify the phases following this to bring the idea to life. Start by defining phases broadly and segment further as needed.
  • Set deadlines for each phase of your creative project. Stick to these deadlines and setup swimlanes to help you plan out your weeks with the goals in mind. Sometimes you will fall behind. Adjust your phases and schedule if this occurs.
  • If you are unsure on concepts, crowdsource ideas and get feedback to help solidify decisions in the process.
  • Be decisive in your execution and believe in your own creativity.

Want to learn more about creativity in the workplace? Interest in working for a company that values fun, creativity, and a strong work ethic? Check out our careers page.