Some jobs are obviously creative—such as working as a comic book artist, interior designer or set decorator. (Though, honestly, even those jobs have paperwork and tediums!).
For many other jobs, creativity may be harder to find. Whether you work in accounting, spend most of your time answering phones or making photocopies, or program computers, creativity can be found in any job.
Creativity is a mindset, and there is a myriad of ways to live creatively, in general. Here are 5 ways to bring that creativity to work, and find the creativity in any job.
1. Make it a Game
When you put your mind to it, you can make literally anything a game, and in doing so, it just may bring out the creativity in you and in your workplace.
If you make copies, make them the fastest. If you program apps, set a timer and challenge yourself to complete a certain number of lines of code in a specific period of time.
Introducing a challenge (such as time), trying unique ways to perform repetitive tasks, or inventing ways to accomplish menial tasks can have two effects: to make the task at hand more fun, but also possibly discover new solutions and reduce the time spent on an action.
For your employer this translates to increased productivity, making you even more valuable as an employee.
2. Make it Beautiful
One can “be an artist,” about anything. Here are some simple ways to boost the beauty:
- Decorate your office, even if just with a plant or a photo.
- Dress in a way that makes you feel your best, even if it is dressier than requirements. Or designate a “dress-up day” each week.
- Pick up trash when you see it on the premises, straighten up and organize an area, or otherwise just make the space more beautiful wherever you are.
- When you see someone else make something look better, say something! Encourage beautification in others.
By making your environment more beautiful, your personal branding becomes that of an artist, regardless of whether or not that is your profession.
3. Listen and Act
Listening isn’t inherently a creative activity, but when you make a habit of it, you learn things on which you can act. Customer feedback may provide insight into new business solutions. Employee feedback may challenge your thinking, causing you to see something in a new light and solve a problem in a new way.
Anytime you use those problem-solving skills, you flex that creativity mental muscle, and may just find yourself enjoying your job more. Encourage and empower others to do the same and you boost team creativity.
4. Jump In
While not possible in every working environment, in many businesses you can volunteer for a committee, project or activity in which you are interested, even if it doesn’t directly fit your job description. It can mean additional hours or responsibilities, but if that task is a job that will further your own interests or job goals, jump in!
5. Plan an Activity
Creative working environments and offices sometimes have more to do with a culture of fun and creativity, than with creativity as central to the job description. A workplace barbecue, team challenges, monthly book club, or lunchtime run/walk may boost morale and bring more fun to the job. If you have an interest that coworkers might share, be the one who starts a new activity.
Not only will you enjoy your job more, but you might also be a more valuable employee when you find the creativity in your job. Creativity has been linked to effective and inspiring leadership, job satisfaction, and company loyalty.
Everyone wins when you get creative!