Get your creative swagger back

Work at this time of year, like the weather, can feel a little dull. Repetition, familiarity, distraction, the mundane can all start to creep in and lead to low energy and lack of excitement.

Entrenched, unhealthy habits around meetings, emails and business norms don’t help and our energy can easily become lacklustre. It can be easy to shuffle along with everyone else and get through the week, month, year.

None of us want this. We want work to be brimming over with energy, fun, excitement, freshness. We want to feel as though we can be ourselves, realise our potential, grow, and create meaningful work that we’re proud of. 

It’s time to get your creative swagger back! Stop being the victim. Stick two fingers up at all the shit you’re frustrated by and create a better way.

It’s obviously good for business. Creativity is the fuel that drives innovation and a business that’s not innovating is dying. But this is more selfish. If you’re not being creative then a little bit of you is dying as well. A third of our days on the planet are workdays and they should feel technicolour and exhilarating and if they don’t, it’s a massive waste of life and it’s your fault.

In times of change, uncertainty or just when we’re busy, it’s human nature to revert to type. What worked last time, let’s do it again. We don’t want to stand out from the crowd, be different, take risks. It’s our ancient hunter gatherer design trying to keep us safe. We need to fight against this instinct. 

You don’t need to become the maverick in the team and challenge every established norm in your business, but you do need to prioritise creativity and give yourself permission to play, because no one else will. 

So, a few top tips to help you get your creative swagger back.

  • Demystify creativity. Knock it off its pedestal. This is something we can all do, every day. In fact, the more we do it the better we get at it. Don’t save it for special occasions. Use it on everyday challenges like improving a meeting, how you recruit the next person into the team or how to reward and recognise someone in the business.
  • We’re at our most creative when we’re walking, exercising, relaxing, and having fun. It was John Cleese who said “If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play”.
  • As and when you want to tap into your creative genius, be smart about creating the conditions. Escape the office, challenge office norms and creativity will start to spark.
  • Blue sky bollocks. Creativity needs focus. Get smart about identifying what needs some creative energy. A process that annoys you, a system that kills energy, an opportunity that is crying out for something different. 
  • How you define your challenge will dictate how you solve it. Don’t just dive into solution mode. Spend time pulling and pushing the opportunity around until it’s something you’re energised and excited to work on. To quote Einstein, “if I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about the solution”.
  • Positivity is a superpower. It nurtures new ideas, sees the possibility, is open to new stimulus, is unattached to outcomes. But if you want it, don’t leave it to chance, be explicit and roll model it. Because it’s infectious and most of us are wired to be cynical.
  • Experiment and learn. Don’t be worried if things don’t work first time out. The important thing is to celebrate any failure, learn and go again. Another quote, this time from Thomas A Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
  • Dial up appreciation. When you see creative acts in action, however small, spot it and make the effort to celebrate it. That way you see it more, you build creative confidence in people and energy and belief go up.
  • Be you. It’s the only way to tap into your own innate creative self. 

But you need to be brave. As Chris Bradford said, “there is no failure except in longer trying”. Creativity is not the easy option. You need to push against routine, familiarity, and safety. But make the effort, prioritise creativity and it will reward you with the energy, growth, and excitement that we all crave. 

You can get your creative swagger back at any time. If you want some help, get in contact with us. We’ve been helping clients like Unilever, Nike, Diageo and Haleon with their creative confidence for years.