Work, rest and play: How thinking creatively can improve all areas of your life

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Do you want something that helps you work, rest and play, but without the calories?

Work, rest and play- How thinking creatively can improve all areas of your life (F)No I am not selling a sugar free chocolate bar, I think creativity is the solution. It has the power to transform your life in so many ways.

Work, rest and play itself has become a bit less discernible recently. With the encroachment of technology into all areas of our lives and the death of nine to five, they become harder to tell apart. But they all have one thing in common, creativity can make them better.

I don’t know anyone who has a perfect balance for all three and work often takes the upper hand. Long working hours and commutes have work taking up more and more of our precious time. But with all things you are not happy with, you need to make a change for something to happen. A bit of creativity can help make this change.

A lot of people don’t put the same effort into the different areas. You might spend countless hours working hard and focusing on your career and how to improve it, but less on your rest and play. So identify what you want to change and put aside some time to focus on it.

They first thing you need to do with all of these, is to work out what success looks like. You need a target to aim at, something to build a mini brief around that you can buy into. It can be how to spend more time with kids, how to get that next promotion or what is going to be the best party ever. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, you are highly unlikely to achieve it.

Creativity is often at its best when the budget is small and the timings tight. Anyone can throw a chequebook at a problem, but the creative solution does not need this and is often better. Look at different ways you can make things. Ikea do this wonderfully where they look at a factory and say what it can physically do, rather than it just making doors. How else can you solve problems and what resources can you use differently.

A great way to start thinking up ideas is to cross them from one sphere to another. Think about what you do at work, could it work at home and vice versa? What do people in other countries do? What do other friends do?

A certain amount of naivety helps as well. Children believe they can, but as we grow up, too often people don’t even bother asking as they think they will get an automatic no. So don’t count out any ideas at first. Get lots of ideas going and see if bits of one work well with another. Then be cheeky and ask.

Creativity is also best together. Don’t keep it to yourself. Bounce ideas off someone else or get a group of you together. It is much more fun and you get better results as well. Find people you trust and who will let all ideas be welcome, rather than shutting them down.

Creativity is a mind-set rather than a skill. You need to get yourself somewhere you can think of ideas, without fear. Dreamtime helps, where you can let your mind drift away and think of things. This might be in the bath, or on your commute in (though I don’t recommend it to anyone driving or cycling in).
The key thing is to give it a go. Write your ideas down and sift through and find the best. Put multiple ones together and create an idea. If you don’t start, you will never finish.

Top 5 tips:

Specify the problem: Create a real mini brief for yourself and work out what success looks like, then you have something to go for.

Look to the margins: What takes up the time and can you do anything with it. I wrote a book on my iPhone while commuting, what dreams can you bring to life in this dead time?

Be naïve: Don’t presume that because no one else in your office works from home on Wednesdays that you cant. Ask and be surprised by how much you get.

Borrow ideas from elsewhere: A great idea does not need to be original. Look at what other people, industries and countries are doing and learn from them.

Enjoy it: Creativity is meant to be fun. Enjoy looking at how you can make things better and you will have a much more positive outcome.

It's all about the idea coverTom Tuke-Hastings Tom Tuke-Hastings is the author of new book, It’s All About The Idea. The book contains more examples and 52 creative steps to make you and your team more creative in the next year, and is available from Amazon priced £9.99

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