Zoe Aitken (main photo) is the head of consulting at behavioural science and innovation consultancy Inventium and has over 20 years’ experience helping organisations develop customer-centric growth strategies and innovation. In this guest post, Aitken offers top tips to being more creative in this less-than-creative lockdown time…
Navigating through never-seen-before circumstances requires creativity; it requires us to think differently. We can’t rely on our past experiences and simply re-hash what we have done previously. In fact, our previous experiences may even hinder effective decision-making, because things are changing so quickly. And what worked yesterday has no guarantee of working today.
Therefore, we need to apply new thinking, to come up with new types of solutions. But let’s face it, the current environment is not exactly conducive to creativity. We are working from home, socially distanced from teammates, family, and friends, juggling home-schooling, and spending evenings bingeing re-runs of Sex and the City (or is that just me?). ‘Creativity’ could not feel further from our reality.
Below are five ways that you can tap back into your creativity in a virtual world.
Go to your happy place
It sounds simple, but research shows that having a positive mood enhances your creativity. So, the next time you need to think creatively, make sure that you are in the right mindset. Whether that be by playing your favourite album, going for a run, or having a hot bath. Elevating your mood does wonders for your creativity. And rather than seeing these things as self-indulgent or time wasting, try to re-frame them as creativity boosters.
Get out into nature
One thing we can all do, while operating in a virtual world, is get into nature. Research has frequently shown the positive benefits of nature on our creativity. Being in nature reduces our stress and cortisol levels, allowing us to think more creatively. In one study amongst Danish professionals, they found that being in nature helps enhance our curiosity and encourages more flexible thinking. Therefore, get into greenspace whenever you can, or perhaps pop a pot-plant on your desk and you might be surprised by the creative benefits.
Let your mind wander
While we do not want to spend our days endlessly lost in boredom, research shows that idle time promotes creativity. One rationale for this, is that by allowing time for our mind to wander, we tap into our unconscious and can access memories and make meaningful connections. However, in today’s digital world, it’s all too easy to fill up our idle time trawling through social media and watching funny cat videos. But our digital addictions are hindering our creativity. Therefore, try to embrace some of the empty space in your day, and see where your mind takes you.
Research shows a positive connection between diversity and creativity; be that diversity of people, diversity of experiences, diversity of thought. Famous entrepreneur Steve Jobs said that the best innovators can connect experiences and synthesise new things. And they can do this because they have had more experiences themselves. One benefit of today’s virtual world is that we have access to a plethora of virtual experiences. Virtual tours of the Faroe Islands, on-demand Jazzercise classes, and mobile apps to learn a new language. All these unique experiences help create data points that our unconscious can access for future creativity. So rather than reverting to another re-run of Schitt’s Creek, try opting for something new. As you never know what game-changing ideas it could help you come up with.
A six-year study of over 3000 executives found that the best innovators, amongst other things, are great networkers. They go out of their way to collaborate with different types of people, and this helps them come up with more creative ideas. The virtual world gives us access to a global community. Meaning we can just as easily connect with people in Nigeria as we can with our teammates in Sydney. Therefore, make sure that you are having meaningful conversations. Conversations that help you look at things differently and which broaden your perspective. Bounce your ideas off people from diverse backgrounds and listen to their ideas.
Next time you are lacking creative inspiration, try one of these five techniques and you might just be surprised where it takes you.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, has today released its 2021 LinkedIn Top Australian Startups List revealing the top 25 most sought-after startups to work for by Australian professionals. The annual ranking highlights startups that are growing and recruiting top talent, informed by the billions of actions taken on LinkedIn by more than 774 million professionals. This […]
Seismic has announced an expanded New Zealand (NZ) presence to support the transformation of sales and marketing teams, and enable the nation’s employers to focus on upskilling their workforces to overcome a digital skills shortage. The company has also signed NZ-based specialist consultancies, Fresh Perspective Sales (FPS) and Jumping Fox Interactive, as its first two […]
A magnitude six earthquake hit Melbourne/Naarm and areas of regional Victoria today, causing damage to some buildings. The earthquake hit at approximately 9.15am AEST – while the ABC News Breakfast team were still at their desks. Presenters Michael Rowland and Tony Armstrong were sat in the News Breakfast set discussing the program after broadcast had ended […]
The Inspired Unemployed are launching a Spotify Original podcast, giving Australians even more insight into the larrikin’s unexpected fame and adventures. Commissioned by and only available on Spotify, the first ever podcast from the duo will bring a whole new dimension to the adventures of Matt and Jack, two best mates who still can’t quite […]
In this guest post, Garth Williamson (main photo), country manager ANZ at Shutterstock, says all the evidence is in for a more inclusive workplace, but asks why are so many still shunning the idea? The evidence is clear; inclusive marketing increases brand reach, consumer engagement and drives customer brand advocacy. And yet, few brands are […]
The Masked Singer’s big reveal saw a slight drop off in audience from its Monday night episode, netting an average of 654,000 viewers. That’s a decrease of 49,000 from the previous night where, as you are sure to remember, the dancing pinata was revealed to be Lote Tuqiri. Last night was the reveal of a […]
Australasia’s largest real estate agency has released its biggest brand campaign ever that was all done in-house. The spring campaign, “Proudly Ray White”, was created to help service the more than 730 Australian offices under the leading group’s umbrella. Spearheaded by Ray White marketing manager Todd Alexander and brand manager David Williamson, the campaign was […]
American beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon wants to pay drinkers to plaster their homes with ads for the brew. The oddball campaign is called “In home advertising” and, despite the fun, works more as a clever piss-take of the advertising game. Apparently the idea for the ad came about when the client complained of the […]
Leading cultural insights and strategy company The Lab today announced the promotion of three senior staff members to executive positions in its Melbourne and Sydney offices. The promotions follow strong growth for The Lab, with the addition of new clients and the launch of its innovative new artificial intelligence and machine learning division, Lab AI, […]
Alex Huntley, Booktopia’s head of customer experience, recently appeared at software company Freshworks’ recent digital CX summit RE:SOLVE. During the summit, Huntley shared his thoughts on future-proofing customer service architecture.Huntley sat down with B&T to discuss Booktopia’s partnership with Freshworks and how it has helped their platform develop. B&T: Why did Booktopia first decide to partner […]
The Edison Agency has made four new appointments in its Sydney office to service the continued growth across key account The Arnott’s Group and the recent appointment to Nestlé Oceania’s strategic packaging design roster. Over the past 12 months, the culmination of strategic and creative work across the Uncle Toby’s brand and continued growth of […]
SCA has announced a new smart speaker experience for the Hit Network, with Tom and Olly’s Guide to Lockdown. A voice-activated way to get inspiration and information on fun activities that can be done at home, the guide is curated to appeal to a wide audience. Smart speaker users will find a range of ideas […]