Creativity at work? Some would say that’s an oxymoron, but we won’t use names here. Creativity can be hard to find, the time, space, and ability to be creative, especially in this work-a-day world. As Shakespeare said, “Have patience and endure.” But do we have to endure in order to create?

Here are a few helpful tips and some information that can help you be a little more creative in the workplace, especially when you’re in creative marketing or another creative field.  

Mode of Operation

In a speech…

I am fully aware that nothing fun ever followed the lines “in a speech” but please, trust me, what you learn may help spark those creative juices… Where was I? Oh. Yes. Speech.

In a speech given by John Cleese, a former member of the British comedy troupe, Monty Python, Cleese breaks down creativity into simple, yet wholly accurate segments for understanding.

He states, and I am paraphrasing here, that the most creative people are, at times, the most child-like. Creativity is about play and giving yourself time to play.  

When it comes to creativity, there are two modes of operation, Cleese says; there’s the “closed mode” and the “open mode.” You can not (I repeat), you can not create in the “closed mode.” This mode is what many people are in on a daily basis. It is defined as an active, anxious mode, bolstered with an intense amount of work that lays there like a weight we call a deadline.

In the “open mode,” you are more likely to be creative, more likely to be able to explore new concepts and ideas. This “mode” is expansive, contemplative and playful. That’s why creativity can, at times, seem very child-like.

Be sure to check out the video. It does run about 10 times the normal and acceptable length of video suggestions (it’s over 35 minutes long!), but it is worth the listen to for any creative out there.

Space & Time

Time is an important component of creativity.

You can’t become creative under usual pressures, so you have to create space for yourself.

For example, if you’re creating social media posts, you must make a space for yourself where you will be undisturbed. You will need to make sure that this space will last an exact amount of time. Having a specific moment will help you stay away from the “closed mode” while trying to be creative.

When I am trying to be creative at work, I make sure I don’t check my email, I set a time that works best for me, and I sit outside and write. Sometimes I scribble on paper, sometimes I write on a laptop. Mood is important.

If you are constantly looking at your watch and reading emails, you can’t be in this open state of curiosity, where you are able to be creative. Creativity is about being separated from things. Even though marketing can seem like it’s about putting yourself out there, it doesn’t mean that you always have to be available. You need space to create your social media posts, or blogs, or to brainstorm. So give yourself that.

Creativity at work

Stick with the problem longer. Sometimes the easy solution (always the easy solution) was the way out. The people who are the most creative, Cleese says, are those who stick with a problem longer.

In the end, creativity is a fickle thing. It can be as elusive as Captain Ahab’s whale (I never actually read Moby Dick, but I hear it’s good, right?). But once you sprinkle the right ingredients, you may find you’re more productive and less stressed. For each person, it’s different and can lead to different routes.

In essence, creativity can be very trying and difficult at times, that’s why the important aspect of partitioning time off. Sometimes you have to just say “no.”

When it comes to the creative process, patience is not only a virtue; it is a must. The ideal way to create is specified by ‘time.’ In the end, you are responsible for finding the right time and space.

Need a creative team to help you create? Then contact us at South Street & Co. Let’s chat!

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