Believe it or not, work doesn’t have to be constant drudgery. Even if you’re a number cruncher or someone who doesn’t get the chance the chance to do much writing or web designing, there are ways to add creativity to your day-to-day duties. Doing so is good for the soul, and as Joy C. Lin writes in a recent Daily Muse post, it can pay dividends, as roughly 60 percent of CEOs polled in an IBM study cited creativity as the most important leadership quality.
Lin’s aforementioned Must post is titled “5 Ways to Inject Creativity Into Every Single Job (Even Ones That Involve Numbers),” and it’s a must-read for anyone who’s looking to shake things up and put more personality into their work. Tip No. 1: “Volunteer to create content.” Most companies have internal newsletters that need copy and design, and if there’s a sports team or an upcoming special event, there may be even more opportunities to showcase your witty wordplay or Photoshop skills. Ask your boss or mentor how you can get involved, and even if it’s something as simple as helping to brainstorm clickable email headers, you’ll feel more fulfilled and increase your value to the organization.
The next piece of advice might not seem that creative, but it can be: “Innovate solutions for departmental workflow.” If there are inefficiencies at your office that drive you nuts — things like endless email chains that preface even tiny decisions — step up to the plate and devise new ways of doing things. Maybe you can use instant messaging or some type of project-management software. There are lots of options — flex that creative muscle and find them!
Next up on Lin’s list: “Learn (or teach) a new technical skill.” As she says, this is a good way to build on your existing skill set and engage your curiosity while making yourself more marketable. If, for example, you’re a numbers person who excels at Excel spreadsheets, take a course on working with larger data sets. Better yet, teach your teammates what you’ve learned by hosting your own workshops. As an added bonus, you’ll boost your public-speaking skills.
Some solutions are slightly simpler, and Lin’s fourth tip for increasing at-work creativity is to “create a vision board specifically for your workspace.” What’s a vision board? It’s basically just a reimagining of your drab desktop — some type of decorating scheme that includes “colors, patterns, numbers, and people that inspire you to think expansively beyond routine tasks.” It’s about upping the creative energy and making yourself more happy and effective.
Lastly, suggests you “focus on your personal brand.” This means using Twitter and Facebook to do more than post pictures of that tasty dinner you had last night. Think long and hard about how you want people to perceive you, then use your social-media posts to engage with your industry and showcase your work and achievements. “Coming up with your unique strategy is a great way to engage your mind and build your career,” Lin writes.