100 Simple Ways to Be More Creative On the Job

100 Simple Ways to Be More Creative On the Job
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1. Ask the most creative people at work for their ideas.
2. Brainstorm with a co-worker.
3. Tape record your ideas on your commute to and from work.
4. Present your most pressing business challenge to a child.
5. Take your team off-site for a day.

6. Listen to your inner muse.
7. Play music in your office.
8. Go for a daily brainstorming walk.
9. Ask someone to collaborate with you on your favorite project.
10. Exercise during your lunch break.

11. Turn on a radio at random times and listen for a message.
12. Invite your customers to brainstorming sessions.
13. Think of new ways to define your challenge.
14. Remember your dreams. Then write them down.
15. Reward yourself for small successes.

16. Introduce odd catalysts into your daily routine.
17. Get out of the office more regularly.
18. Give yourself an unreasonable deadline.
19. Take more naps.
20. Jot down as many ideas as possible in five minutes.

21. Work in cafes.
22. Transform your assumptions into "How can I?" questions.
23. Conjure up a meaningful goal that inspires you.
24. Redesign your office.
25. Take regular daydreaming breaks.

26. Dissolve turf boundaries.
27. Initiate cross-functional brainstorming sessions.
28. Arrive earlier to the office than anyone else.
29. Turn a conference room into an upbeat think tank room.
30. Read odd books -- having nothing to do with your work.

31. Block off time on your calendar for creative thinking.
32. Take a shower in the middle of the day.
33. Keep an idea notebook at your desk.
34. Decorate your office with inspiring quotes and images.
35. Create a headline of the future and the story behind it.

36. Choose to be more creative.
37. Recall a time in your life when you were very creative.
38. Ask yourself what the market wants or needs.
39. Trust your instincts more.
40. Immerse yourself in your most exciting project.

41. Open a magazine and free associate off of a word or image.
42. Write down your ideas when you first wake up in the morning.
43. Ask yourself what the simplest solution is.
44. Get fast feedback from people you trust.
45. Conduct more experiments.

46. Ask "What's the worst thing that could happen if I fail?"
47. Pilot your idea, even if it's not ready.
48. Work "in the cracks" -- small bursts of creative energy.
49. Incubate (sleep on it).
50. Test existing boundaries -- and then test them again.

51. Schedule time with the smartest people at work.
52. Visit your customers more frequently.
53. Benchmark your competitors -- then adapt their successes.
54. Enroll your boss or peers into your most fascinating project.
55. Imagine you already know the answer. What would it be?

56. Create ground rules with your team that foster new thinking.
57. Ask stupid questions. Then ask some more.
58. Challenge everything you do.
59. Give yourself a deadline -- and stick to it.
60. Look for three alternatives to every solution you originate.

61. Write your ideas in a notebook and review them regularly.
62. Make connections between seemingly disconnected things.
63. Use creative thinking techniques.
64. Play with Free the Genie.
65 Use similes and metaphors when describing your ideas.

66. Have more fun. Be sillier than usual.
67. Ask "How can I accomplish my goal in half the time?"
68. Take a break when you are stuck on a problem.
69. Think how your biggest hero might approach your challenge.
70. Declare Friday afternoons a "no-email zone."

71. Ask three people how they would improve your idea.
72. Create a wall of images that inspires you.
73. Do more of what already helps you be creative off the job.
74. Laugh more, worry less.
75. Remember your dreams -- then write them down.

76. Ask impossible questions.
77. Eliminate all unnecessary bureaucracy and admin tasks.
78. Create a compelling vision of what you want to accomplish.
79. Work on hottest project every day, even if only 5 minutes.
80. Do whatever is necessary to create a sense of urgency.

81. Go for a walk anytime you're stuck.
82. Meditate or do relaxation exercises.
83. Take more breaks.
84. Go out for lunch with your team more often.
85. Eat lunch with a different person each day.

86. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
87. Invite an outside facilitator to lead a brainstorming session.
88. Take more risks outside of the office (i.e. surf, ski, box etc.)
89. Ask for help when you need it.
90. Know that it is possible to make a difference.

91. Find a mentor.
92. Acknowledge all your successes at the end of each day.
93. Create an "idea piggy bank" and make deposits daily.
94. Have shorter meetings.
95. Read my book.

96. Don't listen to or watch the news for 24 hours.
97. Make drawings of your ideas.
98. Bring your project or challenge to mind before going to bed.
99. Divide your idea into component parts. Then rethink each part.
100. Post this list near your desk and read it daily.

Mitch Ditkoff is the Archduke of Idea Champions, and creativity provocateur for some of the world's most forward thinking organizations. PS: Whether you are left-brained, right-brained, or reptilian-brained, you already are creative. Like any muscle, it just needs to be exercised.

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