6 easy ways to be creative at work

It doesn’t really matter where you work (or what you do at your job), there are going to be some creative walls that stop you from being creative a lot of the time.

Know what I’m talking about?

Maybe you have to file a report, or send out a lengthy email to a co-worker. Maybe you are assigned a new project but have a million constrains on it. If you work for a living, you are bound to run into some restrictions with your creativity.

So what do you do?

You could create a new - stylized - layout for that report your filing, or find a unique way to say something in that all–important email. No matter how you look at the brick walls facing you and your creativity at work, there are always ways around it (or through it).

And - believe it or not - being creative at work is easier than you may think. Here are just a few ways you can be creative at work (no matter where that is for you):

Do something you’d usually never do. Tell your boss what you really think about him or her, create a report for your superior using only crayons, or just spend lunch eating at a restaurant you typically wouldn’t consider eating at. Open your mind to new experiences, take a risk, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. If anything you can tell your boss that you were testing a new market… or something.

Use somebody else’s ideas. When you need creativity, sometimes the best thing to do is just ask a co-worker what they think. In a typically work environment you will be interacting with co-workers and clients all day, so suck them dry of their ideas. Worst case scenario is that you learn something new or see something from a perspective you couldn’t see from before.

Take a break for games. As European phone giant O2 has discovered, all work and no play is a bad idea. So talk to your boss about setting aside a few minutes each day for you to play a game (online or physically). At least try it out for a week and see if your creativity and innovation don’t improve. If your boss declines, challenge him or her to your favorite game and say that if you win, you get time every day for a quick game.

Work standing up. Other than getting your blood flowing through your entire body, standing up will help you feel productive. A sitting, relaxed position will make you a lazy worker, so stand up and you’ll find that you are drawn to creativity and working!

Approach a problem from a unique angle. What would you do if you were a bird right now? What if you were a tree or a car or a pencil? Approaching work problems from a unique angle will help you see the problem (and possibly a solution) in a new light.

Leave early. Working can cause your brain to get into a rut, doing the same thing over and over again. So give your brain a little break, and leave work early today. How does this help you be creative at work? When you leave work early you are convincing your mind that it can think differently (about things not related to work), but chances are you will think up something for work as you leave, because work is still on your mind. Try it out.