Are you struggling to stay creative when incredibly busy at work?
Working as a Storyteller for a few Startups and having my own creative Startup means two things: either I should have an unending supply of creativity, or I am heading to a creative breakdown.
In real life neither of these statements are true.
But sometimes, it is a struggle to think, how can we do this better, what new story can we come up with? As mass followers of Apple’s campaigns from the 1980’s, what can we do to come across as different?
How to Stay Creative Whilst Busy With Work
I have thought this through on multiple occasions, and here’s some interesting analysis on how to be creative when deadlines are swishing by and your Startup work-days are not ending, ever.
Here are 5 tips on how to stay creative whilst you’re busy with work in your startup.
1. Get Out in the Open
The sun gives you Vitamin D and a fresh start. There’s no point looking at a website or a social media page imagining new, creative insights will come naturally on their own. Sometimes it really helps to push things away and take a break.
Contrary to popular belief, sometimes less work does make you more productive. Get out, talk to people, and come back with a new string of thoughts. It is also a good help when you’re trying to internalize and go through all your learning and get some perspective.
2. Cross-Training for Growth
Creativity does not limit itself to one field. You could be an expert coder, a copywriter, a brand maestro, a social media geek. And exceptionally creative in your field. Leadership experts tell us that to improve or scale up our leadership abilities, we need to cross-train our brains.
This means, for instance, try two different kinds of exercises that are complimentary.
An example could be running and swimming.
To come back to our Startup creativity, it’s fun to pick up a side project while you work on your core product. For instance, while most of my time with my Startup is spend perfecting the most emotional brand storytelling techniques,
I also enjoy painting on the side. And doing my own images, which I then use for my blog posts. Not only does it inspire me to be creative, I am also able to utilize that creative aspect and channel it back into my work.
I can tell you that after each painting session, I wake up inspired back to my brand storyboard.
3. Network and Communicate
Some of the best creativity conversations and learning for me happen when I am talking to people in my field and niche.
As I speak and work with Startups, our conversations are highly beneficial – I learn cross industry benchmarks, best practices and interesting cultural nuances that they practice or believe in.
There’s never been a better time to network, communicate and collaborate. Ride on the connectivity wave and push your creative boundaries!
4. Share Your Knowledge With Critics and Supporters
They often say don’t listen to the naysayers and I do not mean you do that too.
Do not feed the trolls, but speak to people who are able to give feedback constructively. As a Startup creative head or a founder, it’s sometimes good to talk with people who are critical of your ideas or philosophy.
It’s important to keep your head grounded, and catch onto any loopholes or opportunity areas. It brings out further creativity in your processes and products. It’s also important to have a group of supporters that you share your knowledge with.
A friend of mine (critical) once said that, I had created an echo-chamber for a certain blog post where everyone of my blog readers seemed to agree with me. I told him that I had built an authentic and engaged community.
The community that cares won’t always agree with you. But they will also support you when they agree and further your cause. It is important to develop such communities and share you knowledge with them.
5. Use Tools
I am a strong believer in using tools of inspiration to get me out of a no-idea zone. Considering most of my inspirations are visual or collaborative, here are some tools I swear by:
- Pinterest – enter your area of interest/your hobby and look at some fascinating examples or work being done by others in the field. There’s always a few tips, ideas and visuals to be inspired by!
- Canva – I use Canva heavily for my visual needs, but also just to browse through their templates and projects for ideas. They have templates in any thing you may ever need as a Startup, so very useful, overall.
- The little black book – Get analog. Have tangible experiences with your desk. This means, use your hands a bit. Walk with a notebook and write down your ideas or sketch them!
- Evernote/ Notes – Just everything in one place- on all devices whenever you need it. Ensures easy sharing, collaborations and online ease!
Thanks for checking out this article on staying creative whilst you’ve got your head buried in work during a new startup. It can be very difficult to stay creative whilst you have so much work to do, as creativity isn’t something that just flows instantly.
Which of these tips above was most useful to you?
What triggers the creativity within you? Leave a comment below.