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August 18, 2019

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 6

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#6 – Take Breaks

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I try to take at least one break every workday and go for a quick walk – be it down the street to Starbucks, across the parking lot to Robeks or a distracting bit of retail therapy. I sometimes take two, if I have time and especially if the weather is inviting. (See Part 4 if you want reinforcement on this and Part 5 if you tend feel guilty for any of these indulging activities!) I even keep my gym bag under my desk so I have sneakers handy, though I’ll admit that I usually don’t get that ambitious.

This seems to be a shared habit with my office mates. Everyone will be head down in their keyboards for hours of quiet work when, all of a sudden, someone will pop up out of their cube and say, “Starbucks? Who wants to walk?” It’s amazing to feel the positive energy when they roll back in, cups in hand and attitudes adjusted for the next round at the keyboard. Happy campers!

office walkJust getting out in the fresh air and stretching my legs helps me clear my mind and recalibrate my brain for creative thinking. And, with the added benefit of a little light exercise, I feel better physically. Win and win!

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 5

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#5 – Quit Beating Yourself Up

right to forgive yourself

 

 

 

 

Many people struggle with this, some with more success than others. We all have it. You know, that little voice inside your head that tells you that you made a bad choice: you spent too much on those shoes; you stayed up late finishing a book when you knew you had an early meeting the next day; did you really need that extra cookie?; I can’t believe you actually said that!

It can be a helpful voice, one that can remind you to make a better decision next time. Or, it can be a destructive voice, a guilt trip that keeps cycling back around. If you allow yourself to forgive yourself – we are all human, and humans do make mistakes – you can learn from that mistake and handle a similar situation better next time. Or, if you allow the guilt/stress/regret to spiral and fester, all you are doing is creating negative energy. Creativity can’t exist in a negative environment.

If you have made a bad decision, stop and consider how this should affect you. What lesson can you learn? What will you do differently next time? What change can you make today to move you in a better direction? Take a break (see #4 in this series), calm down and basically, let it go.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Scott Adams
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Making Social Work for Your Website

Guest Blog by David Cavalieri

text bubbles from computerAn online presence is a permanent, expected fixture of a reputable brand and the power of a robust website must not be overlooked. The virtual side of the organization defines the direction, atmosphere, and foundation and enables it to flourish. With the integration of well-developed content, appropriate social networks, and the cross-pollination of ideas by captivated users your virtual presence will magnify and differentiate your brand.

The Website:

It’s a requirement in today’s business world and acts as the quintessential indicator of an accomplished and well-polished organization. However, aesthetics are only skin deep and the message and content portrayed must match the company’s model, style, and culture. Pretending to be someone you are not will only create angst amongst your clients while return business and referrals will suffer. Describe who you are – are you corporate; powerful, yet friendly; inviting; or just downright spunky? Let the world know! People today have increasingly shorter attention spans than in years past and never-ending streams of text might as well be showing them the door – well, at least a revolving door. Be concise with your ideas and get ready for an entirely social world.

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Getting Social:

Social media, though extremely important to many, isn’t appropriate for all companies and marketing techniques. Determining its role in your company is a vital step in planning your digital presence (the nitty gritty of which will be coming in a future blog, so stay tuned!). So whichever platforms you choose for your business, at the end of the day you need to find a way to tie all of this back in to the website you just gave your sweat and tears to.

The Blending of Ideas:

The goal of marketing is not only to garner the most fans and popularity, but also to keep customers involved and repeatedly coming through the door. Many social platforms have widgets and pieces of code (check in with your web developer if you need to!) to embed into your website and add ways to “Like” your profile or individual pages of your website directly, share the most recent Tweet in a live feed, or present your latest board’s pins as a photo gallery. Comments flow from one platform to the next, content is shared from the most dedicated of fans, and that revolving door will simply become an open door.

Blend the line between website and social media, be creative whenever possible, find a way for users to seamlessly use your website and interact with your social platforms. Comments, ideas, and creativity will flourish and the customers themselves will boost the greatest marketing tactic of them all – the word of mouth.

 

 

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 4

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#4 – Get Away from the Computer.

work at keyboard I recently spent a week in the US Virgin Islands (lucky me!) and found that the WiFi and phone reception were sketchy at best. Plus, it wasn’t a good idea to leave your phone or ipad in the car when exploring, snorkeling or otherwise doing what you are supposed to do on vacation. I pretty much gave up keeping track of day-to-day activities at the office by day 3 and experienced the most wonderful feeling of liberation.

I realize that Caribbean vacations can’t be used as a regular means of clearing your mind for creativity, but daily mini-breaks and the occasional “Team Fun Day” can be very effective as well. I love it when someone pops up out of their cube and says “Who wants to walk?” It could be Starbucks run, or it could just be a walk outside to clear our heads. We also plan activities for the whole team to get out of the office and do something fun together. “Kayak Friday!” or “Happy Hour Thursday!” We all took a tubing trip down the Shenandoah last summer – priceless!

Just getting out of the office, taking a mental break and enjoying each other’s company can be a great way to stimulate creative thinking and an effective team building exercise to boot. Go Team!

So, if you can’t get away for a vacation, grab a coworker and take a walk. Your brain will thank you.
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