Creativity is an important aspect of a web worker’s life. From creating original designs to composing an apologetic letter to a client, we need to include a dose of creativity that gives additional value and originality to our work. Inspiration may not always be at our side and, even if it is, we still risk coming off as predictable if our clients or audiences are too familiar with our work. In other words, there’s no “oomph” factor.
So how do we get creative when we’re stuck in a routine?
Deviate from your usual book, blog, magazine, or movie. Whatever genres or themes you’re usually exposed to, break away from that. Instead of reading Wired magazine, check out Vogue and see how different their headlines and story angles are. If you usually watch cartoons during your idle time, try watching a realistic war epic. When tuning in to these new genres, try to see how the lessons, themes, and issues apply to the niche or field you’re working in.
For example, I generally read books that require so much introspection and analysis. The darker the themes were, the more I liked them. As an attempt to add variety to my reading material, my teenage sister lent me her copy of “Confessions of a Shopaholic”. Now that was a paradigm shift, if I ever saw one. Since I also write about personal finance and have a very frugal mindset, that book gave me clear picture of how compulsive shoppers think. I could then reach out to a segment of my audience that was feeling largely ignored.
Think through another person. Sometimes, it can get boring or predictable when you’re always thinking of the same old things from the same old perspective – yours. Because of this, it can be refreshing to ‘borrow’ another person’s point of view. This person can be your weird uncle, a historical figure, or even a cartoon character. How would they tackle the problem? How would Picasso design the website you’re working on? What points would Charlie Brown bring up when blogging about football?
The further your personality is from the personality of your chosen character, the more interesting or unexpected your answers will be.
Get enough sleep. Research shows that proper sleep improves creativity, and, conversely, creative people get more sleep. In other words, it wouldn’t hurt to get 8 hours of sleep (or more, if you’re lucky) a night. Some web workers might find this difficult, since we’re just as prone to working long hours as office workers are.
In the end, the formula for creativity includes seeking out the new and the random, as well as getting enough rest. As for me, if my blog posts fall short of the average reader’s standards it’s a sign that I’m not getting any of the above (but I should start getting creative before everyone rushes to unsubscribe).
Come on, web workers – let’s find something new and random today, and let’s sleep well and long tonight.
How do you add a dose of extra creativity to your thought processes, and how does this apply to your work?