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Boost your creativity, be more productive

Boost your creativity, be more productive

We’re all constantly chasing productivity. Micro organising our lives so that every single second counts, downloading apps to make our lives easier, writing lists, hitting targets and setting reminders so that our lives run like well-oiled machines. Time means money in business, so on paper, creativity is the enemy to efficiency.

Creativity means spontaneity, chaos, experimentation and relaxation. It requires you to sit back and observe the race, rather than constantly trying to win it. For me though, creativity is crucial to success. Here are five easy ways to boost your creativity and be more productive in the workplace:

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1. Clear your head

There’s no set formula for this. Everyone’s mind is different so it needs different treatment. I like to surf or meditate. Getting out of the office for even ten minutes a day can give you the space you need to readjust and find a new perspective. If you can’t escape, meditation is great because you can do it anywhere. Like anything, it takes practise and you have to be strict with it, but if all you take from it is a break from looking at your emails, you will still have benefitted. The clearer your head is the easier you’ll find it to think creatively and focus. It will put you in a better mood for the rest of the day and increase your ability to make decisions.

2. Concentrate on your happiness

Happier people make better employees. It’s a fact. When you’re feeling more positive about a task, you’re usually more dedicated and imaginative in your approach. Of course, there’s no easy answer to being happy, but it should be one of your top priorities. Set time aside every day to do something you love, whether that’s running, reading a book, spending time with your family or watching TV. Make your work fun when you can and never take yourself too seriously.

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3. Be lazy

Working without taking breaks is dangerous to your physical wellbeing, but it also affects the way you think. As the day drags on you loose enthusiasm and passion for what you’re doing, get confused, frustrated and usually end up completing very little. Free time is the fuel for productivity and creativity. It doesn’t really matter what you do with it, but you have to completely switch off to properly replenish your brain’s motivation. That means no emails, no smart phones and no tablets. On holiday, I swap my iPhone for an old Nokia to make sure I’m not even tempted to check my inbox, but it means that my office could still reach me in an emergency.

4. Brainstorm, talk and read

Exchanging ideas with colleagues and friends opens up new perspectives and elevates your work to a new level. Talk and listen to everyone you can; read articles, books, blogs or even comics, anything that will inspire you and alter your perspectives. I recommend joining a business group or finding a mentor so that you can focus your discussions and gain advice from people you admire; remember that it’s just as important to talk non-business and let your brain be consumed by something else for a while.

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5. Think about your space

Whether you like it or not, your office is a place you’re going to be a lot. It could be a desk, a room in a high rise building or your kitchen, wherever it is, make it a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed. I work at a standing up desk, which makes me feel more energetic and dynamic, especially when I’m on sales calls, but it could be as simple as putting a framed picture of your family on your desk or a potted plant.

Featured photo credit: Jeremy Ricketts via unsplash.com

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More by this author

Richard Walton

Founder of AVirtual

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Last Updated on November 15, 2018

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

What do you think it takes to achieve your goals? Hard work? Lots of actions? While these are paramount to becoming successful in reaching our goals, neither of these are possible without a positive mindset.

As humans, we naturally tend to lean towards a negative outlook when it comes to our hopes and dreams. We are prone to believing that we have limitations either from within ourselves or from external forces keeping us from truly getting to where we want to be in life. Our tendency to think that we’ll “believe it when we see it” suggests that our mindsets are focused on our goals not really being attainable until they’ve been achieved. The problem with this is that this common mindset fuels our limiting beliefs and shows a lack of faith in ourselves.

The Success Mindset

Success in achieving our goals comes down to a ‘success mindset’. Successful mindsets are those focused on victory, based on positive mental attitudes, empowering inclinations and good habits. Acquiring a success mindset is the sure-fire way to dramatically increase your chance to achieve your goals.

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The idea that achieving our goals comes down to our habits and actions is actually a typical type of mindset that misses a crucial point; that our mindset is, in fact, the determiner of our energy and what actions we take. A negative mindset will tend to create negative actions and similarly if we have a mindset that will only set into action once we see ‘proof’ that our goals are achievable, then the road will be much longer and arduous. This is why, instead of thinking “I’ll believe it when I see it”, a success mindset will think “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

The Placebo Effect and What It Shows Us About The Power of Mindset

The placebo effect is a perfect example of how mindset really can be powerful. In scientific trials, a group of participants were told they received medication that will heal an ailment but were actually given a sugar pill that does nothing (the placebo). Yet after the trial the participants believed it’s had a positive effect – sometimes even cured their ailment even though nothing has changed. This is the power of mindset.

How do we apply this to our goals? Well, when we set goals and dreams how often do we really believe they’ll come to fruition? Have absolute faith that they can be achieved? Have a complete unwavering expectation? Most of us don’t because we hold on to negative mindsets and limiting beliefs about ourselves that stop us from fully believing we are capable or that it’s at all possible. We tend to listen to the opinions of others despite them misaligning with our own or bow to societal pressures that make us believe we should think and act a certain way. There are many reasons why we possess these types of mindsets but a success mindset can be achieved.

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How To Create a Success Mindset

People with success mindsets have a particular way of perceiving things. They have positive outlooks and are able to put faith fully in their ability to succeed. With that in mind, here are a few ways that can turn a negative mindset into a successful one.

1. A Success Mindset Comes From a Growth Mindset

How does a mindset even manifest itself? It comes from the way you talk to yourself in the privacy of your own head. Realising this will go a long way towards noticing how you speak to yourself and others around you. If it’s mainly negative language you use when you talk about your goals and aspirations then this is an example of a fixed mindset.

A negative mindset brings with it a huge number of limiting beliefs. It creates a fixed mindset – one that can’t see beyond it’s own limitations. A growth mindset sees these limitations and looks beyond them – it finds ways to overcome obstacles and believes that this will result in success. When you think of your goal, a fixed mindset may think “what if I fail?” A growth mindset would look at the same goal and think “failures happen but that doesn’t mean I won’t be successful.”

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There’s a lot of power in changing your perspective.

2. Look For The Successes

It’s really important to get your mind focused on positive aspects of your goal. Finding inspiration through others can be really uplifting and keep you on track with developing your success mindset; reinforcing your belief that your dreams can be achieved. Find people that you can talk with about how they achieved their goals and seek out and surround yourself with positive people. This is crucial if you’re learning to develop a positive mindset.

3. Eliminate Negativity

You can come up against a lot of negativity sometimes either through other people or within yourself. Understanding that other people’s negative opinions are created through their own fears and limiting beliefs will go a long way in sustaining your success mindset. But for a lot of us, negative chatter can come from within and these usually manifest as negative words such as can’t, won’t, shouldn’t. Sometimes, when we think of how we’re going to achieve our goals, statements in our minds come out as negative absolutes: ‘It never works out for me’ or ‘I always fail.’

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When you notice these coming up you need to turn them around with ‘It always works out for me!’ and ‘I never fail!’ The trick is to believe it no matter what’s happened in the past. Remember that every new day is a clean slate and for you to adjust your mindset.

4. Create a Vision

Envisioning your end goal and seeing it in your mind is an important trait of a success mindset. Allowing ourselves to imagine our success creates a powerful excitement that shouldn’t be underestimated. When our brain becomes excited at the thought of achieving our goals, we become more committed, work harder towards achieving it and more likely to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If this involves creating a vision board that you can look at to remind yourself every day then go for it. Small techniques like this go a long way in sustaining your success mindset and shouldn’t be dismissed.

An Inspirational Story…

For centuries experts said that running a mile in under 4 minutes was humanly impossible. On the 6th May 1954, Rodger Bannister did just that. As part of his training, Bannister relentlessly visualised the achievement, believing he could accomplish what everyone said wasn’t possible…and he did it.

What’s more amazing is that, as soon as Bannister achieved the 4-minute mile, more and more people also achieved it. How was this possible after so many years of no one achieving it? Because in people’s minds it was suddenly possible – once people knew that it was achievable it created a mindset of success and now, after over fifty years since Bannister did the ‘impossible’, his record has been lowered by 17 seconds – the power of the success mindset!

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