Many of us aspire to be innovative. It’s how we define breaking the mold on what’s expected of us and is about adapting our skills to reflect changes in the world in order to bring something new to the table.
With most of us adapting to working from home, it’s understandable if you’re simply trying to put one metaphorical foot in front of the other in a bid to keep business running as normal – and even to maintain your motivation and productivity levels as you deal with the worries that this pandemic has brought upon us. It may, therefore, feel like being innovative is something that just isn’t possible right now. However, being innovative isn’t always about those grand ideas that change the world. Innovation can simply be about finding new ways to do things better.
The nature of innovation is fluid and it can be harnessed in almost any situation. Take a look below at some of the things you can do to help you bring innovation into your everyday routine.
When you typically think of a brainstorm, you may imagine yourself standing in front of a big whiteboard and trying to jot down every idea you have onto multiple pieces of paper. The problem with brainstorming in this way is that ideas can easily get lost in the shuffle. Mind Mapping (sometimes actually referred to as brainstorming) is a visual thinking technique that not only connects your ideas as you add them, but it actually reflects the way your brain works. By using branches to connect related keywords, Mind Mapping will help you effectively develop your thoughts into something more powerful.
In order to be innovative, you need to come up with new ideas. And sometimes, trying a new way of actually generating those ideas is what will help them to come to the surface. Creativity is at the core of innovation – it’s what sparks those ‘out of the box’ ideas and propels us to try new and exciting things. Mind Mapping is a unique way to capture and explore the ideas whizzing around your head. By using a combination of keywords, images and visual-spatial awareness, Mind Maps are an effective way of expanding on your ideas, which you can use to build on work projects or find creative answers to solve a problem. Discover more about how Mind Mapping works and how you can use it to be more innovative with our Guide to Mind Mapping.
While working from home for many of us currently means being restricted to the four walls of your house, mixing up your workspace can do wonders for innovative thinking. If you’ve found yourself hitting a bit of a creative slump working from the same spot in your home, try working from a different room, or even take your laptop outside to the garden on a nice day. It can be difficult to change up your surroundings when working from home, but this prolonged period in isolation is going to make it even more imperative that you get creative with mixing up the view you see every day to help keep your creativity buzzing.
However, if you’ve got your workspace set up at home in a way that helps you separate your work and personal time, try rearranging your desk instead. Small steps such as facing your desk towards the window, or adding a plant to your desk can help boost your motivation levels by giving you a fresh perspective. It’s true that our working environment has an impact on our thinking – thus, changing up your workspace once every couple of weeks will help keep your mind alert and avoid you falling into the trap of monotonous thinking, so you can keep your mind open to new possibilities in your work.
Take a moment to think about where you get your best ideas; it’s usually during a time where you’re ‘switched off’ such as going for a walk or taking a shower. So why is this? Humans are not built to run on full steam for hours on end – when you’ve been concentrating for a few hours on a particular project, taking a step back from this to clear your head actually helps your brain to process this information effectively. This is called incubation. By taking regular breaks throughout the day, you’re giving your brain the chance to mull over all the information it has absorbed – so by the time you make it back to your desk, you’ll find it easier to discover solutions and tackle your work with a more innovative mindset.
We may be physically separated at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. The chances are, you work alongside other equally intelligent and innovative individuals, whether directly in your company or someone outside who you look up to. Share your thoughts with your peers and ask for constructive feedback. Try setting up a video call to discuss your strongest ideas in detail. Two heads are better than one, as they say, and it’s likely you’ll help each other to bounce around ideas and expand them to new heights.
Finding that balance between allowing yourself adequate time to execute your ideas by yourself, and knowing when to bring in the creative input of your team is what will help you take your innovative ideas to the next level. By taking regular breaks, mixing up your surroundings where possible and then brainstorming your ideas in a Mind Map, it’s likely that you’ll keep your imagination flowing – even when faced with challenges the pandemic is confronting us with. Then, once you have the seeds of these ideas ready, enlist the creative help of your colleagues to turn these ideas into a reality!
Feeling a slump in your creativity and innovation? Ayoa is here to help you stay motivated, productive and innovative, wherever you may be working. Our powerful Mind Mapping features will help you to explore your creativity and bring innovative ideas to the surface, while our Task Management features will help you turn these ideas into action. Discover more here and sign up for FREE today.
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