Want to be More Creative? Get Up and GO SOMEWHERE.
Nearly every person in business can relate to the universal feeling of “too much to do, and too little time.” We chain ourselves to our desks. We use phrases like “I just need to hunker down.” Or worse, we panic at our growing to-do list and spend embarrassing amounts of time on Facebook instead.
In the PR industry, we are tasked with dual roles. We must be productive, but we must also be creative. And sometimes the two don’t intermix. “I don’t have time to be creative!” we want to shout. “I must complete the 8,000 things on my list!” “Stop emailing me!”
In moments of struggle, calmly close your inbox, walk away, and go somewhere.
The average person today consumes almost three times as much information as what the typical person consumed in 1960, according to research at the University of California, San Diego. This information overload increases distraction, and can make it more difficult to generate ideas.
Will we be able to stop the influx of information? Not likely. But in the meantime, here are tips for how to get that creative boost back.
- If you have a week, visit a new city. A perk with agency life is that you can often mix travel for work and pleasure. CooperKatz recently started an exchange program where employees can experience agency life in other cities through Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). It allows employees to see how business is done in other parts of the world, while generating creative ideas in the process.
- If you have an hour, try an exercise class. I recently bonded with one of my favorite clients about how problems seem so much less important after spin class. Why is that? Scientific American reports that when we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which makes our brain perform better.
- If you have just 10 minutes, take a walk around the block. This may be controversial among the PR community, but the world will not come to an end if you put your phone away for 10 minutes. However, you will be more clear-headed to deal with the emails, subsequently more pleasant in your response.
And lastly, for goodness sakes, take your vacation days. Don’t be the half of Americans who leave them on the table. Your boss (and all your other coworkers) will thank you.