Creative burnout. If these two words sent a chill down your spine, it’s possible that you have experienced this or the creative team you manage has experienced it. We all know that creativity and innovations-based people don’t need the same factors around them to succeed as most jobs do. It can be relatively challenging to figure out how creativity even works for some people. So the question arises, ‘How to help creative people stay creative?’
We thought deeply, did some research and wouldn’t you know it, we can help with an answer. Here are the steps to begin making creative people feel creative again and you should also feel free to experiment with adding or omitting what won’t work for you and your team:
Recognizing why creativity and innovations based thinking is dwindling
Before you start trying a whole bunch of techniques by googling how to improve creativity, it would help to begin by creating a space for your creative team to vent out their feelings. Give each person the freedom to say anything they wish without repercussions. Inform them that this time is meant to vent.
The key here is controlling this discussion so that your creative team feels like they can be comfortable around you as well as their peers. Most creative people need a degree of comfort to feel free enough to enable their creative works. Once you recognise the problem, you can ensure that you don’t put them in the same position that reduced their creativity.
Scheduling free time
Simply giving people a day off won’t work because individually, they will do things that may or may not replenish their creativity. While we understand that everyone has deadlines, sometimes it’s necessary to take a few steps back in order to make a big leap forward. It will be your responsibility to get this time off work sanctioned from the person/people in charge. Once you’ve gotten this cleared, do not inform your team immediately. Let it be a surprise. Try and get your whole team to be present at this time off work by using a false pretence.
Play a game
Games promote solution-based thought processing in our brains. A game is able to do this because it creates an environment where failing at a task has no dire consequences. A game can be challenging without being stressful which is how your team needs to feel about their creative works. Try playing Killer Killer to begin with as this game requires minimal to no investment and only requires a room where all your team members can see each other while standing in a circle. Games also promote bonding among people when they play together even when they lose. This is crucial to keeping your team motivated.
It’s said that our bodies need only 20 minutes of exercise per day to keep yourself healthy. Moving your body taxes it and that releases endorphins into the brain. This makes you feel good about the physical activity you participate in. To get creative people moving, you need a solution that taxes the body and the mind a little bit. We suggest a timed scavenger hunt. Create clues and leave small items to be discovered by a set time. If the clues are subtle enough, this will get people using their creativity and innovations-directed minds to find the prizes you’ve picked. This also gets people away from their computers and into their surroundings to explore and see what they didn’t before. The timed factor also simulates working to meet a deadline. If your team likes sports, choose a sport that’s inclusive for everyone.
Try yoga and meditation
Your team often gets into discussions about the way things are working and how they plan the future of their work which results in a lot of animated discussion but when do you remember telling them to hold still, be quiet and breathe? This is meditation which helps clear the mind for the desired idea to take form in an uncluttered space. If your team is up for doing yoga, go for it because this will test their minds and bodies simultaneously. Ask a yoga master to assist with this if you’re unsure about how to get people moving and breathing correctly. It will become an exercise in concentration. You will need your team to focus on a singular task without getting distracted and usually they do by the mountain of stimulation that the internet regularly throws at them. They need to build mental focus and shut out the noise. This is how they can improve this skill.
Allow them time to replenish their creativity
Different people get inspired in different ways. Some people read, some look at art, some see an inspiring or visually interesting movie, some daydream, some go to a place they’ve desired for a while, some listen to new music and some need to do a task that is physical so that their body energy is released while their mental energy builds back up. Give people a few hours to get re-inspired. Stress that this is not time for giving in to time wasting habits and procrastination. It’s a real task that shows your team how to improve creativity in their own way. Have a quick session where your team is individually asked what they feel refills their creative juices. Let them think you are asking for the sake of simple curiosity then tell them to spend the next few hours doing just that. Mention that there are very few times the world is going to pay them to do what allowed them to be creative in the first place.
Devise a creativity test
So you’ve got your team to do all of these things but how do you check whether your methods work. That’s where your creativity as a enabler of creative works comes in. Your creativity test for your team has to be sneaky so they don’t know that they’re being tested. Creative juices tend to slow down or stop flowing completely under pressure and/or in a state of fear but for some people, being in this kind of stressful situation is where they shine. Like we said, it has to be sneaky, those that thrive under pressure and competition should know they are being tested while the others can be left in the dark. Think deeply about the best creativity test for each team member. It will allow you to measure their creativity and innovations-based thinking without depleting their creativity. Make it a no impact test so that even if they fail, nothing important gets affected.
There you have it. These are our tips on how to make people creative and how to improve creativity. Do you think these tips will work in figuring out how to help creative people stay creative? Drop us a comment and let us know. If you have an idea that would also work, email the author of this post at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For inspiration from Indiefolio, have a look at some of our articles to see what kind of creative works our designers have put together.
P.S. We have dragons.