Five ways to be creative while working full-time

28 thoughts on “Five ways to be creative while working full-time”

  1. I think #3 is a great idea but others may see it as “more work”. As a former administrator, if someone volunteered to take on projects, I was often happy to move other assignments away from them. Maybe offering to do something you want to do will limit other tasks (or at least make them more tolerable knowing a creative outlet is available too). #4 is definitely overlooked by many too!

    1. Hey Vicki – appreciate your comment. Shifting work around so people can do things that are more to their liking sounds like an excellent plan. After all, if people do what they like, the work product will often show it!

  2. I try to remind myself to get out on walks but I can do better with that. It just helps test the eyes a bit and clear my mind. Plus it’s probably good to stretch the legs every once in a while!

    1. True that, not only do walks help to clear your head, but yes, stretching the legs is never a bad thing! Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for us humans anyway. 🙂

  3. I read somewhere that the activities you do in your spare time before you are retired become the ones that you do afterward. So far, that has been true for me. You have to find time for what you love, after all. I don’t seem to have much more time after I retired in April then when I was working. Enjoy!

    1. I hope that’s true for me as well, cause that means I’ll be blogging a lot and keeping up with my videography – two things that I especially enjoy doing. 🙂

  4. I agree that breaking out of the routine can be helpful. There is so much out there right now about establishing a routine and doing things exactly the same way each day to optimize efficiency. Sure, there’s a place for routine, but we’re humans, not robots!

    I’ve found blogging to be a great “creative” outlet. Volunteering is also a great idea! I know I’ve found myself trying new skills and tasks that way.

    1. We’re not robots! And very, very true – blogging is an excellent creative outlet, and volunteering can definitely get us doing things that we may have never done before. All good things. They open our eyes to new possibilities.

  5. Macros and pivots tables can really be your friends with excel and save for a lot of manual work.

    Not only volunteering for creativity task around the office, but many companies have volunteering opportunities outside the office for events. I have been involved in a few over the years, that have gotten me out of the office during the week and helps out a great organization.

    1. Yup, Excel macros can do some amazing things. And I don’t think my company does that same thing, but we do just give money to a particular charity instead. Not the same, but still something. 🙂

  6. In my experience, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a great way to fuel some creativity. When we get outside our comfort zone, it is amazing what we can summon up from inside to get things done. Sometimes things we never thought we could do. Yes, it may take a little longer but boy the satisfaction in doing something new is uplifting.

    1. Yup! Getting out of your comfort zone is an awesome way to get more creative and thinking outside the box. Doing the same thing day in and day out gets mind-numbing!

  7. When I first joined this company, I found all sorts of things I wanted to be involved in, particularly the community development and grant awarding side. I expressed interest on being on the committee and was shot down. I just wasn’t important enough. Enter the theme for my entire tenure. I volunteer and get refused. So my creative outlet is mostly writing, and planning my ultimate escape, I’ll have to try that teeth before hair thing though. That sounds awesome.

    1. Hehe, thanks Jolly! Writing is a great way to get (and stay creative). And blogging is a medium to enable that creativity that other people can actually read and enjoy. A win-win.

  8. We started doing Fitbit challenges during the workweek – to catch up with all the Pokemon goers I started takin a few 10 minute walks during the day – now part of my routine because I enjoyed it so much.

    1. Ha! Fitbit challenges sound like fun. Pokemon Go? Yeah, I still haven’t figured that one out yet, but at least it’s getting people outside! 🙂

  9. I have a 2pm “walk” scheduled on my calendar that recurs everyday. It’s a nice reminder that I haven’t been outside yet, and gives me a good excuse to go walk a couple of blocks and clear my head. I find getting out of the office is a great way to think through a problem I’m stuck on.

    Also, just turning around and gazing out the window helps too. When I was in an interior office, I printed out a 3’x4′ “window” of a mountain scene I took off the top of Mt. Princeton in CO. It worked almost as well as a real window and I would gaze at it and work thru a problem as well.

    1. Good on you for scheduling a 2pm walk! Nothing wrong with scheduling a little time away. And back when I used to work in an office, I often did gaze out the window…and that’s pretty much all I did while in high school. My head was *always clear* then… HA! 🙂

  10. The last one really resonated with me. Most people do more talking about doing something than they actually spend doing it!

    Unfortunately, many workplaces don’t want workers to be creative. They want us to get the work done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    I’ve seen people almost get fired for being “creative”.

    1. It’s true, Mr. Tako – they definitely do. But yeah, I admit some companies make it easier to be creative than others, and that’s sad!

  11. You are speaking my language! I think creative outlets are SO important. And if you can’t get them at work, then make them happen in your life outside of work — write a blog, experiment with new recipes, volunteer to tackle a project with no obvious solution, commit to making the gifts you give people instead of buying them, etc. At work, I try to use creativity by always volunteering for brainstorming sessions (even outside of my “lane”), taking on writing assignments instead of more straightforward tasks, and mentoring others, which is always surprisingly creative. Love this post!

    1. Thanks ONL! I’m right there with ya on the importance of staying creative. Yup, blogging, cooking, volunteering…all wonderful ways of getting creative. And you used the word “lane” in a business-related way. I can tell you’re in one of “those” positions at work! My boss used to say that. 😉

      Thanks for the love on this post!

  12. Thank you for linking the ‘unimportant’ blog entry! I discovered your blog after you wrote that so it was new to me and EXACTLY what I needed to read.

  13. I’m glad to see you mentioned the power of getting up and taking a walk. Many of my best creative ideas have struck me in the middle of a walk or run. I’m sure I appear crazy to folks in the neighborhood when I stop in the middle of the sidewalk, pull out my iPhone, and start typing out bullet points or other anecdotes in the middle of a run. There is definitely a powerful link between exercise and creativity.

    Ironically, I also find that doing yard work sparks my creativity. Something about getting my hands a little dirty and connecting with mother nature seems to inspire me. Am I weird in that regard?

    1. I’m sure most people just assume you’re playing Pokemon Go when you whip out your phone and start typing, so they won’t think anything of it! 🙂

      Yeah, back when I used to own a house, picking weeds would occasionally elicit some brilliant idea within me. I think it was the robotic and repetitive behavior that my subconscious mind would pretty much handle for me, allowing the rest of me to actually think about something useful.

  14. A change of scenery is the best way to get the creative juices flowing. It’s so hard to think differently when everything around you is the same ol’, same ol’.

    When it comes to automation, I love my macros. Whether it’s Excel, or setting up my name/email/blog address as AutoHotKeys, it’s great to be able to turn repetitive actions into single keystrokes.

    1. It’s true, whenever everything is the “same ol'”, it is tough to think outside the box. And yes, another user of Excel macros and hot keys. 🙂

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