Happy New Year!
Big news! I have a new course launching soon about exercising your creativity in ALL aspects of your life. More details coming next week!
Over the past two months, I have been thinking about creativity beyond our normal notions of what it means to be creative or to live a creative life. As I mentioned in this post, I am doing you a disservice if we don’t acknowledge that your creativity is not just about your personal life. You spend so much of your life at your job, therefore it is crucial to practice your creativity at work as well.
It can be difficult to figure out where to begin with practicing your creativity at work, especially if your personal brand of creativity tends to show itself in carpentry or singing and you are an accountant. There doesn’t appear to be a strong connection there, but stick with me – I promise you will find some crossover!
Today, I am sharing one easy way anyone can exercise their personal creativity at work: visual thinking.
If you do not know anything about visual thinking, start with this article I wrote a few months back as your introduction. When you have finished it, come back here and complete Part 2.
Illustrate Your Ideas Part 2
Once you have a grasp of how visual thinking works, try using it in simple ways throughout your day to get more practice.
Your challenge is to illustrate your ideas using visual thinking one time in your personal life this week AND one time in your work life.
When trying something new for the first time, be sure to keep it simple and easy. You can always put your skills to the test later as you get more comfortable with visual thinking. For now, keep it simple.
How I used visual thinking to illustrate my ideas this week:
You can see that this was a just a quick sketch. I am making some felt letters for my kids and I did a quick brainstorm on a notecard. I was trying to decide betweens types of “A”s and also if I should use my sewing machine or hand stitch the letters. By sketching it out, I was better able to visualize what was going on in my head.
I used visual thinking this week at work to brainstorm what my 7th graders are going to be learning each day. Practicing visual thinking can be intimidating if you have not tried it yet, but don’t let that stop you. Take a closer look at my work example. There really are not any drawings on there except the triple venn diagram. Despite the lack of obvious visuals, organizing the information in this way allowed me to better “see” all of the thoughts going on in my head.
Every job is different so there is no one list of ways to use visual thinking at work that I can give you, however here are a few basic ways you can use it:
- to do lists
- sharing your ideas
- providing feedback
- problem solve by mapping it out on paper
- brainstorm ideas
As you become more and more comfortable with illustrate your ideas by using visual thinking, look for ways to incorporate into your work day. I’ll bet there are more ways than you think.