Creativity Comes In Many Forms

Creativity Comes In Many Forms

Chances are, if you don’t work in a “creative” industry like advertising or the arts, you may not spend a lot of time thinking about creativity. Your job might not call for creativity in the traditional sense of the word. But no matter what you do, you will run into problems at work. Some of those problems can be conquered with creative solutions.

Being Creative

When it comes to creativity, there is no shortage of quotes and anecdotes about what creativity is, and how to be creative. Here are just a few. Maybe you haven’t thought much about creativity. Or maybe you don’t think of yourself as a creative person. If you’d like to be more creative, the question becomes, can you? How do you begin to get those creative juices flowing? We decided to look a little bit deeper into a couple of quotes about creativity to find out.

Pablo Picasso – The Artist

Pablo Picasso said that, “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” The truth of this is easy to see. This line of thinking suggests that we all start out as creative, and some of us lose the inclination as we age. It’s no secret that children lack many of the inhibitions we slowly age into. This leaves kids able to explore and make mistakes without the fear of what others may think. Often too, with the rules of the world coming into focus as we get older, our imaginations can dwindle. Children are the most inventive because they don’t care what the rules are.

Leo Burnett – The Business Man

Leo Burnett started one of the worlds most successful advertising agencies. He said this about creativity. “Curiosity in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” They say that curiosity is a cat killer, but Leo Burnett suggests that being curious, asking questions, and investigating why things are they way they are is the secret to creativity. Looking at any small thing and wondering about it gets your thoughts moving and looking for ways something can be done differently.

Albert Einstein – The Genius

Perhaps the most famous smart guy ever, Albert Einstein said that, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” The key takeaway from this sounds like it should be the “having fun” part, but I think the focus should be on the bit about intelligence. A common phrase among writers is to write what you know. This old adage suggests that you must know your subject before you write about it. The same is suggested by Albert Einstein, to be creative, you must first have the intelligence, and then you can have fun with it.

So Turn on Your Creativity

If you’re faced with a problem at work, or you’re just looking to turn you on your creative faucet, follow the advice of these three. Leave your inhibitions behind and don’t focus on what you think is possible. Always be curious about the situation. Ask questions and poke and prod at a thing, no matter how small it may seem. Finally, learn about stuff. Learn everything you can about the problem at work, or whatever interests you. Then let that intelligence play around.

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Been Asked To Write Your Own Performance Evaluation?

Been Asked To Write Your Own Performance Evaluation?

Performance evaluationss are a part of every job. In general, the review is given to us, but sometimes we are asked to give a self-review.

 

Some people will jump at the chance to weigh in on how they’re doing. Others find the whole prospect so intimidating they’d rather pass on the review altogether.

 

If you’re in group B, don’t worry. We’re here to help.

 

What should you include?

Remember, even if you’ve been asked to do a self-review it doesn’t mean the powers that be don’t already have a clear picture of how you’ve been doing. They know what they think. They want to see what you think, so be honest. Talk about what you did well and where you fell short. Also talk about what you learned and ways you see to improve.

 

Questions to ask yourself

If you don’t know where to start here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

What aspects of your job do you enjoy? Why?

Is there an accomplishment you are particularly proud of?

Is there anything where you feel you missed the mark entirely?

What new things have you learned?

Are there things you would have done differently in retrospect?

Where do you feel you could use improvement?

Are there new skills you feel you need to acquire to better do your job?

 

Be professional

If you don’t think your boss or co-workers are doing a good job, now is not the time to bring it up. Focus on what you have done/plan to do. Don’t finish the review and hand it in immediately. Sit on it overnight. Read it again in the morning with fresh eyes to ensure everything is grammatically correct and you’ve included everything you wanted to include.

 

The benefits of a self-review

Even if you’re not thrilled at the prospect of doing a self-review, it is an opportunity to actually scrutinize what and how you’ve been doing. It’s one thing to passively listen to someone else tell you how you’ve been doing, it’s another to spend time determining it for yourself. Once you’ve done an honest self-evaluation you can take steps to improve where you need improving. You can set goals and make plans for what you want to do going forward.

 

Keep track of your accomplishments

Whether you are ever asked to write your own performance evaluation or not it’s a great idea to keep track of your accomplishments as you go. Not only are you keeping yourself on track, but if a self-assessment should come up, you don’t have to scrounge for examples of what you’ve been doing. You already have a list!

Keep Distractions At Bay Twenty Seconds At A Time

Keep Distractions At Bay Twenty Seconds At A Time

Sometimes you when you have a lot of things on your plate or one very important thing, you may find that the harder you WANT to concentrate, the more impossible distractions become to resist.

Many people believe the internet is the big problem so they try switching the WI-FI off for set periods of time. That is certainly a good start, but what happens when you need to check something on the internet? Like eating chips, it’s nearly impossible to stop at just one. You get the information you went in there to find then you check one more thing on Facebook or Twitter, and then two hours of distractions have sailed by.

Even if your internet is off, if you don’t make valiant efforts to vanquish the allure of distractions you will never be as productive as you say you want to be. However there is something very simple every single one of us can try to keep those distractions at bay.

Twenty Second Rule

The 20-second rule was created by positive psychologist Shawn Achor. In the course of his research, Achor discovered something interesting about the unassuming little twenty second increment of time.

By simply adding or subtracting 20 seconds to how long it takes to do something, a person can change their entire perception of the task.

Subtract 20 seconds

For example, if it normally takes you three minutes to make your lunch in the mornings, but you found a way to do it in 2 minutes and 40 seconds you’d be more inclined to go ahead and do it on a regular basis rather than choosing the lazy I’ll just buy my lunch route.

Twenty seconds isn’t a significant amount of time, but it’s enough to change your attitude about something.

Add 20 seconds

Which brings us to distractions. This time we’re going to add twenty seconds instead of subtracting them.

Let’s say you’re in the middle of writing a proposal or a letter – or whatever it is you do during the course of your day, and you get the urge to check your email or call your best friend or check to see if that sweater you’ve been keeping an eye on has gone on sale. Instead of following through on that urge like you usually do, just tell yourself, I’ll do it in twenty seconds.

That twenty seconds is often enough time to get you back on task and focused on the work at hand.

Three Vitamins To Help You Stay Healthy During the Winter

Three Vitamins To Help You Stay Healthy During the Winter

If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate you may not be as aware of the toll a lack of sunshine and the increased cold weather can take on your body. But those of us knee deep in snow need more than an extra sweater to stay healthy.

 

During the darkest, coldest months of the year, December through March, most of us can use a little nutrition boost, especially in regards to the following three vitamins.

 

Vitamin C

Winter is the season for colds, flu, infections of all sorts. And just about all of us have had the experience of ending up in the sick house – a house where one after the other every member of the household falls victim to a spreading flu. Vitamin C may not be able to prevent the common cold, but it can support healthy immune function to decrease your chance of getting sick. If you do get a cold vitamin C can help you recover quicker with fewer complications. Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C as are peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It is recommended adults get 65 – 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day.

 

Vitamin D

The best source of Vitamin D shines down on us day in and day out from the big eye in the sky. But during the overcast days of winter most of that sunshine is so often blocked out by clouds, that when it is sunny people stop in their tracks in surprise. Vitamin D helps support the immune system, brain and nervous system and is essential for the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. You can find vitamin D in foods like salmon, beef liver and egg yolks. The Mayo Clinic recommends adults get at least 600 IU per day of Vitamin D.

 

B-Complex Vitamins

SAD – seasonal affective disorder is a depression that hits people during the winter months. According to Psychology Today, “SAD symptoms include sleeping too much, lack of energy and low moods or depression. Usually symptoms clear up when the weather changes…B-Complex vitamins help your body convert proteins from your diet into neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, etc.) needed for mood and energy. B-complex vitamins also support heart health, improve your response to stress and help boost energy levels.”

 

Here is a list of the best food sources for B-vitamins from Huffpost.

 

Of course you want to stay healthy all year long, but to get through the long cold days of winter you sometimes need a little boost!

Joys Of The Season to You And Yours

Joys Of The Season to You And Yours

As always, the winding down year came with ups and downs, but as it comes to a close, and we think back on all that happened, it is the good things we should choose to focus on. The kindnesses we received and and ones we gave. Beautiful moments that shone through like the sun catching rainbow sparkles on fresh fallen snow. And joys sprinkled throughout.

Most likely there were people who helped you during the year, who offered support or guidance or an introduction to someone you’d been trying to meet. Maybe your boss gave you an opportunity to expand your abilities, or a co-worker offered a ride share while your car was in the shop. You can probably think of hundreds of things that happened through the year that made your days brighter.

Focusing on the positives shines a glow of thanks over the whole year. By bidding the year farewell with a thankful heart and well wishes, we set the tone for the one to come.

Until we meet again in the upcoming year, the joys of the season to all from all of us to all of you.

Are You A Wanter Or A Doer?

Are You A Wanter Or A Doer?

In every office you’ll find all kinds of people. The introverts, the extroverts, the technical minded ones, the artistic ones, the list goes on and on. All sorts of different people with different temperaments thrive and get ahead. However, besides the specifics of a person’s personality and skills people can generally be sorted into two distinct categories, the waters and the doers.

 

Wanters expect things to come to them

 

Wanters are the ones who always want to know when they can expect to get a promotion or a raise. They look out for what the company can do for them. When things aren’t working to their satisfaction, they want change, but they don’t necessarily do anything about it. In general wanters are their own number one priority. When five o’clock rolls around, they want to get out of the office and move on the next thing they want to do.

 

Doers create what they want

 

Doers on the other hand, are prepared to do what it takes to get a job done. They don’t ask when they will get a promotion they ask what they can do to get that promotion faster. They realize there is only one way to get ahead and that’s through merit. Not time, not the people they have drinks with not good intentions or talk.

 

If a job isn’t finished when it’s time to go home, a doer will stick around to make sure it gets done. If something isn’t working as well or as efficiently as it should, they don’t just complain about it or work around it, doers address the problem. They find better ways of doing things. If they have to improve themselves then they take the course or they ask us to put them in touch with a mentor.

 

Wanters might talk about how they want to make a six figure income one day. Doers spend every day going that extra mile to ensure they achieve their wants.

Five Traits Of Great Leaders

Five Traits Of Great Leaders

Every great leader has his or her own style of leadership. But just about every one of them share these five pillars as a base.

 

Collaboration

A strong leader has a vision for what needs to get done. However that doesn’t mean they believe they have to (or can) get it all done themselves. They have the ability to see the unique talents of each member of the team. Therefore they make a point of allowing each person to excel where they can. A strong leader creates an atmosphere of collaboration where different aspects of the project are led by the individual most capable of doing so. They create teams where everyone feels heard and valued.

 

Communication

If people on the team don’t have a clear perspective of what’s expected of them individually and as part of the whole group they cannot possibly do the best they can do. The very best leaders are expert communicators. They encourage questions, they are generous with praise and advice and they are not embarrassed or afraid to admit when they are wrong or when they’ve set a wrong path.

 

Humility

Everyone wants the project they’re working on to succeed. People who are strong leaders do everything they can to get that project to the finish line, but once it’s there they don’t feel the need to stand around collecting all the glory for themselves. They share the praise, and give recognition to everyone who contributed. They celebrate the accomplishment rather than seek recognition for their part in it, understanding that a shared success is much sweeter than a success devoured alone.

 

Encouraging

In the process of achieving a leadership position, the leader has learned a great deal about many aspects of the project they’re overseeing. When people come to them for help it might be easy to simply tell people under them everything they need to know and do in an easy to follow step-by-step process.  But strong leaders understand the value of letting people find the solution for themselves. The feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes from having the opportunity to create your own success. They provide support and encouragement in an environment that promotes learning and growth.

 

Conviction

The leader sets the tone

for the whole group. If a leader is passionate, he or she inspires passion. By having conviction in the success of the project and the people involved they will see that same conviction staring back at them on the faces of the people on their team.