Staying Inspired in the Workplace
Working in an industry like marketing is a lot of fun, but as with any other creative work, it can be easy to fall into a rut. When we get too comfortable in our routines and too close to our projects, there is a chance we will deliver work that is stale and uninspiring. So how do we avoid creative burnout? We simply need to be proactive about flexing our creative muscles and finding inspiration wherever we can. There are many things I do to stay inspired in the workplace, but here are a few of the essential ones:
Capture Inspiration When it Strikes
Inspiration is not a stagnant thing; it comes and goes like the wind. This is why many people swear by leaving journals by their beds––when an idea strikes, it is imperative to write it down and give it the thought and consideration it deserves. Luckily, most of us have smartphones in our pockets that make it easy to record ideas wherever and whenever they arise. My favorite app for taking notes is Google Keep, which is a collection of digital sticky notes that are connected to your Google account. A few of my friends also enjoy using Evernote.
Think Outside Your Industry’s Box
In any industry, it is easy to get stuck on a revolving track of “how things work” and “the way things are done.” Sometimes we look to our competitors for ideas, but it is likely that they are working from the same set of protocols and standards as we are. One of the ways I like to stay inspired in the workplace is by checking out what businesses in other industries are doing. The more different the business/industry, the better. Some businesses I like to keep an eye on are Starbucks, for their excellent thought leadership, and Everlane, for their sleek design and commitment to radical transparency.
Remember Why You Started
Let’s face it. Even if we absolutely love our jobs, none of us signed up to battle deadlines and keep our noses buried deep in our desks. When your light feels like it is burning out, ask yourself, what first excited you about this job? Whatever it is, find some time each week, whether it is 15 minutes or 1 hour, and do it. This might seem random, but I had always dreamed of working for a magazine and actually started my marketing career working for a regional publication. So no matter how busy I am, I spend some time each week reading through food, wine and travel magazines (digital or print)—discovering new perspectives, familiarizing myself with all of the writers, and simply enjoying the escape. Some of my favorites are Life & Thyme and AFAR.
What are some things you do to stay inspired in the workplace?