It’s 5° Fahrenheit (-15° Celsius) and a storm is approaching, and I seriously don’t want to get out of bed. Who would? Few could enthusiastically embrace this kind of workday morning. When the weather gets bad, inspiration and drive are the first things to go. But we all know that if you ignore your work, it doesn’t just go away. So, I’ve been sitting here at my desk staring at a blank document on my screen for almost 45 minutes. During that time, I’ve checked email five times, scanned CNN headlines, texted, tweeted, and gladly took up a co-worker’s invitation to grab a cup of coffee.
This routine shouldn’t be surprising. To avoid procrastination and gain inspiration, recognize the situation and change it.
Clear away distractions.
Eliminate common distractions so you can focus, and inspiration is likely to come. You can disconnect from email, web, and social sites, but that won’t stop mobile texts or co-worker drop-ins. Try moving from your usual workspace to an intimate huddle room, where you can prime your mind for new ideas and focused thoughts. If you’re in an open-space layout, move near people who are working hard and being productive. Inspiration can be catchy.
Use the right tool for the job.
Recent research on handwriting has concluded that writing longhand notes focuses attention and boosts learning in ways that typing them on a computer cannot. It has also shown that people who write out notes perform better on conceptual questions. So, pick up a pen for a faster way to get started on new ideas, outlines, or plans. Typing into an empty document is better suited for executing a particular project. Be mindful of the right tool for the job at hand.
Connect with others and discuss ideas.
People think up stronger concepts when they share ideas, socialize work, and remain open to new perspectives. “Creativity doesn’t thrive in isolation,” according to this article on ways to find creative inspiration. Whether it is at the watercooler or through an online brainstorming tool, interact with and involve a diverse set of co-workers to inject energy and new thinking into your day.
Many entrepreneurs report that they write things down to remember and develop creative thoughts, and they build in quite time to get their creative juices flowing. Tell us how you find inspiration at work day to day.