Why creativity should be your new habit

creativity

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

When people think of creativity, they think of artists, writers or painters. But, what if I told you that creativity matters more than ever to the business world.

Being creative doesn’t mean artistry. Yes, creativity can be found in the arts, but it’s also found in software engineering, mathematics, sales and start-ups.

What does it actually mean to be creative?

LinkedIn Learning Instructor Stefan Mumaw, who has authored six books on creativity, has this definition: “Creativity is problem-solving with relevance and novelty.”

This definition can be broken down in the following way:

  1. Relevancy: Relevancy means actually solving the problem. As in, it was relevant to the problem at hand, and provided an actual solution to it. A solution without relevancy is no solution at all
  2. Novelty: Novelty is harder to judge, but it’s when you are able to solve a problem in an original way. A way that isn’t what’s expected or has been done before.

Putting it together, creativity is really just solving problems in original ways.

Creativity is not an innate gift, it takes practice. If you are still unsure about releasing your creative flair here are all the ways creativity can add value to your life.

1. Boost endorphins

Research tells us that doing something creative gives us an instantaneous boost of positivity So if you’re feeling a bit blue all you need to do is get your creative kick on and you should be smiling in no time. This can be painting, to problem-solving an ongoing project. When you have a creative breakthrough your endorphins go through the roof but research shows that the journey to your creative breakthrough gives you positive vibes too!

2. Brings us back to our childish routes

There is no right or wrong way to be creative. We have the freedom to let our minds wander. When we create, we engage with the world without judging ourselves or trying to conform to another way. It gives us the feeling of freedom we may have experienced during childhood. It gives us permission to take risks, try new things, and strip away inhibitions in a healthy way.

3. Defines our authenticity

When we create we access our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. When we take the time and energy to develop our own ideas, we learn to understand and trust our inner self. This allows us to better express ourselves. You may be surprised at the thoughts and ideas that you discover there.

4. Gives us confidence in our abilities

When we create, we start to value our work. We learn to trust our instincts and gain confidence from expressing them. When we break outside of the norm and come up with novel ideas, the only person we can trust is ourselves, because there are no other leaders making that same path.

5. Stress Relief

Being creative is meditative. Creativity is fun, and doing anything that brings joy reduces our stress levels and improves our quality of life. When we create we take our mind away from feelings of fear, or worry and focus on positive new things.

6. Problem-solving

Last but by no means least – one of the most important benefits of creativity is that it enhances our problem-solving abilities.

There isn’t a manual to being creative, and there isn’t a manual for being alive. Obstacles and challenges are inevitable. However, when we make creativity a habit, we start to view problem-solving as an art.

 

How to add magic to your morning routine

morning

If you’re looking to take better care of yourself (mind, body, and spirit) the morning is the best time to do to this.

Firstly, who wants to do anything after a long day of work.

Secondly, what if I told you that all you needed was 15 minutes in the morning and you could make significant improvements to your mental and physical health.

The way you start your day sets the tone for your day.

Self-care coach, Elena Lipson writes in her blog for Tiny Buddha about her successful “Magic Morning Mindset” which she claims prepares you to be calmer, more joyful, more connected to yourself, and better able to voice your needs.

By prioritising self-care and putting it at the top of your to-do list, you’re telling yourself that your needs matter.

The MAGIC Morning Mindset

M – Movement
A – Alignment
G – Gratitude
I – Intuition (or Intention)
C – Connection

How Can You Start?

1. First, set the intention behind your Magic Morning Mindset.

2. If you have a hard time waking up, commit to going to bed a bit earlier (even fifteen to twenty minutes will make a difference)

3. Decide what you want to do for your mind, body, and soul (you can find some ideas below).

4. Set yourself up for success – if you want to lose weight – remove garbage food from your cupboards 0r lay out a yoga mat the night before.

6. Notice how you feel throughout the day after doing the Magic Morning Mindset practice.

Some ideas on each topic

Mind

  • Journal your thoughts, understand how you feel throughout the day.
  • Write down your dreams.
  • Write ten to fifteen personal mantras.
  • Write any thoughts or ideas floating around in your mind until you feel lighter.
  • Journal about anything that you notice while doing these practices so that you can reflect on your journey as you go – this improves your self-awareness.

Body

  • Do some push-ups, abs crunches and jumping jacks and kick start your day.
  • Put on your favourite song and dance.
  • Do three to five yoga sun salutations.
  • Stretch and improve your flexibility.
  • Journal about anything that comes up while doing these practices so that you can reflect on your journey as you go.

Spirit

  • Sit quietly for three to five minutes just noticing your breathing.
  • listen to a guided meditation.
  • Meditate any way that feels good to you (walking, sitting, running).
  • Journal about anything that comes up while doing these practices so that you can reflect on your journey as you go.

Don’t confine yourself to only 15 minutes for your morning practice. Over time you might find that you need/want to spend more time on your morning practice.

As long as you are showing up for yourself in some meaningful way each morning, you are giving importance to your well-being.

Make this practice your own and notice the changes in your life as you prioritize your own needs and get you back on the top of your to-do list.

For more on this topic read Elena’s insightful blog here on Tiny Budda.

10 Tips to Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine

energy

“While there are some health benefits of coffee consumption, research also shows that it can actually make you more tired,” says Jeanette Kimszal, a nutrition and fitness expert. “It becomes a vicious cycle of being tired and reaching for coffee only to lead you to become more tired.”

There has to be an improved, healthier way to get energy without all that caffeine circulating in your system, right?

Well, fear not. We´ve gathered a list of the 10 best ways to get energy and raise your alertness without the side effect of caffeine overload.

Rise and shine! From now on,  you can go out on the weekend and stay awake during your Monday morning like a champ! Here are 10 guilt-free ways to boost your performance.

1. Short walk or stretch

A short walk can get rid of your drowsiness. Physical activity boosts your heart rate, metabolism and blood flow. As an alternative just stretch it out, a quick session will pump you up to. Just do whatever you would enjoy the best.

2. Rehydrate

We doubt you spent the night topping up on your water, instead of sleeping. Be sure, as soon as you wake up, to rehydrate with a large glass of water. Water helps to maintain blood volume, allows proper circulation, helps regulate body temperature, and acts as a shock absorber for your brain.

3. Get some air

Expose yourself to fresh air, open your windows, try to get some sunlight if possible. Sunlight helps muscles and improves brain function.

4. Log off before bedtime

Using electronics before sleep has shown to disrupt a good nights sleep and can lead to increased tiredness and less cognitive function the next day.

5. Crank up some tunes

Play something upbeat and positive. Get in the right mood to start a new day full of possibilities and new experiences.

6. Eat more veggies

They are rich in nutrients that keep your energy levels pumping throughout the day and they also keep “false hunger” and unhealthy cravings away.

7. Supplement your diet with magnesium

Magnesium is known for its abilities to break down glucose into energy. Meaning you can add an extra fuel channel into your body!

8. Micro workouts

If you are feeling low, just do a quick stretch, climb some stairs even drop and do 10 push up or simply jump a couple of times to get your blood pumping and oxygen to your muscles and feel an instant kick of energy.

9. Write

Access your mind by writing your thoughts, dreams and how you feel. Even jotting down your to-do’s free up your mental space. This is a powerful practice. It helps you to see what going through your mind and encourages you to organize your priorities for the day.

10. Pump it up with some fibre

Usually, a standard breakfast of meat, dairy and process food will inevitably lead you to energy crash a few hours after taking it. A high fibre breakfast will help slow the absorption of sugar and will improve blood sugar levels. Get some fruits and seeds make sure you have it all.

 

 

6 ways to make a good impression

impression

Never underestimate how important it is to make a good impression at work.

Equally never underestimate how many times per day you are likely to make a first impression. Networking happens, all the time, not just at planned events after work.

When colleagues start to think that they can rely on you to do good work, then you will start to get offered greater and better responsibilities. This, in turn, can lead to promotions and raises.

1.  Know the workplace etiquette

Everyone’s place of work has their own particular quirks but try to understand yours. Whether swearing is unacceptable or too casual attire is not allowed – be on top of the unwritten rules. If you are allowed a phone at work don’t abuse it. Equally, if you have no restrictions on your internet don’t let yourself scroll aimlessly on social media it’s not a good look.

2. Face up to mistakes

If you haven’t already, you will at some point make a mistake at work. It may even be a big one. It happens to everyone. How you handle the blunder will influence your everyone’s opinion of you much more than the mistake itself. Remember this rule.

The first thing you should do is admit what happened, take full responsibility and then come up with a way to fix your mistake – there’s no better way to fix a mistake than coming up with a great, honest solution.

3. Come through in a crisis

Learn how to deal with workplace crises quickly and effectively.

One way to do this is to imagine different scenarios and come up with plans to react to each one. Then, if the unexpected ever happens, you’ll be fully prepared to deal with it.

4. Avoid controversial topics

people, tend to like it when their workplaces are calm. Who can blame them?

Avoid starting conversations about topics that make people uncomfortable and could even lead to arguments. Steer clear of talking about politics or religion, for instance. This is not playing it safe, there’s plenty of other things to talk about that don’t involve controversy.

5. Respect your co-workers

If this isn’t a natural inclination then be motivated by the fact that you’ll never know when you need a favour!

Always avoid acting in an uncivil manner toward any of your coworkers. Be on time to work, especially if you are relieving someone from their shift. Don’t ever take credit for another person’s work. Always share the workload and don’t forget your P’s and Q’s.

6. Represent your company how they would want you to

Imagine a tiny version of your boss standing on your shoulder. This is exactly how you should feel at company events or meetings. Make them proud and act exactly how they expect you to and nothing less.

10 health benefits of daily yoga

yoga

Practising Yoga is said to come with many benefits for both mental and physical health but there are so many more reasons why Yoga is a great addition to your life.

Your mind is one of the most important assets and properly looking after it, will help you to get through those tough curve balls in life. Saying that to be super efficient at facing life’s many challenges you need both mental and physical strength

There are many benefits I can list but first I am going to talk about the main benefits which are scientifically proven.

Stress

Yoga is known for its ability to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Multiple studies have demonstrated that yoga decreases the secretion of cortisol the dominant stress hormone and after a three-month program woman had significantly reduced stress, anxiety and have had improved quality of life and mental health.

Improves heart health

The American heart association has shown that heart attacks, high blood pressure, and diabetes are increasingly more frequent in young people notably women. A review of different studies made in the European journal of preventive cardiology said that yoga can help as much as a traditional workout the even show that who practised lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol. Is just about movement.

Mental health

Yoga allows you to be “in your body”, it helps you connect with yourself.  Many poses can have a mood-boosting effect like camel pose, pigeon pose and legs up which literally open your heart and help you find.new perspectives.

Improves the quality of life

Yoga is turning into an adjunct therapy to improve quality of life for many people. Studies have shown how yoga can help to prevent nausea, vomiting, mood swings and fatigue. It also diminishes anxiety and depression with cancer patients.

Flexibility and balance

Many people have overcome injuries by increasing their range of motion with yoga. But flexibility not only helps with injuries but with joint pain. With a few weeks of practice, you’ll start to notice pain to go away. Tight hips can strain the knee joints due to improper alignment. Inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue can cause poor posture and back pains.

Your head is a big, round, heavy ball and when it aligns directly to an erect spine, it takes less work for your neck and back to support it.

Yoga also regularly increases proprioception [ ability to feel what your body is doing]. People with dysfunctional movement patterns usually have low proprioception. Better balance could mean fewer falls and less body pain.

Let just look at one more benefit, this one is not scientific but is as valid as the rest.

Awareness for transformation: Self-awareness makes easier to break free of destructive emotions like anger. Yoga appears to reduce anger by increasing feelings of compassion and interconnection and by calming the nervous system and the mind.

Just believing you will get better can make you better. Some might call it placebo effect and say it doesn’t count but the mind is the most powerful tool you can have.

So, if you haven’t yet tried yoga, what are you waiting for?

Why process always trumps outcomes

process

Process trumps outcomes, every time.

The secret is this – if you consistently do your best every day, instead of obsessing about the outcome, you will get the results you’re looking for.

Why?

Being process orientated means doing your best work without focusing on the outcome. It’s having a bullet-proof plan – something that has a proven success rate.

In other words, you have to design and commit yourself to a process for success where positive outcomes are an inevitable outcome.

Even if your work hits a few rough patches, your process will get you through.

When you’re committed to a process you always win because you’re always doing your best.

How to commit to a process

Outcomes are not so predictable.

Think about how many variables there are (or could be) from your efforts to your desired result. We can never really know or prepare for the inevitable issues that crop up – and that’s why having a process in place is so important – in times of high stress you can turn to your process without having to think too much.

If you are completely focused on the results it means whenever you fall short of your goal you are frustrated (often worse). Sometimes the most important lessons we learn are from our “near misses” or failures, as they help us to refine our processes.

So, instead of only giving yourself permission to be happy when you’ve achieved your desired outcome and celebrate your growth and respect your process.

Processes are what matters.

Your process could be simple tweaks to your daily routine that enhance your output or a complex systematic approach that you’ve built through experience. Whatever the process, if it works for you then its the key to your long lasting success.!

Vince Lombardi said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.”

The commitment to the process makes all the difference.

In other words, good outcomes follow good processes. Success is not just blind luck.

There are no shortcuts to mastery.

Start to change how you view your work. See your projects, even finished ones, as work-in-progress. This rules out the need to focus on the outcome at the expense of the important process.

Don’t forget to routinely review your results. Figure out what is and isn’t working in your processes and amend them accordingly.

And always remember, even if your expectations take years to achieve, each step you take towards them is just as important. And, when you commit to a purposeful process, the outcome will inevitably be a positive one.

3 steps to always perform your best at work

best

Have you ever allowed situational factors to prevent you from doing your best work?

Even if we are consistent high-performers, situational factors such as a change of environment or people can throw us off.

But, fear not. There are certain procedures (i.e the three-step rule), that you can put in place to ensure that you always have consistently high outputs regardless of what is going on around you.

1. Establish Personal Values

Personal values are the guiding light for architecting the future you want. If you define and live by your personal values, it’ll become second nature for you to make informed decisions that result in your values and contribute towards your goals.

If you are still finding out what your personal values are, try writing a mission statement. Start by asking yourself the following questions and build it into a mission statement/ or a set of values that you stick by, no matter what.

What do I want my personal brand to be?
What do I hate to compromise?
What do I want the outcome of my decisions/actions to work in support of?

2. Define Your Workflow

Psychologists have found athletes who visualize and mentally rehearse themselves performing their sport outperform athletes who don’t by 13.5%. So take the time to mentally rehearse your work and increase your workflow, and overall confidence. Not to mention, you won’t be caught gawping like a goldfish when an unexpected obstacle makes you feel like a fish out of water.

Use these questions to define your workflow ;

What is a successful outcome?
What is the best way to work towards the desired outcome?
What could go wrong?
What has worked well in the past?

It’s a great idea to use these questions to define each process you undertake at work.

3. Identify & Automate High-Value Actions

60% or less of work time is spent productively.

Imagine a world where you rarely need to spend time on the things that don’t matter.

If you take the time to identify and automate your high-value actions, this could easily be your reality. Decrease your time spent on non-essential actions and free yourself up to access higher cognitive functions

Ask yourself the following questions to identify high-value actions:

  • What absolutely needs to be accomplished before I move forward?
  • What enables me to partner successfully with my customers/colleagues along the way?
  • What specific tools make it easier for me, my customers, and my colleagues to work towards our goals?

Once you have these three processes in place you can ensure a high standard of work, no matter where life might take you.

For more information on this process, please read the excellent blog written by Sara Debrule for Hubspot.

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