7 Signs Your Job Might Be Killing Your Creativity
One of the most positive ways to live a successful life is by finding a workplace that not only satisfies your wallet, but also a job that satisfies your creativity. When you go to work excited every day (for the most part) to start the day, then you know you have found something good. The thing is, not everyone is lucky to find the job of their dreams, and while not every job has to be glamorous experience filled with photo shoots and traveling, it should make you feel rewarded and happy in some way or another. But what if that job is actually killing the one thing you need most to stay afloat in your career?
Your creativity is just as vital for your job performance as any other skill. It will keep you inspired and passionate and help you solve the most difficult problems. But sometimes, that current employment is actually sucking the life out of your career in was you didn't even realize. Like any relationship, it might be hard for you to realize what exactly is killing your creative mojo when you are so close to the actual problem. If you have been feeling defeated lately or without much motivation for your work or yourself and you don't really know why, here are some reasons why the culprit might actually be your job and how you can change it.
1. You Are Always Busy With Paperwork & Emails
You never have time to explore new projects. If you are swimming under papers and emails and feel like it's never ending, how are you going to get creative and move beyond day-to-day tasks ? Try to work smarter, not harder to relieve some pressure from your work load, but if that isn't working, try saying no more and making sure you are taking a break for yourself. I did this recently and it's been a lifesaver for me mentally. Not only will the stress kill your creativity, but you need to do things for yourself to feel inspired again. Take a stroll through a museum, watch some of your favorite shows, or do something that will spark that passion within yourself again. If not, you may start feeling like a robot with no ambition, pumping out work like a conveyor belt.
2. You Don't Take A Break
It might sound counter-productive, but taking breaks is vital to refresh yourself with new ideas and to take a breather from the workload. According to a Fast Company article, there are plenty of reasons why you need to take that lunch break: It presents you from getting bored and your mind wondering, it helps retain information, and it makes you reevaluate your goals. As engineering professor Barbara Oakley explained to Mother Jones, "When you’re focusing, you’re actually blocking your access to the diffuse mode. And the diffuse mode, it turns out, is what you often need to be able to solve a very difficult, new problem." Boom. So, try not to feel guilty when you want to take a lunch break, or you just want to take a quick walk around the block. It will benefit your boss and workload more than you will know
3. Your Boss Could Be The Culprit
Sometimes your boss knows exactly what he or she wants, and does not allow room for outsiders' opinions or creativity. While this might be good for the boss, it's not necessarily good for you and your creativity. According to a Mess Magazine article on LinkedIn, your boss could basically be paying you to think inside the box. Sometimes bosses are looking for employees that just stick to a routine by producing "good-enough" work without any surprises. If you feel this way now, then maybe it's time to reevaluate your position. Leaving a job is not necessarily always the safest or most comfortable option, so the next best thing might be to have a meeting with your boss to see if you guys can agree on something where you actually fill inspired and challenged again.
4. You Feel Stuck In A Routine
One of the most creative killing culprits is when you feel stuck. Nothing is worse than when you are either stuck in your head or just feel stuck in your life/job. While routines are always a great way to make sure you are getting tasks done, sometimes it can feel unnatural after a while, and you lose focus of the bigger picture instead of the next task that needs to be completed. According to a Huffington Post article written by Amy Morin, psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, you can create new ways to break apart your routine while still being productive. One of them is by making sure you are challenging yourself. By adding this to your routine you are allowing yourself to be outside of your comfort zone and it will be your brain on its tippy toes.
5. Focusing Too Hard On Being Successful
While being successful is practically on everyone's mind, sometimes this drive can kill your creativity for the simple fact that you start taking the safe route. This could mean that you are taking less risks with your work because they are not supplying enough rewards for your success. When it comes to art and creativity, one might need to take more risks to be successful. Yes, that might be stressful, and no, it is not for everyone, but it's imperative for someone to do when you want to create something new. If you are in your nine to five just doing the same mundane things every day because you know it's safe and everyone likes it, then you are no longer creating and challenging your mind. Instead of being afraid of the results, see them as an obstacle to overcome, because in the long run, it will benefit you and your career.
6. You Are Not Inspired By Your Work Environment Anymore
It's really hard to be passionate and creative when people around you are not. This could mean that either your employees are just being lazy, or that you don't feel challenged by their own creativity anymore. At a previous internship of mine, it was always inspiring to hear ideas float around the office — because they were so damn good. Of course, for every one good idea there was a few bad, but the good ideas kicked the bad ideas in the face. Hearing fellow coworkers' ideas boosted my creativity because I wanted to challenge myself to be just as good. It inspired me in ways I never thought of and the thought of a little positive competition never hurt nobody.
7. You're Just Not Feeling It Anymore
This could be the end of the road for your creativity if your current nine to five is just not cutting it anymore. When you are dreading going into work and you would rather scroll through Facebook, or you just don't feel challenged anymore because your skills have now surpassed your job, then maybe it's time to get out. Start taking notes of these little clues and start making changes if you want to get a new job. It might be scary at first, but you don't want to spend your next eight hours at a place that you hate.
We spend too much of our own lives working for our career. The last thing you want to happen is let your job kill your creativity — essentially the one thing that will keep you sane. Hopefully these tips will help you regain it back if it left you without any warning.
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