5 steps to bring creativity to your work life (Sponsored)

Sep 06, 2019
Busy does not always mean productive or creative. "Are you busy?" may be one of the most asked questions in the work environment. It also may be one of the most misleading questions to ask. But maybe we're asking the wrong question. A better question is, are we being productive? Or, better yet, are we being creative?

So, how do we get more productive? This is where creativity comes in. Companies need creativity to improve productivity.

Creativity is a way of operating that needs practice and work.

John Cleese, the award-winning English actor, has co-written books with Robin Skynner, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, on the topic of "life and how to survive it".

The open mode vs closed mode

The first step towards creativity is to get into the open mode. But how do we do that?

Cleese outlines five steps to getting into the open mode:

1. Space

You can't do this in your normal working environment. It's too easy to slip back into the closed mode. Get away from your desk or work-space and find somewhere that you will be free from interruptions.

2. Time

Once you've created your space, you need to dedicate a specific amount of time to be "open" and playful. Be aware that distraction will try and creep in at every opportunity. Just like anything, you need more than one sitting to crack creativity. You should schedule regular time slots, much like you would if you were practising a musical instrument. Once you have achieved steps one and two, you now have an oasis of calm in which to begin being creative.

3. Time

This is not a typo; there are two aspects to 'time'. The one above is about scheduling a specific block of time to be open, playful and - hopefully - creative. The second aspect of time describes the pondering, gestating the idea, daydreaming, flashes of brilliance when you are bored. At the end of your block of time, you may not have achieved anything. But by kicking the idea around in your brain while on the treadmill, in the shower, on the bus or walking to the shop, you may come up with something original.

4. Confidence

Cleese sums this up best with a quote that "you can't be spontaneous within reason"; you either are or you aren't. To be creative, you need to be playful with the problems and not be afraid of being wrong. You must be free to contemplate and maybe be wrong, which will help lead to understanding what is right.

5. Humour

Regardless of how serious the topic is, in business there is always room for a humorous approach to finding a solution. Humour confirms playfulness and therefore fosters creativity. You don't have to be funny; you just need to know that you can be funny if that helps the process.


Some companies have embraced creativity and had amazing results.

Atlassian is an Australian software company that gives its engineers 24 hours to work on anything they like so long as it is not part of their day-to-day tasks. The initiative was so successful that they wanted to devote more time to creativity.

These days, the backbone to being more creative is reliable, fast internet connectivity. Virgin Media Business can also provide solutions to help you achieve your business goals. Check out our various business solutions ranging from Ireland’s fastest broadband speeds and bespoke voice solutions right through to Business TV packages to suit your ever-evolving company needs.

(This article is sponsored by Virgin Media.)