A few days ago, we talked about the culture at Google and how it promotes creative thinking. One of the things you hear again and again is how much fun it is to work there. As it turns out, having fun is an important part of cultivating positive and creative thinking.
Our brains simply work better when we’re having fun and are relaxed. You know this yourself. When you’re tense, worried, or intimidated, it’s hard to come up with something upbeat and creative. When you’re in a group of people or an environment where you’re having fun on the other hand, ideas will flow more freely.
Think about what you can do to make your environment more fun. Add some color to your workspace. Let in some light and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Don’t take yourself and those around you too seriously. Have a laugh.
A great way to get into the right frame of mind when you’re collaborating to find a solution to a serious problem is to ask everyone to come up with the worst possible solution. You can even do this by yourself. Try to outdo each other and keep coming up with even worse solutions and scenarios. Not only does it help put your mind at ease and make you laugh, it also gets you to look at the problem from all angles and prepares you for getting creative in finding the best solution. I do something like this with my kids. We try to see who can come up with the most disgusting ice cream flavors. It gets pretty gross and bug filled and laugh and laugh!
Having things to fidget, doodle, or play with can also be a big help. We are able to focus our minds better, listen more actively, and pay more attention when our hands are busy. Keep a few little toys or, at the very least, a pen and paper close by. Figure out what helps you focus the most. Maybe, it’s a Rubik's Cube or a Fidget Cube. Maybe, it’s twirling a pen. Maybe, it’s having some play-dough or Lego's to play with while you’re thinking. Figure out what helps you get into that creative and positive head-space where the great solutions are found.
Not only will you help your team at work, your friends, and your family think more creatively and positively by having more fun throughout the day, it also makes it a much more pleasant experience to be around each other. That in turn builds loyalty, friendship, and love that ensures that everyone involved is ready to give you their best. As an added bonus, you end up having a lot more fun throughout your day.