What are some creative ways that we can to execute boring ideas?
We all have our daily routines that we follow.
In the morning, we wake up, brush our teeth, dress up and head to work.
On the way to work, we read the news on the train, get our coffee before we reach the office, check our emails while having breakfast and while sipping on the piping hot coffee we just got, before proceeding with other tasks.
After work we check our social media on the train ride home, get dinner, watch some TV shows before going to bed again.
But we can get so sick and tired of doing the same task in the exact same order every day.
Your creativity gets starved, you feel an impulsive need to go on a holiday to get away from the humdrum of life, or you daydream all day thinking about the what-ifs of life.
We have all heard of the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, disagrees and notes that this phrase is way outdated. Instead, he believes “If it ain’t broke, experiment“.
So in recognition of the interesting twist of a phrase coined by Mr Tharman, here are just 5 ways you could experiment with to creatively execute otherwise boring ideas:
1. Disrupt your routine away from boring ideas
Some things we just HAVE to do everyday – check our emails, file daily reports, calculate expenses… Sometimes you can’t help but feel bored or even drained spending hours doing the mandatory.
One way that could help is feel more energised at work is to disrupt our usual methods of completing tasks.
What we mean is to do the same boring task differently everyday. It makes the task so much more compelling!
It could be as simple as signing off differently and creatively each time you reply an email, or e-greeting people according to the specific occasions such as Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, or even Happy Peanut Butter Appreciation Day.
Finding new ways of carrying out tasks might even lead to increased efficiency as you find different ways to solve a problem. You might even create shortcuts you didn’t even know was there in the first place!
2. Be flexible with your to-do list to manage boring ideas
When you find yourself stuck at your current task due to writers’ block, or you find your mind wandering elsewhere because you just can’t focus on something so boring and mundane, switch it up! Go on to the next item on your list and come back to it again later.
Sometimes you just need a little break from a task that is just time-consuming. Doing something different can help refresh your mind. Fresh ideas might even pop up as you are gaining your second wind for the task!
3. Create your own happiness in an otherwise unpleasant situation.
Try combining doing the mundane task with something different and interesting to you, such as listening to music at the same time or working at a different location such as a café or dare we say it, even a bar.
By adding in elements of enjoyment into your boring task, time will pass faster as you enjoy what you do, even if just a slight bit more. Finding the best way you do things can get you so immersed in your task that you find time flying by.
4. Incentivise your accomplishments
Do we need anymore explanation?
Give yourself a reward to look forward to after completing each task! It could be a small snack, or a short break to rest your eyes, or it could even be ending work and heading home earlier as your task for the day is finished. We all deserve a little reward in our lives!
5. Gamify your tasks
If all else fails, pretend that your work is a game and try to win that game. It could simply be a race against time, or a competition against your performance in the previous day, which by the way, can help you be more efficient as the days go by.
If you would like to, you can even involve your colleagues and create a game in the office. Come up with and agree upon an interesting prize together, such as the winner wins the rights to everything in the refrigerator for the day, or the winner gets to leave work early the next day.
These are just 5 simple ways you could experiment with to be creative with your daily routine.
Can you begin to imagine the millions of possibilities you could come up with in carrying out just one single task?
We hope that this article has been useful to help you rethink, even reframe your way of thinking about seemingly boring ideas at work: sometimes, it just takes a little change of perspective to see things in a new light, and approach things in a totally new way for mindblowing results.
If you would like to learn more about how you can change your way of thinking about solving problems together as a team in your company, be sure to download the FREE guide down below!
Aly is StrengthsAsia’s marketing and communications guru and lead editor. She's over the top inquisitive and everyone in the company knows her as “The Googler” as she practically googles everything. Honestly, we all worry for her… She is also the Principal Trainer for our one of a kind ice cream team building workshops in Asia.