Is Your Personality Killing the Deal?

Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.

~Erich Fromm

You’re a remarkable fellow, or an outstandingly brilliant lady. God has bestowed upon you incredible talent, superior intelligence, and fairness of face beyond compare. So what’s wrong? Why are you not succeeding the way you were clearly meant to?

Let’s hazard a guess. Do you suppose that despite your stellar qualities, people just don’t like you?

Believe it or not, many a great product or service has been rejected just because the intended recipient of a fabulous deal has been put off by the person pitching it. Let’s talk about a few personality traits and other characteristics that are guaranteed to kill the deal, and what you can do to overcome them.

You’re Weird

There, we said it. You’re a strange little article, aren’t you? You with your polka-dot bow tie and your pocket protectors, your collection of used chewing gum that looks like Jesus, your tendency to channel Yoda from Star Wars when you’re talking to people. Strange you are! Stop it you must!

Whether you like it or not, people aren’t going to look past your eccentricities and say “Well, she’s a bit off, but this deal is too good to pass up.” No, they’re going to run as fast as they can for the nearest exit. You’ll be much better off if you just try to fit in.

You are Self-Important

Every sentence out of your mouth starts with “I”. Your opinion is the only one that counts because it’s the only one that’s RIGHT. You could fix up all the country’s problems if politicians just had the good sense to ask your advice. If you and a hundred other people showed up at the same party, attendees would say in unison, “Oh no, here comes Bob.” If any of this sounds familiar, guess what? You’re a jerk. Now you know. Put your ego away for a rainy day and accept that it’s not all about you.

You’re a Kiss-up

Kissing up is what you do best. You agree with everyone. If Danny says he fancies toast with Marmite, there you are, stuffing it in your face. Then Sophie announces that she can’t abide Marmite, and you toss the toast in the rubbish bin. There’s no one on the face of the planet you admire more than the person you’re with right now, and you’re not above telling him or her, in excruciating detail, just why you so adore them. Oh, please, give it a rest. You’re phony as plastic shrubbery, and everyone knows it. Stop trying to please everyone – it makes you look like Bob the Jerk.

Your Manners are Terrible

There you are, at a business dinner, a) slurping spaghetti, b) eating with your mouth open, c) using your napkin to blow your nose, d) interrupting your fellow diners when they try to speak, e) peppering your conversation with colourful obscenities, or f) all of the above. Are you working hard to be offensive, or does it just come naturally? Clearly, you don’t know how to behave in public. Buy a book on etiquette. Read it. Practice what you’ve read.

It’s Never Your Fault

You think you might have made a mistake once, but you’re pretty sure it was someone else’s fault. When something goes wrong, you blame your subordinates, your peers, your immediate supervisor, your mother – whoever’s handy. Worse, you have no qualms about doing it in front of a client. Here’s a news flash for you – that client sees through your pathetic attempt to shift responsibility, and may very well put the brakes on the deal. When that happens, guess who’s to blame? You. No one else.

If You Think No One’s Judging You, You’re Wrong

If you recognise yourself in any of the above, that’s half the battle. Now you need to understand that, whether you like it or not, people are shallow. Many of them won’t look beyond your irritating characteristics and personality traits, and it could cost you the deal.

The Final Word

Now that you know some of the ways you may be sabotaging yourself, work to correct them. You’ll benefit in the long run.

Succeed by Being More Assertive

I’ve worked very hard at understanding myself, learning to be assertive. I’m past the point where I worry about people liking me.
~Pam Dawber

Succeed by Being More Assertive

We’ve all experienced moments where we wanted to speak up for something we felt strongly about, yet failed to do so. Failure to speak up could be the result of many things, but it usually stems from fear of rejection or low self-esteem. During these moments, you may have let someone take advantage of your kindness. You may have even let someone talk you into doing a task at work that you didn’t feel was right.

Benefits of Assertiveness

This is where the importance of being assertive becomes clear. Assertiveness is defined as the ability to respectfully express one’s feelings, without hurting others. When communicating with someone assertively, you are being clear and honest about your opinions. Although some people are naturally assertive, for the rest of us it is a skill that can be developed. In the workplace, it is a valued personal trait that can help you succeed.

If you are able to learn how to be more assertive, you’ll find that this will diminish your stress levels greatly. This is because you are reducing the conflict that arises from not speaking your mind. There are several positive effects of being assertive that can help you succeed:

1. Increased self-confidence.

When you’re able to voice your opinion confidently on matters at work, people will take note of your opinion and integrate it into the team. You never know when you’ll have a breakthrough idea or be able to solve a problem for the team unless you offer your solutions. Remember that you need to believe in yourself; if you weren’t bringing something unique to the table, you wouldn’t have been given the job in the first place. You’ll also be more confident when you find that you’re able to successfully renegotiate terms, or to say no when you think it’s the right thing to do.

2. Better negotiation skills.

Conflict in business or in the workplace is inevitable; it’s how you deal with it that matters. You can be reasonable without letting people step all over you. Imagine the suffering you’ll put yourself through if you accept jobs or terms that you think aren’t worthwhile. Save yourself the time and energy instead by speaking up rationally and logically. As much as possible, be fact-based and logical when discussing the reasons for your decisions.

3. Improved relationships with others around you.

If you’ve lived a passive life, both personally and in the workplace, it may take some time to get used to the new assertive you. Eventually, though, people will adjust to the change. Good business relationships and friendships will survive this change; in fact, they will thrive because your relationships are more honest. You may not even know it, but living a passive life may have caused deep feelings of resentment. People may sense that you are unhappy without knowing why, and you can let go of these negative feelings once you’ve learned to be assertive.

4. You’ll enjoy more free time.

It’s good to help other people whenever you can, especially when you’re gifted at something that they really need your help with. Sometimes, though, when you’re too nice, people tend to abuse this. When you learn to say no for the right reasons, you’ll find that you enjoy more free time for yourself. You’ll be able to focus on doing things that really matter.

5. Reduced stress.

You may be burdened by your relationships with coworkers or your workload. Developing the art of assertiveness will reduce this greatly for you. When you’re assertive, you’ll be able to voice your issues without hurting people’s feelings, and at the same time you’ll be able to put your foot down. You’ll learn how to listen and renegotiate for better terms. Read more about how to manage stress better in our helpful article, 7 Ways to Manage Your Stress Level.

Making small changes in the way you communicate can help you develop into the ideal assertive person in the workplace or in your personal life. Invest in making a conscious effort to develop yourself into a respectful, assertive person, and you will go places.

Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Five Habits of a Good Employee

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker

Confident employee

It makes no difference if you work for a small start-up or a multinational company, you can make use of good habits that will make you a more productive employee.

You may be good on paper, with an impressive resume and a long list of references; but if you don’t possess the right habits or attitude it won’t get you anywhere.

Success in any work environment takes time, but it should be understood that this success is not solely dependent on the skills you possess. Good work habits that make a well-rounded employee are not taught in schools or in management classes. These work habits are developed over time, and will separate the professional from the amateur.

When you show your colleagues that you’re a reliable employee, you set yourself apart and give yourself the reputation of a mature and valued employee to the company.

So here are some habits that make a good employee.

1. You are organised

Organisational habits include the ability to manage time wisely, to be detail-oriented, and to plan your day and work your plan. Good employees know how to use their time wisely because they know the value of time. When you are organised, you know how to prioritise tasks even if you feel that there is too much work to be done.

There are many tools out there that can help you be a more organised person. Some of these include desk calendars, to-do lists, online reminders, or simply having a set schedule that you post on your desk to serve as a reminder every day.

2. You are Performance oriented

Good employees are never satisfied with mediocre work. When you perform the best you can, your results speak for itself. Your managers can see when you are working hard because you produce the desired results. In return, you will be considered for bigger bonus, a bigger salary increase and more responsibility.

3. You understand punctuality

Simple things such as being on time get noticed, even if no one says anything. This exemplifies how much you respect your job, and how committed you are to the company’s bottom line. If this means waking up thirty minutes earlier just to avoid rush hour, it’s a small sacrifice to make.

Punctuality can help  you become the reliable person that everyone in the office strives to be like.

Punctuality also refer to you responding to emails on time, especially when these things are service requests from important clients or emails from your boss.

4. You never abuse your break times

Employees have the right to visit the restroom and get up for coffee, but if you are frequently absent from your workstation, people take notice. Learn how to schedule appropriate intervals for breaks once or twice a day. Be sure that these are done only after you have completed tasks that are expected of you. This will also ensure that by the time you get back to your desk from a short break, you are ready to complete a new project instead of procrastinating on an incomplete one.

5. You de-clutter your workspace regularly

You don’t want to spend 10 minutes looking for a file that you should easily be able to find in the first place. This can result in being frustrated and could put you in a bad mood. Invest an hour or two to create a functional filing process in your workspace that allows you to easily obtain the documents or data that you need. This hour or two will go a long way, and you’ll be more efficient than ever before.

Committing to positive habits in the workplace will yield better results and increase your effectiveness on the job. These are small but significant things that help make you a valued employee in the workplace.

So whether you’re starting a new job or are in the same company for some time now, there is always room for improvement.

Why not leave a comment.

Seven Apps to Help You Keep Track of Goals

People who want to succeed all have one thing in common: they have goals that are objective, measurable and realisable.

Keep Track of Your Goals

Having goals will help you develop into the person you strive to be. Whether these are personal, financial, or professional goals, these are benchmarks you set for your personal development. Setting and working towards your goals will put you on a path of ongoing improvement.

Although it always helps to write down the goals you’ve set to achieve, sometimes this isn’t enough. But the good news is, you have technology to help you.

There have been many apps designed not just to help you keep track of your goals, but of the actions you need to take to make sure that they happen. 

Here is our selection of useful apps. 

#1. Goals On Track



This app was created to help people live a life of purpose and design. It encourages people to set goals, so that they avoid falling into the trap of just letting things happen.

You need to take charge and make things happen yourself. The app lets you create SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. It also allows you to break down goals into measurable chunks, and see the progress you make along the way.

#2. Lifetick


Think of a personal trainer, but one that helps you attain your professional and personal goals instead. You’ll be reminded of your goals through emails, journal tools, and a chart that documents your progress. It will also help you prioritize your goals through the use of core values, so you can start with what’s more important to you.

#3. HabitList


Goals can be achieved by establishing new habits, or changing old ones. It will enable you to easily track how many times you’ve completed a habit, with the ability to work with flexible schedules such as certain days of the week. Habits can be skipped if you are going on holiday, and you can resume them once you’re ready to start again.

#4. Everest


No matter how big or small your goals seem, Everest will be there to guide you through it. It is the ideal app for people who are interested in achieving something great. It gives you a variety of goals to choose from as well as motivational photos to help you start your journey.

Users can add steps as they go along, indicating reasons why it’s important to them. You can add friends or follow strangers to check on their progress too!

#5. Mint


This app has been touted as one of the best free apps in the market today for those who want to keep track of their finances. It lets you merge all your accounts into one easy to use account, so you can easily see where your money goes or how much you have.

#6. Concentrate


Concentrate is a Mac app that helps you work and study in a distraction free desktop. To start, you create a new activity (design, study, writing, etc). You chose the actions or apps you wish to allow and disallow. You can chose any apps you wish to run, open any websites you need to be productive and block distracting sites like Facebook, Twitter or are doing,

When you are ready,click “Concentrate”, your actions will run and a timer will appear to keep you focused.

#7. Unstuck


This app is designed to help users live a better life, one day at a time. Whether you’re going through a rocky relationship or overcoming an obstacle at work, this app can help you overcome it by allowing you to reflect on questions and the possibilities of new outcomes.

These apps were chosen because they were designed for the sole purpose of helping people make their goals a reality.

There’s no better time to start taking charge of your goals than now. Try these apps and you’ll notice how you can improve your life for the best.

Why not leave a comment and tell us any App that helps you achieve your goals.

Achieving Your Optimal Performance through Flow

A few days ago, I was working on a presentation in which I had to do quite a bit of work. It involved reading through a number of profiles and summarizing them into a format that would be easy to read in my presentation software.

Bear on Alaska: Flow

It was a bit tedious at first, but I found myself becoming quicker and more effective at the task. Not only that, I began to ignore the things that usually distract me on the internet.  I dedicated all of my focus on the presentation and almost felt myself being “sucked in” to my work.

Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door. My co-worker poked his head in to tell me that the office was closing. I had become so engrossed in what I was doing that I had not even noticed that it was time to leave!

I was in flow.

What is flow?

Flow is a term coined by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Simply put, flow is an automatic, effortless yet highly focused state of consciousness you can experience when devoting yourself to a meaningful challenge. When you’re in flow, your sense of time is altered and your concentration deepens.

With flow allowing workers to perform at their highest possible level, a state known as optimal performance, it is easy to see how this can provide benefits in the workplace.

The question of flow in the workplace is how to achieve it.

Attaining flow isn’t easy – in fact it can prove often downright elusive. Even I myself have only occasionally been able to get into flow. However, there are ways to increase your chances of getting into flow.

How to get into flow

1. Establish priorities 

Deciding and working on only the most important task is one way to increase your chances of getting into flow. By doing so, your mind will be less burdened by tasks that are less important and that might distract you from focusing on a task.

Because I was focused on finishing my presentation, I was able to ignore everything else and prioritise my task, allowing me to focus and more easily get into flow.

2. Get comfortable 

Your personal surroundings are an important factor in allowing you to achieve flow.  If you are comfortable both physically and mentally, you will be less likely to become distracted, facilitating the opportunity for flow to occur.

There are many different aspects to consider – for example the atmosphere, clothes you wear, and even working relationships can affect your likelihood of getting into flow. If I wasn’t in a physical and mental comfortable state, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get into flow and complete my presentation!

3. Match the challenge of your work with your skills 

In order to get into flow, it is important to have a balance between the challenge of your task and your personal skills. When these two are out of alignment, you will either be too bored or too frustrated to achieve a flow state.

Instead of simply going on with your regular schedule, restructure your work in a way in which your skills and the challenge of the task are balanced in order to attain a flow state. Because of the fact that my presentation challenged my skills without overwhelming me, I was able to achieve the balance so important in achieving a flow state.

You don’t have to be a drone just living out a boring work life while being unproductive. By working to attain flow, you too can increase your performance and become more effective and efficient at work. Not only that, but being able to perform at your best for long periods of time will also help you to have a more fulfilling work life.

Why not leave a comment and tell us how you get into the flow.

15 Grammar Blunders That Make You Look Clueless

Grammar blunders are an inevitable part of your writing career. So don’t be afraid to get caught out. Once caught out, you are responsible for learn from your silly mistakes, and then stop making any more of the same.

Grammer Blunders

As with many things in life, we learn as we do. There is no point in waiting until you know all the right words before you begin your writing project. Do the work. Start now with your limited vocabulary and if you persist long enough, you will emerge a better and more inspiring blogger or writer than you started.

Thanks to our friends at copyblogger for this infographic. Enjoy.

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
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Tips to Achieve Success – Become a Better Negotiator

Have you ever negotiated a deal where you got exactly what you wanted?

Win-Win Solution

Did you stop to ponder what aspects of your negotiation let you succeed?

A few weeks ago, after a few minutes of bargaining, I negotiated a 30% discount on a pair of headphones that suited me perfectly. Surprisingly, the skills used in the negotiation of such a deal can be used in both your personal and professional life.

Within the workplace, being a good negotiator will let you reap benefits that allow  you to more easily achieve success. Not only that, but good negotiation skills will also benefit your business or employer, meaning that your good negotiation skills will make you a far more valuable worker or leader.

After my successful negotiation, I sat down to figure out what I did that allowed me to get myself a great deal.

Here are 5 simple things that I did that you can follow in order to be a successful negotiator.

#1. Do your homework

It is important to have detailed information and a solid plan when coming to the negotiating table. Research the important details and facts. Investigate the history and then put all your knowledge to use and come up with your estimated value.

Before my purchase, I checked prices offline and online. I compared features and determined the value of the benefits to me. I had a solid platform on which to present a reasonable argument for the price I wanted to pay.

#2. Be realistic

It is important to be realistic when negotiating. Overconfidence may cause you to push too hard and make unrealistic demands. You do not want the opposite party to walk away from the negotiation due to your unreasonable request.

Although the deal must be beneficial to you, it is also important to ensure that the other party gains some benefit with your offer as well. You go for a win win situation.

I didn’t try to present an unreasonably low price when negotiating my purchase. Instead I offered what I considered to be reasonable based on my research results.

#3. Act with confidence 

Confidence is an essential trait to have in order to be a successful negotiator. To show confidence, ensure that you are never desperate. Do not be nervous or appear nervous or uncomfortable while negotiating. And make sure you display a positive and confident body language such as looking people in the eye and having an upright posture. Being well prepared will help you to be more confident.

I achieved a successful outcome for myself because I was willing to be confident and not waver on the offer that I made.

#4. Be a good active listener 

What does it mean to be a good active listener? Active listening includes being able to notice and interpret both verbal and non-verbal communication. Being a good active listener will allow you to find areas of compromise and figure out which aspects of the negotiation you will be most likely to win.

Active listening is a good skill to have and it will help you improve your relationships at home and at work.

#5. Don’t get too emotional

Don’t allow the cut and thrust of a negotiation to affect you emotionally. At times, people may use tactics that will affect your emotions in order to override your logic and get you to agree to their deal. Don’t let yourself get too emotionally involved  in the deal, as this may lead to a negative outcome for you.

When my initial offer was rejected, I didn’t get dejected or take it personally. Instead, I continued the negotiation until my position was accepted.

There are some natural bargain hunters who will always ask for a discount or negotiate a more favourable price. If you do not consider yourself good at negotiating, you are not alone as I did not consider myself good at getting discounts. With a little training, you can develop your skills and be more effective in coming to agreements that work for in your favour.

Negotiation skills are useful in every area of life, from buying a car to arranging a pay raise.

When next you find yourself negotiating a deal, put some of these tips into practice and increase your chances of achieving success.

Why not leave a comment about your tip for better negotiation.

Five Habits That Promote Personal Development

The most powerful way to promote personal development is by creating new habits. When you change the patterns of your own behaviour by replacing destructive habits with new ones, you can gain more personal power and move forward towards the person you’ve always wanted to become.

Personal Development Habits

How new habits contribute to your success

The foundation of your success lies in the everyday habits you practice, whether you’re conscious of it or not. Therefore if you want to progress towards achieving your personal goals, it is important that you are aware of the little habits that may or may not contribute to your own success. Everything we do each day has a long-term effect, even though this isn’t always easily felt right away.

Good habits are what helps you lose weight, be entitled to a promotion, and overall just reach your dreams. While there is no scientific formula, there are certain good habits that you can practice that contribute to your personal development. You can learn more about the habits of the most effective people as well in a book review.

Let me share with you five habits which you can adopt for your growth and personal development.

1. Sleep early and wake up early

If you want to be successful, you must create the conditions and the environment that is conducive to success. This means having a personality that is calm yet energised enough to do what you need in order to meet your goals.

Getting enough sleep is one of the underrated habits that people often don’t realize are crucial to being effective. Sleep can help you manage stress better, and have the mental clarity you need to focus on the day’s tasks.

2. Have a plan

Goals are nothing without a framework to build a foundation on. Whether your goal is to create a successful company, lose weight, or manage your finances better; a well thought-of plan is necessary to provide you with the concrete steps you can take each day to meet your personal goals.

Write down your plans and consider having a backup plan in case things don’t work out as planned. It is always better to be prepared. You never know what can happen next, both in your personal and professional life.

3. Learn to be positive

Many people actually benefit from having a gratitude journal. It doesn’t take a lot of time to reflect and just list down a few things each day that you’re grateful for.

Your thoughts become you, and if you want to be successful and well-rounded, it’s important to focus on positive things. It takes conscious effort if you aren’t naturally optimistic, but being able to recognize negative thoughts and counter them on the spot will be a long-term investment on your personal well-being.

4. Take time out to relax

It becomes so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that we often forget to reward ourselves occasionally. How about getting a massage, visits the museum or treating yourself to a vacation.

Recharging yourself both physically and emotionally will give you enough motivational fuel

Learn new hobbies, and make it a point to spend time with loved ones who fill you with positive energy and inspire you.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

There is truth to the saying that your best life lies outside of your comfort zone, and there is reason behind it. Trying new things will expand your mind, which will give you a strength that you can’t get anywhere else. You’ll find that you’re much stronger and braver than you thought so, and this kind of thinking contributes to a better self-esteem.

When you aren’t trying anything new, change doesn’t happen. Change and progress go hand in hand for self-improvement.

Think of ways you can integrate these new habits into your regular routine.

Lifestyle changes to accommodate these new habits can be gradual, but once you’ve opened your mind to it you’ll be able to embrace the goodness that it brings into your life.

Why not leave a comment and tell us about your exciting personal development habit.

How To Increase Productivity In Your Home Office

Working from home has become an increasingly popular way of doing business, especially with all the advanced forms of technology out there that make it possible to work without the need to facing customers or clients.

Home Office Work Space

If you’re able to balance your time wisely, working from home provides you with a better quality of life. It gives you the flexibility to focus on personal or business projects.

You can be successful by working from home

Whether you’re a small business owner, working mom, consultant, or freelancer, being productive with a work from home position is crucial because your productivity is directly related to your pay. You can choose to spend all hours at your desk slaving away just to earn more, or find ways to work smart and still earn a decent income.

There are many benefits to working from home, and one of them is being able to maximize your time. Imagine waking up in the morning, going through your routines, and sitting down ready to work with a delicious cup of fresh coffee in your hand. You did not have to go through a commute or the maddening morning traffic to get to work.

However, for those that are new to working from home, you may find that there are certain things you can still learn to instil discipline and increase productivity.

Five Habits That Increase Productivity in the Home Office

Here are some habits you can work on that can help you be more productive from your home office:

1. Set strict deadlines

You need to set strict deadlines for meeting tasks that are both big and small. You’ve probably experienced what it’s like to be ultra productive when you’re facing a tight deadline, but find yourself attending to other tasks or giving in to distractions when you’re faced with a small task.

Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to the time we give it, so the best way to fight this off is by imposing your own deadlines for all the tasks you need to complete. To get the most out of this habit, I recommend imposing a deadline for all tasks even as small as responding to emails.

A simple timer is a great tool to help you set deadlines. However, you will need to avoid distractions and be disciplined with the time you set.

2. Impose office hours

When I started working from home, I worked at all odd hours. There was no rhythm to my work schedule. Some days I was productive and other days I could not account for my time. After much experimentation, and talking to others who work from home I have come to realise that imposing strict office hours is good for productivity.

Strict office hours will help you enjoy a quality work-life balance while still staying on track with your projects. You will need to find the hours that works for you and then stick to it.

Working from home certainly has the added advantage that you can work whatever hours you want. The hours can be 9 am to 5 pm if that suits you. Experiment and find what works for you and then stick to it.

3. Create a dedicated work space

A dedicated work area away from distractions such as the television, couch, or bed is a must. When you have a specific place to work in, your mind will associate it with business and getting things done.

A dedicated work space will help you focus, rather than slacking off or doing other things. One of the best examples of this is the fact that most people don’t get as much done when working from the bed, which entices you to feel sleepy or catch a nap, as compared to having an actual desk and chair.

4. Control your online activity

The first thing to switch off or restrict access to is your email application. You can take it offline. You can also block distracting websites through the use of programs such as Cold Turkey. This software will prevent you from lingering at social media and You Tube channels.

You can also turn your wifi off completely and concentrate on getting productive work done. Learn more about how to increase productivity by reducing distractions.

5. Prioritise your time wisely

This means that you should be doing all the money-making tasks when you are most productive. For me this is early in the morning until early afternoons. Things such as responding to emails or other tasks that do not equate to a higher pay can wait until later in the afternoon, when people are still online and checking their emails.

For example, you can use mornings to work on projects in order to complete them at a quicker time, while communicating to clients in the afternoon. As long as you get everything done within one business day, you’re saf

When you follow these tips, you can expect to be more productive and see better results no matter what industry you’re in. Working from home is one of the best things about technology today, but managing your time through efficient habits should also follow.

Why not leave a comment below.

Five Scientifically Proven Ways to Increase Creativity and Work Efficiency

Companies rely on the creativity of their employees to fuel the competitive advantage of their products and services, as well as innovation. Whether you’re running a business or are a freelancer, creativity will always come in handy to solve problems or design new products.

Increase Creativity and Work Efficiency

Given the importance of creativity in every field, many of you still don’t realise how creativity works. It is completely possible to enhance your creativity through external factors which we’ll discuss below.

Creativity: Nature and Nurture

There is a common misunderstanding that creativity is purely innate; you’re either born with it, or you aren’t. But there is a delicate balance between the nature of creativity, and nurturing it.

Just because you haven’t tapped into your own creative genius doesn’t mean that you don’t have the natural ability to be creative. Research has shown that there are many environmental and mental methods that we can use to help provide better creative output.

These are just some of the ways you can learn how to improve creativity and work efficiency, but you can also learn how to do so by removing distraction . Read on below to learn more:

1. Find ways to restrict yourself

The typical image of creative people is that they’re a type that exhibits unrestrained characteristics. But the truth is, creativity stems from certain levels of constraint and discipline. In other words, while you are used to taking the path of least resistance, enhancing creativity and work efficiency means trying something new.

An example would be, if you are used to writing short stories of at least 1,500 words; restrain yourself by trying to write one from just 500 to 800 words. This will force you to think out of the box and express yourself better.

2. Encourage conflict

You’ve probably noticed that companies whose main product relies on creativity, such as advertising agencies, make use of a seemingly fun atmosphere. Their offices are fun, colourful, and even have outlets for their employees to let loose – it’s not uncommon to see pool tables or refrigerators stacked with alcohol.

While on the surface, it seems that the employees have no conflict; this is actually the kind of environment whose people are comfortable enough to fight over ideas and accept constructive criticism. On the other hand, an environment where there is a lack of conflict suggests that people’s ideas are being censored, and that they are not generating any new ideas at all.

3. Learn something new

It is normal in the world we live in to rely on experts from certain fields to provide us with solutions over problems. However, if you notice, they don’t always produce the most innovative solutions.

Some of the most creative innovations come from individuals who may have adequate background in a certain field combined with additional knowledge from other fields. A good example would be the mathematician Paul Erdos, who was always changing his specialisation. He would work on exchanging knowledge with colleagues to find something new. This is also because doing so gives you a fresh perspective on something that experts have been studying for decades.

4. Utilise counterfactual thinking

One of the most efficient exercises to increase creative output is known as counterfactual thinking. The technique involves taking events that may have already happened, and imagining various outcomes.

Counterfactual also involves using the subtractive mindset, which means removing elements out of the actual event. It also utilises the additive mindset, which involves adding elements into the outcome.

5. Spend time daydreaming

Daydreaming has been proven useful to increasing creativity, on the condition that it is done prior to a commitment to a project. The reason behind this is because daydreaming encourages the incubation of ideas, once you already have some information to think about.

Remember that creativity is not a skill or talent that is only related to artists, musicians, painters, or writers. Creativity is a useful skill for people who come from all walks of life, and provides you with a new way of approaching problems.

How do you nurture your creativity? Leave a comment below.