Wide awake for creativity

I heard recently about some research that stated people needed to have a short nap in the afternoons to be at their best all day. The researcher said that it should be a nap of between five and 20 minutes every day and if you could do this every day then within three weeks you could train yourself to wake up after the required time.

The reason for doing this snoozing was to power down for a short time and then emerge refreshed for the rest of the day. It sounded really interesting and although I can’t imagine ever being able to achieve it the reason behind it was clear.

We are all looking for ways to improve our productivity at work but more importantly to be able to think differently, try new things and above all develop innovation and creativity. While a short nap may help by recharging the batteries what it won’t be able to do is encourage the creativity. So what can?

For me there are a few things that can support creativity in the workplace. Obviously, you need to have a majority of the right kind of people within the team. The people I mean are those who are interested in trying new things, who like to come up with ideas and will think in different ways. You need a majority that have this mindset so they can then spread their enthusiasm to others in the team.

Modern companies will provide an environment where innovation and creativity are rewarded. Even when things might not achieve the right results the fact that new techniques or products are tried will be given praise. There will inevitably be things that fail but there may be others that don’t and those can help to transform any business or company. Each attempt receives equal praise and support.

To harness ideas you have to make sure that everyone in the team feels able to share their views. From top to bottom everyone’s views should be considered as equally important. The best idea may come from one of the most junior members of staff and if they don’t feel able to speak then the development will never be known. Innovation and creativity is a real team effort and can’t be the exclusive playground for the managers or team leaders.

Remember creativity and innovation can be contagious. Once you have started to try new things and look at things differently you can’t stop. If something works then great as the rest of the team will feel the desire to look for what can be the next big thing. You are then on a cycle that should ensure you are productive, creative and on top of your business. So, nap or not there are things we can all do on a daily basis to get the culture we want.

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2 Responses to Wide awake for creativity

  1. pamelawelsh says:

    I’m not sure about the napping idea – I always feel a bit groggy after an afternoon snooze! Today, though, I went for a quick walk around the block – minus my phone. It was just 20 minutes of getting fresh air, looking at some lovely daffodils and getting a bit of exercise. It really helped focus the mind and I felt refreshed and ready to go back to work. So I think it is probably worth it!


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