Monotony has its place in life. Sometimes it’s unavoidable – like in the case of paying bills and checking emails. And sometimes it’s a good thing… like brushing your teeth. But within those routines, it’s important to find the room to mix it up.
Lucky for us, there’s rarely a dull day in the office. But that’s only because we make it a point to re-invigorate our creative juices: brainstorm sessions, photo shoots, and spontaneous smoothie field trips.
Digital and branding are about interaction and creating an experience. How are we going to do that if we don’t keep our communication and inspiration skills sharp? So to keep a brand dynamic and enticing, it’s important to maintain a fresh perspective – both as individuals, and as a team. I sat with the team and collected our top ten “must’s” for creative growth and productivity:
1. Be adventurous: Everyone agreed that trying new things helps keep them going. Being adventurous keeps your thought process active, which spurs innovative thinking.
2. SUP: For our designer, immersive experiences kindle the creativity. In digital design, you certainly can’t do the same thing twice. “That’s why I try to always leave time for spontaneity,” Ryan says. To be honest, I think we’re all a little jealous of his lifestyle. “Immersion lets me recognize what drives emotional appeal. I’m able to more quickly dive into the mind of the client and design what they desire.”
3. Commit to enjoyable engagements: As marketing lead, Adrienne has to be a wealth of strategic and stunning messaging and content. Meanwhile, her unofficial role is to to keep everyone laughing. Everyday. I know – I’ll have what she’s having, right? But if we had to point the finger at the work-around-the-clock-er, it’s Adrienne. So where does she draw the line? “Planning everything is really helpful,” Adrienne says; she can judge where to stop, and get ahead when there’s time to spare. “I also make sure to schedule enjoyable commitments, so that I don’t cancel, but I’m always glad once I get there.” Otherwise, she says, “I try to chose entertainment that sets me up for new discoveries; I never know what I’m going to get… which great for communication innovation. “
4. Take a Breather: Search Marketing can sometimes make you feel like you’ve reached a plateau. But Jonathan achieves success because he knows when it’s time to take a break. He focuses on his analysis, but doesn’t ever get discouraged when it takes a little time to see results or make a discovery. Instead, he steps away (usually for a smoothie, or a cruise in extreme cases), and comes back ready to dive in. And with a pair of fresh eyes, he usually has a break through pretty soon after.
5. Schedule your fun: I’m sure you’ve read countless articles on founders and CEOs taking a break. David exemplifies the work-life balance. He makes it a point to be efficient and effective as he responds to challenges with precise questions that get the job done. David says that what keeps him sane is a commitment to exercising, scheduling his time to work just as precisely as he schedules his social life, and keeping the promises he makes to himself.
As a team: Not only is taking time to “live” crucial to producing good work, we also take the time to constantly nurture ourselves as a team.
6. Collaborate: Since everyone owns parts of each project, getting on the same page is a must. And we never fail to come out with feedback. Daily uncut discussions are important for perspective and progress.
7. Recap: After all the brainstorming and creative strategy that goes into a client project, there are three recapping practices that amplify what meeting ROI:
- Work out the kinks. A dry run of our meetings ensures that we achieve our intentions, and that presentations run smoothly.
- Recap asap. After the meeting, thoughts are fresh in our heads, so we reflect on client feedback. It’s a prime time to recognize opportunities for improvement and devise preliminary next steps.
- Recall. Before the next meeting, recall what happened last time, what has been undertaken in the interim, and how advances have been made.
8. Get outside the office: In a team setting, it’s important to naturally mesh. And time outside the office accelerates the process. Whether it’s on a daily basis, like walking to grab coffee together, or to celebrate a project or new team members, quality team-time is invaluable for natural productivity. For example, last week was the CEO’s birthday: cupcakes, a little rowdiness & bad singing voices = bonding.
9. Reward & compliment: We all work hard, but recognizing stellar performance only encourages more stellar performance. By giving positive feedback, leaving nice notes, gifting employees with holiday time off, a rewarding that team member who has been working especially hard, everyone feels like their hard work is recognized.
10. Create a workspace wonder: An open and comfortable workspace inspires inspiration. We work from a cozy loft downtown, with wood floors, brick wall halls and a heaping candy bowl. Not only do the open air and natural light work like an instant dose of happiness, we’re also only ten steps away from the Tampa culture, and can work or brainstorm in our room equipped with whiteboard, armchairs and refreshments. So, there’s not much room for secrets… But there’s always a reason to laugh.
How do you make sure you don’t get burnt out?