Planning is frequently a creative activity. We enjoy considering how we can better our plans and how we might assist others with their planning endeavours. Not all planners, though, are inherently inventive. When working on project planning, some of us may find it easier to be more technical or analytical, but others have a natural aptitude to view things differently and think outside the box. But, regardless of your planning method, there are techniques to improve your creativity so that you may accomplish even greater work!
What is creativity?
There are numerous ways to define creativity. Generally, it is viewed as employing one’s creativity and new ideas to build something. Almost every job requires some kind of imagination. Being unique in business without a creative side is nearly difficult in today’s society. There are numerous creative competitors who may do a greater job than you simply because they approached customers, products, or personnel creatively.
There are numerous sources of inspiration. For example, if you work in education, you may get your inspiration from pedagogy and psychology approaches. If you are an artist, your life may provide you with inspiration or creativity.
If you are a project manager, your motivation to achieve your goal may drive your creativity. However, most people want independence and no constraints on their thoughts in order to be creative. How can this be done when you need to create a (project) plan full of rules dictating how something should be done?
Why is creativity important in planning?
Creativity is something that can be learned. It’s useful for problem-solving and invention, for connecting ideas and for thinking beyond the box.
To foster creativity in planning, it is necessary to first define creativity. We will look at some of the primary components of creativity and how they relate to planning in this article.
Without Planning, Creativity
Focusing on creativity without planning or exerting any type of control may stymie your plan’s requirements and scope. If there are no estimates assigned to your tasks and milestones indicated in your timetable, it will simply float along.
The absence of a plan or its use to monitor progress eliminates any predictability from the project’s completion. Because the timetable will be so loosely defined, you will miss the ability to analyse the risk of slippage. As a result, the project will be over budget and not completed on time. Stakeholders will be disappointed, and the company will most likely fail.
Planning without Imagination
You may have a project plan template that you try to apply to your projects with no changes. The Gantt chart will provide you with a clear visual representation of the relationship between the tasks and the timeline. However, no two customers are alike. Project blueprints do not come in one size fits all. You will run into problems as your plan evolves since it will not truly reflect your customer’s circumstances.
Because each customer is unique, your plan will need to be changed to match the demands of each customer. Planning without imagination prevents you from devising strategies to work around the problems you face when constructing your timetable. You lose your source of innovation to develop ideas and the ability to make improvements in procedures or tactics in the project environment if you do not exercise your creative muscle.
How do you promote planning creativity?
To be clear, planning is a critical component of the creative process. However, if you are unable to remain open to new ideas, you may miss out on some fantastic chances. Be versatile and flexible; avoid being set in your ways!
There are numerous ways to improve your planning creativity: try something new, be inspired by something else (or someone else), consider what makes you tick as an artist, writer, or director…Don’t forget to seek assistance from colleagues and professionals along the route!
Recognise your creative thinking style
Understanding your own creative thinking style is the first step towards increasing creativity in planning. There are numerous styles of creative thinking, and knowing which one you like might help you utilise it in your daily life and work more efficiently.
You can take a test from Duke University’s Creativity Centre or learn about your creative thinking style by observing how you work, think, and solve problems.
Always think about the eventual goal
Developing your creative abilities entails keeping the end goal in mind. It’s critical to examine what you want to achieve and how you want to feel after the job is completed. This can assist you in staying focused on what is most important: producing something fantastic while having fun!
Determine your objectives.
The next step in developing planning creativity is to outline your goals. And I don’t simply mean “I want to be a better planner” or “I want to plan an awesome event.” You must be detailed and ambitious, or otherwise you will become mired down in the intricacies before you have even begun.
Take a moment to refresh your mind
When you need to, take a break. Take a break without feeling guilty. It’s critical to take breaks, especially while working on something creative and difficult. If you find yourself getting upset or feeling like your creativity is stifled, step away from the project for a few minutes (or hours) and do something completely different–even if it’s just watching Netflix or going for a stroll in nature.
Take a break from planning if necessary! We can become so caught up in planning that we don’t allow ourselves to consider other possibilities or ideas, which can lead us down an unproductive route. Allowing oneself permission and taking time off will keep things new and exciting when working on future projects.
Keep an open mind to fresh ideas
Being creative in planning is crucial, but being overly rigid can limit your capacity to think outside the box. It’s fine if you don’t know all of the answers or if you don’t have any at all! In fact, it may be preferable if you don’t have an immediate answer because it implies you have more investigation and learning ahead of you.
Don’t be disheartened if something doesn’t work out right away; instead, utilise this experience to motivate yourself for future success by asking yourself questions such, “Why didn’t this work?” and “What could I do differently next time?” These types of inquiries will help guide future decisions, making things go more smoothly the next time!
Discover what makes you tick
Finding out what makes you tick is a terrific way to start your journey towards a creative planning process. Knowing your strengths and limitations, as well as what you are excellent at, enjoy doing, and are passionate about, is the first step in this process. The second stage is to work on those talents that need to be improved while also enjoying the things that come naturally to us (or do not).
Mistakes and feedback can help you learn
It is critical to learn from errors, comments, and criticism. If you’re not obtaining the desired results, take a step back and reconsider your strategy.
If something doesn’t seem right or could be improved, make the necessary changes. Experiment with something new! Failure is not something to be afraid of; it is part of the learning process and will help you enhance your future goals.
Investigate novel brainstorming techniques
Investigate innovative methods of brainstorming or working through problems or challenges that you confront as a planner.
Try out several brainstorming techniques to see which one works best for you, whether it’s utilising sticky notes, writing down ideas on paper, or putting them into a computer document.
When experimenting with different sorts of brainstorming approaches, use your talents and shortcomings to your advantage. For example, if someone has difficulty coming up with ideas when writing them down on paper but does better when saying them out (or vice versa), that person should focus on their strengths when selecting their preferred technique of brainstorming.
Don’t be scared to try out different brainstorming approaches until you find one that works for you! You may discover that they perform best in different ways: perhaps some days I like utilising sticky notes while others require writing my thoughts down on paper; sometimes I prefer talking through problems out loud while other times writing everything down seems more productive.
Planning requires imagination. It can assist you in devising innovative solutions to issues that appear intractable. In this article, we’ll talk about how to improve your creativity so that it can help you plan more effectively!
To summarise, we’ve seen that cultivating your creativity can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. It makes no difference whether you’re an artist or not; all it takes is determination and practise!