How to Be More Creative, Wherever You Work

One in three employed adults in the U.S. want to quit their job to pursue a more creative position. Here are five ways to get the creative juices flowing right now.

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By Kate Taylor

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Wish you could quit your job and run your own business? So does most of the country.

Fifty five percent of employed U.S. adults would leave their traditional jobs to be self-employed if they could be sure of their financial stability, according to a recent study. That's almost 78 million people.

What do these individuals want that their current jobs aren't offering them? Apparently, creativity: 36 percent of employed adults want to quit their current jobs to pursue a more creative position. They're even ready to sacrifice their paychecks, with 29 percent saying they would be willing to take a pay cut for a job that allowed them to be more creative.

"In today's world, there are so many more opportunities to be self-employed," says Mika Salmi, CEO of CreativeLive, the online education network that commissioned the survey. Salmi says creativity at work can take many forms – working in an office filled with innovative people, building a career in a creative field or pursuing artistic passions by selling art, clothing and handmade creations online on sites like eBay and Etsy. Finding an outlet for your creativity at work can result in truly innovative ideas and approaches, while also fulfilling your artistic needs.

Here are five ways to get those creative, innovative juices flowing, whether you're at a big company or self-employed.

Give yourself a jolt. Sometimes you just need to make a small change in your life to become more creative. Keeping a journal, singing in the shower and drinking coffee are all little tweaks that can help get you out of a creative rut. Or, you can make more profound shifts, like training yourself to stay open to risks and allowing yourself to fail. Whether it's stepping away from the computer or surrounding yourself with creative people, it's up to you to unlock your creativity. Read more: Fearful, Lazy or Just Plain Stuck? 29 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Gifts (Motiongraphic)

Embrace your weirdness. Some of the most successful people are also the most eccentric. Want proof? Check out Marissa Mayer's eccentric sleeping schedule and Ludwig van Beethoven's love for composing in the bathtub. Take cues from these highly creative people with truly bizarre habits and embrace your quirks to inspire innovation. Read more: From Beethoven to Marissa Mayer: The Bizarre Habits of Highly Creative People

Doodle. The scribbles in the margins of your notebooks are more than just child's play. Many of history's greatest thinkers, from Steve Jobs to John F. Kennedy, have been avid doodlers. These quick sketches help unlock creativity, enhancing recall and lighting up neural networks that allow for cognitive breakthroughs. It's an easy way to incorporate creativity into everyday life and increase your productivity in any office. Read more: How Doodling Can Make You More Successful

Analyze your ideas. It's not enough just to be creative – you need data and analysis to back your innovative ideas. Christine Perkett dubbed this fusion "Creatalitics" and gave an excellent definition for the term: "[Creatalitic thinkers] combine really creative and innovative ideas -- those "dreams and visions' with data and analysis -- the "blazes of insight' that tell them if their creations go beyond initial appeal and into the world of actionable value to the company's bottom line." No matter how exciting your creative ideas are, they always need to be put to the test to make sure they are worth your client's investment. Read more: 6 Ways to Analyze Your Creative Ideas

Goof off. Feeling stifled in your workplace? Breaking unproductive patterns by goofing off, playing with clay and planning for free time can help spark creative thought at work. Corporation are increasingly letting go of their rigid structures to give employees time to have fun and ultimately be more productive and innovative. Read more: Want More Creative and Productive Employees? Let Them Goof Off

Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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