This Year's Theme: Creativity

Being creative is innate in all of us, without exception. It is fundamental to being human. And contrary to popular belief, creativity is not a state of mind reserved only for eccentric artists, writers, inventors, or similar archetypes that come to mind. We all use creativity in our endeavors, at work, craft, hobby, and elsewhere. Across all fields, whether coding applications, managing people, or executing a process, we can observe individuals applying ingenuity.

How do we know if we are in a creative state? Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, a Hungarian psychologist, developed a concept titled "Flow" to describe the state of intense focus that professionals, artists, athletes, and others enter when performing an activity. Key traits of flow are (1) that the individual becomes fully immersed, losing all sense of surroundings, time, and even the Self, and (2) that the activity requires a balance of skill and difficulty (see below chart).


If creativity is a state of mind, or a type of focus, then individuals can certainly train themselves to enter it on command for a chosen skill or activity they have competency for. It is possible to enhance creativity by adjusting the conditions of a person's environment, whether internal variables like mental cognition, or external like time of day or work patterns. Rituals, routines, or practices demonstrated to be effective can be modeled and improved on throughout a lifetime, enabling anyone push to new levels of creative expression, output, and performance.

For our employee calendar this year, we have complied a few basic practices, suggestions, and ideas that can be considered each month to help elevate creativity at work and home. Available in a PDF format, the calendar can be printed, and stacked together in spiral bind, or each page can be simply pinned to the workstation.

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