We all have terrible work habits, behaviours and thinking patterns that reduce our creativity and energy. Often we just didn't know something was a bad idea until it's too late, or we simply said to ourselves that it will be okay. We've learned to behave or think a certain way for reasons we may or may not have control over, and now we have to take control of these. If we want to succeed at our endeavours, we need to do things the proper and right way. Not because it might offend someone or because it says so in a book but because it's the way that gets the best results. Design thinking is naturally conservative, it wants to adhere to pre-written guides and ideas. Of course, in creativity we try to make something new so not everything we do has to adhere to these rules and guides.
When our ideas don't fruit in the way we intended, we can turn to the wisdom to find out why. If we look at wisdom like building blocks, we can use them to build anything. The more we understand, the more blocks we have. But how do we create change when we have ingrained ourselves with unhelpful habits, when our building blocks are too simple to build what we are looking for? It has to be pushed, the process of change has to be a full-time occupation until it need not be one any more. Here are some steps that can take you there.
Talk about it all the time. It has to be on your mind at every moment. If you want to ensure that you don't fall back into old habits then make it known to yourself and those around you that the change is happening. It's okay to talk to yourself, maybe just in your head, to tell yourself that this change is taking place. This helps us to remember and stick to what we say. Our word matters to us, we don't want to break it.
Make it part of your routine. How can the change be embedded in the other jobs you have? What can you do during other times to continue the theme of change? Perhaps you need to change your ways in one area for a known reason and there are many other areas that could also make use of it for reasons you haven't thought of? Can you make the change some kind of fun game that you play while going about your day?
Change isn't punishment. Change isn't supposed to make you or anyone else miserable. Sometimes the desired change may be too far off at this time or it's not something that fits with the ethos of your team. There are times when the logical choice is not the ethical one and this can't be ignored. When we're unhappy or feel under excessive pressure, we don't function well as people. Take it easy on yourself and take it one step at a time.
Make a demonstration of the change. Show people you are doing it, be the stencil for change that others want to see. Show that you are making a change and act out the different behaviour at any opportunity. This produces a new mental image that helps to further enforce our change of habits.
Understand what it is for. There needs to be a clear reason to why you're making this change. There are often times when we just can't be bothered or we say to ourselves, I'll do it properly next time, and this is where we need to have a full understanding of why we are changing. If the old ways are proven to be holding us back or causing us to succeed less then we are more likely to shun the old behaviours. The end result and the steps are all important to keep in mind, so we understand our journey and the path to better creative results.
Then, all you have to do is enjoy your new possibilities!
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