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Journal

 

Keep a Creative Team Motivated, Not Busy

The other day, an artist told me she felt like everyone she had recently interacted with was “busy and sad.” In thought, it does seem like we are all running around, with more to do and less fulfillment. And every other day, it seems there is an empirical study coming out about how social media and constant technology are negatively affecting our well-being and productiveness.

Personally, I know that I have had to start doing technology-detoxes every once in awhile; otherwise, I just end up staring at my phone, hitting refresh over and over again.

Here are some methods for creative teams looking to unplug, slow down and find more satisfaction in their work:

  1. Prioritize. Consider a fresh business approval process that allows the entire team to prioritize and approve new projects. This process should include looking at resources needed to make the project successful (capacity, new team members, investment). Having a process like this in place will give you the ability to slow down and make more measured decisions about the projects you decide to work on. Limit the number of new projects and keep lower-priority projects in a pipeline until capacity and financial resources are freed up.
  2. Annual and quarterly project lists. Having a longer lens with your projects will help you see them more clearly. Instead of just having monthly or weekly goals, make sure you have quarterly goals that are reviewed every quarter by the entire team. This will keep long-term and future projects in everyone’s mind without creating capacity issues.
  3. Creativity. Make sure that your team doesn’t get so far over capacity that you don’t have time for deep, creative work (two-hour time blocks where you can really slow down and work on something creative are assets to the personal-fulfillment process). Deep, creative work is satisfying and it also helps you focus on your smaller tasks throughout the day.
  4. Community. Spending quality time with your co-workers lifts your mood, which helps you focus and makes you happier. Taking lunch breaks and walks together throughout the work day will help keep you connected and creative.
  5. Learning. Learning a new program or improving your writing skills will help not only in your job but in your job satisfaction. Ideally, team members have individual development plans that keep them growing in their personal and professional lives; quarterly webinars and annual conferences can offer supplemental learning opportunities to your team as well.

 

Elizabeth Tucker