Tag Archives: Creativity

Generating new ideas with DropTask in 2017

Despite the fact that it’s the shortest month of the year, February can be seen as just as challenging, if not more, than it’s blue predecessor. Sure, the days are getting shorter. But with grey clouds still lingering over our heads, it’s difficult to find the drive that’s going to play a pivotal part in your work-based performance. But don’t stress, with the aid of DropTask you’ll be able to transform February into the month of generating powerful ideas so you’ll be rearing to go for the prosperous year ahead.

Don’t let the creative spark burn out. Ditch the mundane thoughts and follow our tips to ignite your brightest ideas for 2017.

1. Don’t worry about being ‘creative’
genideas-braindump
When asked to define creativity, Steve Jobs answered: ‘Creativity is just connecting things‘. But, this is easier said than done if you’re juggling an array of tasks across your home, personal and social life without any clear view of the bigger picture. By overloading your brain with information, thinking ‘creatively’ can be a huge challenge, and studies have shown that the signal that handles how we process our thoughts and decision making temporarily shuts down when we’re feeling overwhelmed. To avoid this feeling, simply create a project in DropTask and have a brain dump on the Canvas of all of the possible ideas that you could put into action. Further explore possible opportunities and ideas by using the iMindMap Integration, and spend time analyzing and preparing which ideas you’re looking to bring to life.

2. More heads are better than one
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An innovative idea is often the combination of smaller collaborative ideas combined into one. There’s often a stigma attached to asking others for help as this is perceived as a sign of weakness. But by building a positive rapport in the workplace as someone who helps others, you’ve already distinguished yourself as a team player. And as a result, others will want to help you to get your job done. Collaborating with the whole team can speed up the process of generating new ideas and bury the negative thoughts of them not being accepted. Invite your colleagues to your ‘ideas’ project so they can browse through all of the possible areas that you could approach next. And if you want a specific member to look at a piece of work, drop them a direct Message so they can guide you in the right direction and help link together the missing parts of your project plan.

3. Trial and error
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Remember, you can’t have a lot of good ideas without a lot of bad ones either. While in the process of drawing up your ideas, you must consider the circumstances that could hinder it and the ones that could allow it to propel into a successful reality. If you have a feeling of doubt before you even start, then something is not quite right. But, what’s the harm in testing out potential ideas? As John F. Kennedy said: ‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ When our ideas go down the pan, this is when we often realize that we’re meant to pursue different avenues. Connect all of the steps that you’ll need to take to launch your idea into action with visual arrows in the form of Task Dependencies. By having a clear structure in place, you’ll be able to identify if you’re heading down the right path. And if not, reorder your priorities by Filtering by Importance in the List View to ensure that the ideas at the top of the list are the ones that you’ll focus on first.

4. Pay attention to past experiences
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Research shows that learning from past experiences is invaluable for complex decision making and for facilitating the flow of ideas. We’ve all been there, pitching an idea to the rest of the team for it only to be shut down and pushed aside. What’s stopping you from revisiting old ideas and approaching them with a fresh outlook? When you think of those past ideas resulting in failure, take a look at them from a different perspective and note down the gaps in the initial planning stages of why they didn’t succeed. Look at them as ‘unapproached opportunities’, and start again. By taking into account your past failures, you’ll be able to rectify the mistakes that you made the first time around. And with a whole archive of Completed Tasks in DropTask, you’ll gain a quick boost of motivation and feel rearing to go with your next great idea.

How do you approach new ideas when your motivation is low? Let us know in the comments below.

Productivity vs. Creativity

Productivity and creativity are often said to be opposed and at battle with one another; in order to be productive you have to sacrifice creativity, and if you wish to be creative, you must forgo being productive.

Creativity focuses on the quality of work and the development of new ideas – giving little thought to time. Productivity on the other hand, is about putting the wheels in motion – it focuses on getting things done and reaching goals in the most effective way, in the least amount of time.

But does a trade-off between the two have to exist, or can productivity and creativity be balanced so they’re not fundamentally at odds with one another? After all, if we’re to be successful we need to be both productive and creative.

You may be creative and have amazing new ideas, but without productivity, those ideas are simply that – ideas. Similarly, if you’re productive in your work but don’t have any creativity in your process, you become stuck in a routine and are likely to miss out on new opportunities.

As you can see, both productivity and creativity are important, and although the possibility of combining them is questionable, we’ve got 3 steps which will allow you to synchronise them; so each can do what it does best when appropriate.

1. Separate your tasks

Identify whether tasks are productive or creativeIn any project you’re likely to have a mixture of both creative and productive tasks. The key is to break down your project and identify whether productivity or creativity is best suited for each one. It’s important to do this because even though a project might be creative – for example, designing a new website – it doesn’t necessarily mean that every task within that project will be creative too. Tasks such as brainstorming ideas and designing the layout are creative, but actions such as proofing and publishing web pages are more about being productive.

2. Schedule creative time

Schedule time for creative thinking and activitiesOnce you’ve identified the tasks that primarily require creativity, allocate yourself time and space to undertake some creative thinking. Whether it’s 20 minutes or several hours, it’s important to schedule time in your day which can be spent away from your usual activities, so you can brainstorm new ideas and gain fresh perspectives.

3. Establish a workflow

Set up workflows to enhance productivity and efficiency

For the productive tasks, a workflow of activity should be set up to optimize efficiency and to limit work in progress. By mapping out each stage of your project cycle, you can easily monitor work as it passes through the cycle, and quickly address any bottlenecks; ensuring tasks flow through each step of the process smoothly – which is essential for a fast and consistent delivery of work.

How do you balance creativity and productivity while you work? Share your top tips with us in the comments below.

Learn more about the benefits of DropTask and sign up for a free account today. 

Daydream your way to enhanced productivity

daydreaming is good for you

Task management app DropTask is designed to enhance your productivity, so you’re probably wondering why this blog post is recommending that you daydream at work. Daydreaming is only for the unproductive and lazy, right? …Wrong! As part of the DropTask team, I’m always looking for new ways to stay productive, so I’m here to tell you that daydreaming could actually improve your productivity!

“When we want to come up with creative solutions, it’s sometimes more productive to take a step back from the problem and let our minds wander rather than trying to aggressively force new ideas. In other words, it’s good to allow ourselves to daydream once in a while.” – Chris Griffiths, DropTask founder and author of Amazon bestseller, “Mind Maps for Business“.Must daydream today urgently!

Daydreaming is often attributed to a poor work ethic or a lack of motivation and drive, but in reality it is sometimes necessary to daydream in order for us to stumble across some of our best ideas. The most famous example of this is likely to be Sir Issac Newton when he awakened the world to the theory behind gravity. Here is an exceptionally well known thinker who experienced his ground-breaking ideas while daydreaming.

Newton and the apple

Does this mean that we should spend 10-12am every morning just staring out of the window? Probably not, but studies from the University of California about idleness and rest have shown that people who attempt a challenging task after taking a break often improve their performance by around 40 per cent. The University has also shown that when idle, your brain is performing mental processing to order memories, your concept of the future, social emotions and more. Almost like a disk defragmenter for your brain!

So the next time you are faced with a challenging task or perhaps something that requires a little creative thought, take a leaf out of Sir Issac Newton’s book and allow yourself a few minutes to daydream. Better still, if you can make your daydreams goal-oriented or purposeful, you may be well on your way to knighthood too!

knighted

Combine Your Productivity with Creativity

It’s often said that we have the tendency to use one side of our brain more than the other, and that when it comes to rationalisation, logical thinking and creativity, we use opposite sides of our brain to control our thinking. The left side is said to be more analytical, with abilities in language and understanding, whereas the right side is supposed to control our intuition and imagination – not to mention our creativity. So in this post, we’re going to show you how DropTask can revolutionise the way in which you engage, manage, and take control of those neglected tasks.

In the general scheme of things, we often spend more time than we’d like to admit when it comes to getting back to people, updating progress on a current task or project, or even sifting through bits of paper to find out where that all-important document is. It could be argued that all of the above feel like tedious tasks, and what you’re actually achieving is far from effective project management because you don’t really feel fully engaged to what’s going on.

So here at DropTask, we try to be a very forward and creative-thinking team, with the understanding that in order to fully engage in what you’re doing, you need to stimulate the brain to achieve maximum amounts of productivity. When you take a look at DropTask, you’ll see that the primary view is the ‘Group View’.

Group View

Group View

Your blank canvas is there and waiting to be bursting with groups, tasks, ideas and research, and each time you attach a file, set a due date or add a tag, you’re presented with a visual to support it. Taking a simple glance at the app is all you need to stay informed and on top of things, and the aesthetics of the task management software compliments the fluidity and ‘fun’ nature of navigating through it.

DropTask successfully combines logic, language and communication, precision and creativity into one easily manageable online application, ensuring that a good working product is still at the heart of things. The innovative nature of the interface fails to draw away from its purpose to serve as an effective task management application, and we’re confident that once you start using it, you’ll agree!