It's easy to become discouraged by constraints in business. “If we only had more funding, we could do this…” “If we only could hire more people we could do this…” “If we only had a cheaper manufacturer…”
I am all for knocking down perceived barriers and going after what you think is best. If you want to hire more people, figure out a way and go after it. But sometimes there are real constraints that limit you, at least for the moment.
Don't mourn this. Don't pout. Don't quit.
Instead, every time you see a constraint, recognize it as an opportunity to be creative with what you have.
But it's hard to just be creative. Creativity takes practice. If you practice being creative when you don't need to be, creativity will flow much easier when constraints require it.
So let’s get our creative muscles toned so they're in shape for when we need them.
Here are 13 interesting ways to practice creativity:
- Cook a meal with only what you have in your pantry, freezer or fridge (pick only one).
- Play Boggle. It can be frustrating - "Oh, if only this letter was here, I could make this word." But you'll find that wishing for a letter only holds you back and costs you valuable time.
- Go on a personal spending freeze. Do a day, a week, a month - whatever is uncomfortable and would push you to be creative with what you already have.
- Next costume party you're invited to - make a commitment to creating your costume only from things you have in your house. Mike and I have done this since we've been married and have come up with some pretty incredible outfits.
- Create a piece of art that embodies the first random thing you think of, with only what you have in that room. If you’re in the kitchen, break out the flour. If you’re in the office, use a pen. If you're in the bathroom, break out the toilet paper...
- Commit to not making the same meal in a month. Impossible? Commit to making your breakfast different every morning.
- Add a constraint at the gym - create a full body workout by doing only three compound exercises.
- Watch Cutthroat Kitchen. Choose one handicap that you see on the show and try it when you cook.
- Play Scattergories. Play to win.
- If you're musical, change the tuning on your guitar and figure out ways to make different chords. Or break out your keyboard and write a song using 6 notes.
- Use 11 hashtags on Instagram. It's a challenge to come up with them and bonus - it's suppose to get your posts more interaction.
- Go on a short walk and take 30 different photos. Make sure every photo has something blue in it. Too easy? Make it purple and 50 photos.
- Text a friend or spouse only in emoticons for a day. Try to communicate everything through them. (Let them know you’re going to do this, it could be annoying otherwise.)
You’ll find that you may be frustrated by the constraints while you practice. Resist the ability to give up. Push through it.
You’ll be proud of what you’re able to make work. You’re resourceful. You're creative. You’ll find a way.
What constraints have you discovered that require you to be creative? What are some ways you’ve creatively worked within constraints, in your business?
I'd love to know if you've tried any of the ideas above! Tweet me or comment below to let me know about your experience!