Happy New Year! The TechSoup Canada team is excited to welcome you back to our blog space with a brand new series dedicated to exploring the intersection of our digital lives and wellbeing. Here at TechSoup Canada, we believe that making time for our personal wellbeing is how great teams can do great work. To prepare for success in 2022, over the course of this series, we’ll look at how tech tools can support our self-care and help us achieve our goals, both as individuals and as a team. In this post, we start by looking at how infusing creativity into our daily practice can lead to great work habits and provide a fresh new perspective on setting resolutions and annual goals.
Big resolutions or daily practice?
The start of a new year can be a powerful motivator and source of inspiration. In fact, chances are you’ve heard the word “resolutions” this week. Perhaps you yourself have been inspired to start brainstorming goals for the year that has just begun.
But just as common at this time of year, you come across articles that denounce the end of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ or that explain why so many of us have such a hard time staying consistent with our goals. This does not say much about the value of starting small. Modest first steps, repeated over time, can lead to the creation of rituals that can become a powerful practice. And just cultivating a personal practice can be life-changing. No big proclamations or big gestures! As James Clear writes in Mastering Creativity: “It’s the mastery of everyday habits that leads to creative success, not some mythical spark of genius.”
“To get the creative habit, you need a work environment
that’s addictive. All desired work statuses,
no matter how eccentric, have one thing in
common: when you enter them, they force
you to start.”
–– Twyla Tharp, dancer & author
Perhaps your team already has valuable rituals and practices that have proven successful over time. That said, a new year is also a great time to rethink and re-evaluate old habits: What’s still working well? What needs to be adjusted? What opportunities are waiting to be discovered? What could you take a chance on and experiment with this year? Or, to put it another way, which daily, weekly, or monthly routines are you going to introduce this year, and why?
Tips and tricks for building your practice
When it comes to setting up a personal (or team) practice, the possibilities are virtually endless! Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources to help you get your creative juices flowing and think about what kind of experiences you want to pursue in 2022:
What better way to stimulate your creativity than learning how other people approach their own practice? WePresent is a digital hub run by a file sharing company WeTransfer, which tells unexpected stories about creativity. Their platform is full of fascinating articles documenting creative practices, team building experiences, overcoming obstacles to follow your passion, and much more. Dive into their archives for inspiration on what you too can accomplish this year! Some examples are: Mind games: how is creativity connected to our mental health?; Institute of Queer Ecology: Seeing the Natural World as More Inherently Queer; A Vibe Called Tech: The History and Significance of Black Media; plus writing in stolen time; aging in the workplace; screen-free career goals and make social work for you.
TRYING A NEW HABIT:
If you’re curious about other ways to manage your time and approach your work, trying one of these well-established techniques might be right up your alley. The Paperclip Strategy creates a visual trigger that can motivate you to perform a habit with more consistency. The Pomodoro Technique can help you learn to focus in incremental time units. Starting with a blank page can be daunting, or you can learn to see it poetically. Productivity Journaling summarizes the progress you’ve made so you can reflect on your productive performance and see where you can improve. Or try a new to-do app to see if there is one just for you!
TAKE YOUR TIME:
Looking for more? In this video, author Tim Hardford shares how innovators find their inspiration and productivity by training their minds through an approach known as “slow-motion multitasking,” which involves actively googling multiple projects and switching between topics as the mood strikes — without feeling rushed. In fact, time is a key factor in each of the approaches mentioned in this post. Instead of feeling pressured or forcing yourself into productivity habits that don’t work for you, remember that what is arguably the most revolutionary act is lower expectationsbeing kind to yourself and acknowledging that time moves a little differently for all of us in the first place!