I just ran across an Instagram graphic detailing 15 time management skills. This was after reading a blog on five ways to improve your writing, nine tips to produce error-free projects and three ideas to maximize your workflow.
Since when did life become one giant checklist?
The question gave me pause. Real pause. Like … enough that my 15 time management skills checklist wouldn’t have approved.
Originally, I ventured into marketing and public relations because of its open door into a world of creativity. While good PR is founded on thorough research and solid strategy, great PR adds the unexpected, a streak of color or a head-tilting idea. The industry has become steeped in analytics, big data and ROI. And yes, while we exist to achieve results, data is not the only goal.
What happened to sitting around the coffee bar spinning out “what if” scenarios? What happened to diving down a rabbit hole of reading just to indulge your inner nerd? What happened to team brainstorms that use crazy props like Play-Doh or Lucky Charms cereal boxes? (I’ve done both.)
What happened to the whimsy of creativity?
On a recent trip to Carolina Beach, I popped into a nook that housed a hybrid coffee shop, pastry mecca and used bookstore.
It was here that I stumbled on a blind date.
The book shop owner had repurposed a vintage card catalogue (Google that one, millennials and Gen Z) and filled its drawers with novels wrapped in brown paper and string. The paper read “Blind Date with a Book” followed by hand-scrawled reviews of the publication. Without the aid of cover art, I could only rely on the intriguing verbiage to get a sense of the secret gem wrapped in the paper.
It was delightful. No title. No images. Just tight, poignant phrases that thoroughly piqued my interest. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was dive nose-first into whatever book contained this “funny, barbed, delightfully winsome storytelling.”
And that’s what I want us to recapture. Just for a spell here and there, shake off the taskmaster of to-dos and deadlines. Let your curiosity wander. Explore a new corner. Try new words. Heck, take a different route to the grocery store. Creativity isn’t a task that can be defined, prescribed and checked off the list. It’s an attitude of pervading curiosity that leads to new ideas, fresh perspective and often, a fascinating journey.
What makes our work effective isn’t the efficiency; it’s the sense of play.
It’s time to reignite your wonder.
Looking for a place to start?
Check out our team’s sources of inspiration.