Not to my surprise, posting everyday is as hard as it sounds. After spending a whole day at work staring at a computer, the last thing I want to do is stare at another. But I know it’s important, so here goes try number two.
Speaking of staring at computers, on Tuesday, I did the complete opposite. My marketing team has an offsite at an art studio in Winchester, and we were required to turn off our computers and our phones. I thought I was going to feel so lost without Wi-Fi and my phone at my side at all times, but it was really nice.
The whole point of our offsite was to get our creativity juices flowing. We work so hard everyday doing the same thing that we forget how to be creative. All of us on the team are extremely artistic (way more than I am), and very creative thinkers. Our job of the day was to channel our creative sides through different activities.
Our first task the week before was to write a 6 word memoir about ourselves. This is so much harder than it sounds. Try explaining yourself in 6 words or less. Not only your whole self, but your whole life. It’s hard. I found myself not thinking about my life as a whole, but more of what my life is like now and how I think I see it. Even though I came up with one (mine ended up being “Do not stress the small things”), I still find myself thinking in 6 word phrases. I really recommend giving this a try. It requires you to be creative and think of your life. If someone were to ask you to describe yourself in 6 words, what would it be?
Sitting in a studio with an art instructor and a work coach, we slowly revealed our 6 word memoirs to each other after trying to match up the phrases with names on a piece of paper. I was blown away by the creativity and the thoughts and reasonings behind everyone’s. I would have never guessed that each of them went with that person.
After our memoirs, we water painted, which I haven’t done since I was probably about 6 years old. At first we played with the colors and then we had to paint a picture of a house with a sky in the background. Everyone interpretations were so different. Some people drew places they knew, others drew from their imagination. When we were all finished, we put them to dry and looked at what everyone painted. It was so cool to see a real artistic side of everyone.
After lunch, we had to write a story about our house. While some people chose to write on their computers, I chose to write mine down in a notebook. I couldn’t remember the last time I wrote a fictional story, or even physically wrote things down on paper. It was so nice to get my thoughts down without the pressure of a deadline or even a real direction. I could just write. At the end, we went around the room and read out stories aloud (which is so terrifying!). Again, I was literally amazed by my co-workers. It’s not like I didn’t know they were creative, but to see it in action right in front of me was unbelievable (and seriously put my story to shame).
Our final activity of the day was to create a product for the Internet of Things. I was paired with someone who I didn’t usually work with, which was really cool. We can up with an electronic dog to help with autism. We were so convinced we were going to win the prize (as we were promised great prizes to the winner), but again, I was so impressed with everyone else’s ideas. Others were a street sign that helps with parking, smart doors that keeps track of enters and exits, and a mirror that tells you how you look, Clueless style. We only had about 30 minutes to come up with our ideas and presentations, and again, I was so impressed with everyone.
Overall, the day was not one I was expecting. At first, I was a little nervous about it, but as the day went on, I become more comfortable and confident with my ideas and creativity. I can’t say I was surprised, but I was extremely impressed with my team. I saw a new side of everyone – a vulnerable side that I don’t get to see everyday in the office. It definitely brought us closer together and made me even more excited to go to work everyday. I’m so lucky to work at a place that really cares about its employees not only in the office, but out. I even forgot about my phone for an entire day! Who would have thought!
The offsite got my creative juices flowing, and made me want to get more creative. You should want too, also! Start by writing the 6 word memoir, or doing an art project you don’t normally do. What are you looking forward to trying?