Daydreaming is good for you and your career. Really. It unlocks your creativity when you doodle and let your mind wander. The quiet time from daydreaming actually reenergizes you. If you’re hitting a work rut, try these creativity techniques to jumpstart your day. But how can you turn doodling, daydreaming and playing around into productive career goals? We chatted with Carrie Green, founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association and author of She Means Business, about how she uses visualization and daydreaming as tools to be successful. Her tips will help you use your creative mojo to your advantage.
1. Make a visualization jar. Carrie uses this tool to help her daydream daily. Decorate a mason jar however you like, then cut up pieces of paper. “Write down things you’d love to experience in your career and personal life, and have fun with it,” says Carrie. Fold up the pieces of paper and stuff your jar. Every day, in the morning and at night, take out one piece of paper. “Spend a couple of minutes vividly visualizing experiencing what’s on the paper like it’s already happened,” says Carrie. Keep the jar by your bedside to make it a daily ritual.
2. Go through a visualization process. In her book, She Means Business, Carrie has a 12-step process that she recommends. “Here’s the amazing part about visualization — your brain literally can’t tell the difference between an action you performed and an action you visualized,” says Carrie. Her process starts with thinking about the outcome you want, visualizing the outcome becoming true, seeing what you look like, what you can hear and see, and making the image bigger and brighter. Most of all, truly experience what you want as if it was really happening. You can use this to walk your way through asking for a raise or dreaming about your ultimate career goal.
3. Move past resistance. On Carrie’s website, Female Entrepreneur Association, she publishes stories from women who’ve turned their ideas into wildly successful businesses. What she’s learned from these women is that in being clear about what you want to achieve, you’re more likely to bring it to fruition. “The women who visualize building a successful business manage to move past the resistance and make it happen,” says Carrie.
4. Block negative thoughts. In Carrie’s TEDx talk about programming your mind for success, she talks about how negative thoughts can hinder what you desire. Shooting yourself down when you have an idea often leads to those ideas never happening. Carrie shares some ways to stop the flow of negativity, or what she likes to call the “negative committee.” When you’re in a spiral of bad thoughts, say to yourself, “Stop.” It can help let you take back control. Create an inspirational playlist of music that makes you feel good, and play it throughout the day. Take time for some professional development every day, whether it’s reading a few pages of a book or listening to a podcast.
5. Persevere. When you hit an obstacle or rejection on the way to your dream career, continue to stay focused on what you want to achieve. “Trust that somehow it will come to pass,” says Carrie. When she hits a roadblock, Carrie will take a step back and shift her focus onto solutions and how she can move forward. “Honor the process,” she says. Keep moving forward!
6. Schedule some quiet time. To spark her daydreaming drive, Carrie will do something she calls a “dreaming brain dump.” “I’ll go and sit somewhere quiet, light a candle and then spend 30 minutes or more writing out my dreams. I just write whatever comes to mind. This always gets me inspired,” she says. Buy yourself a pretty notebook and a beautifully scented candle, and write down whatever comes to mind.
7. Get clear on your goals. Every day, Carrie writes down in her planner what she wants to make happen (we like these stylish planners from Erin Condren). “I love writing everything out by hand and getting focused on what I want to achieve, which helps me to create the success in my life with intention,” says Carrie. Turn your daydreaming into actual plans when you write them down, and set dates next to when you’re going to make that action step happen. You’ve got this!
Do you daydream at work? Has it made you more productive? Tweet us at @BritandCo and let us know!
(Photos via Getty)