One thing that I make a conscious effort to do through my work day involves seeking out ideas, concepts, conferences, and articles and that keep me inspired. For me, it’s very easy to get bogged down in the problems of the hour, day or week. Constantly staring at my to-do list, and working my way through checking off items that need to be handled, can stifle my creativity if I don’t take time to look outside my world of influence for new ideas. Being inspired is a great feeling, and I see direct results in my productivity, brainstorming, and follow through when I make “being inspired” a priority.
The search for “inspiration” can be just as draining as other items on your to-do list, so I would encourage you to take the time to find some go-to resources that have consistently inspiring tidbits that speak to you. Once you have your go-to list put together, stepping away from your daily tasks to “be inspired” can be a quick break when you need to flex those creative, inspirational muscles you have.
Here are some of the go-to resources that I turn to when I need some help “being inspired”:
This site is constantly updated with videos that range in length from 5-25 minutes that allow you to see speakers who are passionate about what they do. What I enjoy most about this site is that passion is really the only pre-qualifier for these speakers. It doesn’t matter if the speaker is passionate about curing illnesses in developing countries, or proving the impacts of sibling rivalry – if the passion is there, the speaker is welcome. This is a resource I go to specifically when I’m looking to feel inspired about the impact one person can make. For me, listening to the time, thought, and resources each person has devoted to a topic they are passionate about, inspires me to carry that same level of passion in the interests I undertake. I even have the TED app downloaded on my phone, so I can watch a talk on any range of topics when I need my passion to be inspired.
If you’d like to test out TED talks, some of my recent favorites are:
This resource is a bit more industry specific, a place where I go to find the newest ideas being tested and tried in the Tech and Business worlds. This site publishes articles every day on the notable happenings from startups to billion dollar companies. I spend some time rummaging through Mashable’s content when I need a bit of outside perspective for the business and tech industries. Catching up on the direction other companies are taking, gives me a sense of the relevance of the current items I’m working on building. This resource is a huge influencer in “being inspired” about the future of the industries I’m involved in.
I’ll end my list with a broader resource that takes a bit more planning and scheduling to execute on, but is well worth the effort. I find that I am able to unlock the most creative and innovative ideas when I allow myself 2-3 days to participate in conferences around the nation. Going to conferences with the goal of absorbing the ideas being discussed, leaves me with pages of notes on new projects, tests, and concepts I can start playing with when I get back into the office. For me, it’s not enough to just pop into the keynote speaker’s address, or just grab a seat to rest my feet. Those short commitments to listening to new ideas don’t fully allow space for the inspiration I’m looking for. I have found the best way to allow room for “being inspired” at conferences, is to allow myself the time to sit through a handful of talks being presented. When you give yourself that time to focus on the new ideas being presented to you, your mind will start connecting those ideas with the issues you have at work. You’ll walk away with a handful of solutions that never would have surfaced if you were stuck at the office, staring at your computer screen.
Start researching conferences that might be inspiring for you. I find that industry specific conferences that are known for their high quality speakers tend to be the best environment for me to “be inspired”.