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As pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, we’re seeing news stories about players who are overweight and out of shape after the off-season. It’s the start of an intense period for them: to slim down, re-sharpen their skills and get ready to play.
We PR people can take a page from this, especially if we’re feeling a little sluggish or stuck in a rut ourselves.
Whenever I find myself this way, I like to shake things up at a fundamental level, usually by going somewhere or doing something completely outside of my routine.
I call it “brain-shifting”: allowing the creative parts of our brains to awaken and stretch their legs (Actually, there’s a medical term called brain-shifting; this is not what I’m talking about). When brain-shifting effectively, you clear the clutter from your head, allowing space for new ideas that can inspire and motivate us and get us excited about the challenges that we are preparing to tackle.
I trigger my own brain-shift in ways that I know work for me: taking a walk on a sunny day, going to lunch or brainstorming with a colleague I don’t normally spend a lot of time with, listening to music that isn’t in my favorites playlist, or reading about a new topic, especially one I’ve heard about but don’t completely understand.
We’ve talked before about creativity and whether it can be taught. While I don’t think “Creativity 101” will ever be on a college syllabus (it’s not, right?), I do believe everyone has some degree of creativity, and learning how to activate it is the real key to your success. Not everyone will be an inspired artist, a Michelin Star chef or a world class music composer. But we all have some degree of creative ability just waiting to be tapped into and unleashed upon our lives.
Try your own brain-shift the next time you’re feeling like an out-of-shape baseball player reporting to Spring Training. With a little effort, I guarantee it will get you back in the swing and ready for Opening Day.