Making work work for you

Think about your current work. In fact, let’s go one step further. Think about the sh*ttiest parts of your job. The most repetitive, pointless or bureaucratic. Something you just can’t deal with, and even the thought of it makes you sign.

Got it? Now answer me this. How can you infuse more of your personality into that specific task? How can you step over what’s expected, look beyond your boss or best practice and do it in a way that works for you? However novel, impractical, or unconventional?

I’m sure you have plenty of reasons for why that particular thing can’t be done any other way. But I challenge you to consider how it can. This is precisely why and where you want to flex your curiosity and put the game back on your terms. Use it to make your experience at work better.

I promise you there an an infinite number of alternatives hidden in plain sight. The barriers to more creativity in your work are less about coming up with new ideas and more about finding the courage to act one them.

I’ll give you an example. Hands up if you love email! Anyone…


Well, I do. It’s one of my favourite things. Here’s why.

I centre-align my emails


I’ve been doing it for years.

And it’s been a revelation.

I used to hate email.

The layout was uninspiring.

Its vibe so beige and impersonal.

Until one uneventful day,

while procrastinating over an email,

I got curious about the platform.

Started moving my mouse,

clicking on a few things,

until I discovered

the centre-align button.

It reminded me of all the years

I spent writing poetry and songs.

In those days I’d always centre-align

because I liked the way it looked.

Enjoyed the way it felt.

And loved the way it changed the way I wrote.

I’d phrase things differently

because I was conscious of

the shape of the text.

I’d lean heavy into rhyme

and alliteration for effect.

Writing emails became a joyful activity

to express my wildest creativity.

And the impact stretched well beyond

my personal satisfaction.

It became a canary in a coal mine.

A way to curate my clients.

When I get a reply from a senior exec

who has taken the time

to right align the text,

to use coloured headings

and mismatched fonts,

there’s probably a very high probability

we’d end up working together.

And that work will be delightfully

creative right from the outset.

But even more than that,

it now acts as a trigger for

solidifying my identity.

Every time I centre-align,

I’m reminded of my choice to be creative.

It reaffirms for me that I’m a risk-taker,

rule-breaker and mischief-maker.

Which, in turn, empowers me

to stay curious, stay courageous

and keep creating.

All of this magic

from just one click.

This article is an excerpt from Mykel’s book Everyday Creative. To read more and find out how to be more creative in your 9-5, visit the Everyday Creatives website.

Image source: Everyday Creatives

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