Boost your creativity with your everyday software

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As a media professional you probably use rather complicated software, with tons of features. This is because over the years the programmers put in many new features to cater for as diverse a group of professionals as possible. Most of you however don't use all of these features every day, since many are not needed for your regular projects. In the rush of completing your work, you probably restricted the number of features you use in your regular projects. But in a rather simple way you can use your everyday software to give your creativity a boost! Here's how:

Every day, for one week, take just 10 minutes to experiment with a feature you don't need (or use) for your regular work. This could be a plug-in that is not designed for your line of work, a menu option you never used before, anything really, although this usually works best with plug-ins, add-ons, filters and the like. It only matters that you use the same feature for the entire week. For the first one or two days just fool around with it, even if you can't see any possible use. Just try to get a general feel for the functions and options you encounter. For the next day or two try to find a more useful way of working with it: try to think of ways that someone for whom the feature was designed would work with it, but also what the inner workings of the feature mean (at least to you!). And for the remainder of the week, try to experiment with it on (a copy) of something from your own projects. Try to use the feature in a smart way, but remember: you are experimenting, not working! For the next week you pick another feature.

At the end of the week you will have figured out another part of your everyday toolkit, that might help you in the future. You might even discover a gem that you didn't know was in there, that makes you wonder how you'd ever get by without it. But the real value in this exercise is that you get to look upon your own work and way of doing things with new eyes. You will get new ideas about your regular work that you can use right away. These ideas could very well have absolutely nothing to do with the feature you experimented with! It is really about doing things with or to your work that you normally "don't have the time for". But by restricting this to 10 minutes a day (or even 5 will do!) and goofing around you will see some amazing results. The real results will come after you've done this a couple of times! And the entrepreneurial types among you will probably see a new product or service after a while...


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