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As workplaces continue to rightsize and downsize, we all find ourselves doing more with less. How do we stay ahead of the workload while staying sane? The key is to put your creativity to work for you so you can do more with less and shine like never before.

Just what is creativity? It is the ability to make, produce, cause to exist or bring into being; the ability to make something out of nothing or to make something better than it was before. Creativity is an inborn force that we all have: If you're alive, you're creative.

It needs to be said, though, that not everyone has the raw talent, creative vision and self-management skills to run out and make a living being an artist. But remember that artistic talent is only one way of potentially millions that you can express your creativity at home or at work.

In today's workplace, creative thinking, problem solving and innovation are at a premium. Here are 12 ways you can express your creativity more powerfully in any workplace:

1.) Use your values, interests, skills and aptitudes to express your unique perspectives, opinions and contributions.

2.) Take full advantage of the unique features of your personality to express your creativity in ways that are natural for you.

3.) Dress your body and your work space in ways that reflect your passion and energy.

4.) In what you say - either verbally or in writing - and how you say it, make sure you use word choice, vocabulary and communication style to showcase your uniqueness.

5.) Everybody works differently. Use your work habits, decision making and problem solving style to express who you really are.

6.) Everybody lives their lives differently. Use your personal habits, time management and outside interests to positively impact who you are at work.

7.) What are you passionate about? What kinds of things do you channel your energy into? What are you committeed to? Take all three to work with you and put them to work for you.

8.) Every creative act begins with a conception. Make sure you capture your workplace brainstorms in concrete ways.

9.) Every creative act develops through an incubation phase. Make sure you put safe boundaries around your own creative work time so it doesn't get overwhelmed with other responsibilities.

10.) Every creative act ends with a birth. Make sure you help each project grow to its next level.

11.) Celebrate your beginnings and your endings. Mark the big moments and look for reasons to play.

12.) Know when it's time to move on ? from ideas, projects and jobs ? then do it.

Still not sure you even are creative? Try reading the now-classic The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. If Julia can't convince you you are creative, then no one can!

Cheryl Lynch Simpson is a Spiritual Director and Solutions Coach who helps women discover and create the life they've always wanted to live. Cheryl is the author of over 30 print/Internet articles and the founder of Coaching Solutions For Women, a coaching website that produces and showcases career, business, and life solutions that improve the life balance of today's busy women.
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