Some people are creative by nature – every thought is unique and artistic, with no end in sight when it comes to inspiration, innovation, and creation. For others, creativity may come in spurts and for the less fortunate, barely, if ever. But that doesn't mean there is no hope for imagination to spark when the day-to-day at work is becoming stagnant and monotonous. Here are three surefire ways anyone can be more creative at work and see new visions and dreams take shape.
Liven Up Your Work Space
A dull work area is no place to spend most of the day. Bland and boring surroundings won't do much when it comes to inspiring originality and ingenuity. Based upon what your company will allow, transform your personal work area to make yourself feel more comfortable, motivated, and just all-around happier. From the outside in, creativity will begin to brew.
As suggested by The Muse, "Whenever you see something from the big wide world that captures your attention, put it on display. It can be any discovery: an awesome ad in a magazine, an unusually arranged menu, or even a well-written email that made you laugh."
If you love flowers, be sure to have a vase filled with a colorful bouquet on your desk each week. Is your family your pride and joy? Set up framed photos of your spouse and kids to remind yourself why you work so hard. Whatever it is that gets you pumped up, have it your line of vision. These items will be the spark that lights the creative portions of your brain that have been waiting for a sign to start churning out winning ideas.
Think Outside the Box
Tackling problems the same way all the time may lead to a satisfactory performance, but where's the fun in that? They say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but everything can stand for a tune-up every now and then. Thinking outside the box will allow you and your co-workers to come together and make headway in your careers. Without a fresh perspective, progress is sure to slow down.
According to Entrepreneur, "The next time you get your team together to brainstorm, create and enforce a 'no holds barred' idea session. Nothing is off the table; nothing is outside the realm of possibility. Avoid words and phrases like 'but,' 'how would we,' and 'we can't.'"
Lifehack adds, "Approach every task with the attitude that the current method is temporary and that your job is to find a better way to do it." When you're forced to come up with a new solution, the creative juices start flowing on cue.
Take a Breather
Sometimes, all you need is a "time out" to re-focus and get your thoughts together. After a particularly stressful morning or when you feel like your eyes are glazed over from staring at computer screens and spreadsheets, step away from your desk and take a 5-minute rejuvenating break. Not only will this help you to get back on track, but it can stimulate new thoughts and ideas. Like Entrepreneur points out, "It's practically impossible to nurture creativity in a tired, burned-out brain."
As The Muse suggests, "Make a habit of stepping outside even if it's just to walk around the block. As you stroll, make a point to notice things. Your mind will start connecting dots between what you see and the problems you left back at the office."
Creativity comes in many forms; just be sure it comes to you! These three tools are just the tip of the iceberg. The more creative you become, the more it keeps on coming!
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.