Use creative exercises to stay sharp

In the middle of a busy workday, who doesn’t need a short break to rewire his or her brain? Studies show taking short breaks can increase employees’ creativity and efficiency1. That’s why nearly every day at Studio Eight, we take ten minutes to do a creative exercise. Here are a few of our favorites.

Put Colored Pencil to Paper 

Coloring books aren’t just for kids. Studies show we use a different part of our brain when we use our hands rather than a keyboard. Coloring also stimulates and rewires our brains to be more efficient. Better yet, coloring relieves stress, inspires creativity, and improves focus.

Create a Mind Map

Mind mapping is a great way of getting ideas onto the page. It’s a creative exercise that anyone can start with just a blank piece of paper. Begin by jotting down a central topic in the middle of the paper and circle it. Then ask yourself, “What else can I add to the mind map that relates to my topic?” Write down any connected ideas and then branch them out from the central topic. If your ideas lead to a new theme, simply draw an oval around it to mark it as a hub. Keep adding to your mind map until you fill the page. If you run out of ideas, try to reframe the main topic and begin another mind map. When you feel you’ve done enough, read over your ideas and choose which ones you would like to move forward with. Each mind map presents a new opportunity for creative exploration.

Write a Haiku

Working within a restricted project can boost your imagination by making you rethink your creative process. The haiku, a Japanese verse in three lines, is a great way to make you think outside the box and fit your ideas within tight creative parameters. The first line of a haiku has five syllables, the second has seven, and the third line has five syllables. 

A traditional haiku is a mood poem that avoids any metaphors or similes. However, when taught in schools, students’ haiku are generally only restricted by the number of lines and syllables.

Put Together a Puzzle

Placing a jigsaw puzzle in your communal space is a fun way to step away from your desk and shift into creative-thinking mode. Even putting together a few pieces throughout the day is enough to encourage collaboration, ease any stress, and get those creative juices flowing.

Design Greeting Cards

Step aside, Hallmark. Designing your own greeting cards is a fun way to personalize any occasion. Feel free to use writing tools such as crayons, colored pencils, paint, or even graphic design tools like Adobe Illustrator. Remember, you can design cards for any occasion. National Doughnut Day, anyone?

Writing Prompts

Need an idea to jumpstart your writing? Check out sites like Poets & Writers which features several writing prompts to inspire your prose. Afterward, some people enjoy reading their ideas out loud or posting them in a common space for others to peruse.

Brainstorming Ideas to Redesign Your Communal Space

A communal space can prompt any number of feelings. Some inspire and create energy. Others promote relaxation and an overall sense of calm. Designing a common space as a team invites every member to exercise his or her design skills and to consider the sheer number of possibilities within any given space.

Our Studio Eight creative team enjoys discussing design ideas for our own workspace at our monthly team meetings. We love to ask, “How about white board paint? “ Or, “What about installing a giant sheet of Plexiglas for notes, quotes, and scribbles?”

Keep Going

Our team’s daily creative breaks help Studio Eight continue to break boundaries and think (quite literally) outside the box. We use these social activities as a way to participate in judgment free—and inexpensive—team building exercises. Afterward, we all seem to feel refreshed and energized.

We refuse to remain stagnant; we’re not the type to just follow the status quo. Most creative teams strive for this kind of drive and curiosity. If you want to learn more about our creative team and what we can do for you, give us a shout.


1. https://www.inc.com/thomas-oppong/for-a-more-creative-brain-take-breaks.html

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/memory-medic/201303/why-writing-hand-could-make-you-smarter

3. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html

4. https://www.staples.com/content-hub/stimulate-creativity-with-coloring-books-in-the-office/

5. https://coloring.club/reasons-coloring-is-great-for-the-workplace/