Last week, I was invited to write a guest post for a friend’s blog. The topic was creativity and I decided to write about how to get through creative blocks. You can find the article here. It was fun to write about something different and get my own creative juices flowing.
As I think about it, the principles apply to many aspects of our lives and businesses. So, here is a spin on the four tips that I provided to boost creativity and get past blocks:
This is an idea right out of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I went through that book at a time in my life when I was really unhappy with my work situation. By “really unhappy”, I mean I was in the process of moving my family from Toronto to Ottawa for my new job, and three days into the new job, I realized I hated it. I was looking for ways to get past it all and this book just kept showing up everywhere I went: library display, display at book stores… This book was written in 1992, so it wasn’t like it was on the best seller list in 2007. I took it as a sign and started working through it. Anyway, I digress.
Morning pages involve hand-writing three pages of free-flow, stream of consciousness prose first thing in the morning. No editing. Just write. It helps clear the clutter in your mind. For me, it was the closest I had gotten to any kind of meditation at that time. As a matter of fact, I still do morning pages once or twice a week. It is easier for me to do that instead of meditating.
Change Your Environment
Changing your environment can be helpful in many situations, not just boosting your creativity. Have you ever wanted to yell at someone? Or have something go completely wrong? Try taking a walk around the block when that happens. When my kids drive me crazy, I will go spend an hour at the grocery store and pick up a few things for dinner while examining the new items and generally doing a different version of walking around the block.
Go Through Your Idea Books and Files
Do you go to business development seminars, take lots of notes, and then shove them in a binder, file, or drawer? That is what is called ‘shelf help’. What was the point of attending the workshop or webinar if you aren’t going to use what you learned? I hosted a telesummit a little while ago and I am still applying the ah-has that came out of the interviews.
If you want something you have never had, then you have got to do something you have never done. – unknown (although I’ve seen it attributed to Thomas Jefferson)
If you are dissatisfied with the status quo, go and start implementing some of those ideas that were so brilliant that you wrote them down, underlined them, or put a star beside them in your notebook. Most people do not act on their ideas. By doing so, you are setting yourself apart from the masses.
Do Something Else Creative or Take a Shower
Yesterday, I started a 30-day photography challenge. How hard is that? I have a smart phone and access to Facebook where the challenge is hosted. I just need to take a picture every day and post it. That takes a few minutes. Well, a few minutes if the first item isn’t “Self Portrait”. I mean, gees… I / We are so critical of ourselves.
I also got a great idea for a white paper while in the shower. I pitched the idea while still wrapped in my towel and it was accepted in minutes. And I am getting paid to write this paper. Are you acting on those moments of brilliance that come your way?
So, I have tried a bunch of new things this week. I guest blogged for the first time in my life. I wrote about something that wasn’t about networking, growing your team, setting up systems, knowing your numbers… I also started this photography challenge.
Get out there, pull out a binder, start implementing those moments of brilliance. See if more moments of brilliance start coming your way when you start using the ones that are sitting on a shelf.
Have a great week!