Spring is coming and it’s time to take your creativity to the next level. So to help get you out of the winter doldrums, here’s 10 important steps to give your creative thinking a shot in the arm:
1. Don’t be afraid to daydream. Neurological research indicates daydreaming is good for your overall health. Much like night dreaming, day dreaming allows ideas and randomly connect in our minds. Goof off more and stop worrying about it.
2. Stop working randomly. Discover your “zone” – the the time of day when you’re most creative, and don’t forget that “where” matters too. I take a deep dive on this subject in my book “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking.” You can’t live out your intention in the wrong environment. Your energy level matters, so constantly be tweaking all the different aspects of your life to create great work, and become aligned for optimal performance. Best advice? Stop managing your time and start managing your energy.
3. Value intuition and the power of hunches. Our “gut” is often more accurate than we think. Stop analyzing everything, and start really looking. See things no one else sees. Intuition must be developed so start listening to it.
4. Be open to new ideas and the power of change. This is the subject of my book “Jolt – Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing.” People will change more readily when you can help people see the value in your ideas. Teach them the effort will be worth it, and help them understand what’s on the other side.
5. Be different. Drive home a different way. Eat different food. Read different books. Hang out with different people. Expose yourself to different things. Get out of the rut.
6. Write Things Down. How often have you had a great idea but within 30 seconds forgot about it? What life-changing idea could you have that you’ll forget if you don’t jot it down? That’s the reason I created my “Unique Planner for Creative Professionals.”
7. Know when to collaborate. Genius starts with individuals, but execution often takes a team. Get comfortable working with and leading other creative people.
8. Stop being embarrassed about thinking big. Indulge in fantasy. Look beyond what you think is realistic. Leonardo Da Vinci created designs for flying machines, ideal cities, plans for diverting rivers – things he couldn’t possibly do in his lifetime, but they fired up his imagination. Check out his notebooks.
9. Start thinking of yourself as a creative professional. You may not have published a book, but if you’re writing, you’re a writer. You may not have sold your portfolio, but if you’re designing, you’re a designer. Your mind has to be ready before you see the physical manifestation.
10. Be open to mystery. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest problems with the polarization in our culture today. We only follow social media feeds we like, read newspapers or watch TV news that confirms our thinking, and we hang out with friends who agree with us. We rarely mingle with people different than us. And when we do, we aren’t interested in their experience or perspective.
Open yourself up to the mysteries of life!