There’s no doubt about it – your hyper creative mind operates on a different level. You listen to people around you who long to rejuvenate their creativity.
But you? You can’t seem to shut your creativity up.
At all hours of the day and night random great ideas pop willy-nilly into your mind. And from the outside this would seem to be a great thing.
But it’s not. Your hyper creative mind is running you ragged. You’re chasing all your ideas and not completing what you set out to do. Frankly, you’re not really getting anywhere.
How can that be?
How can you be so creatively brilliant but never seem to achieve the level of success you know you could?
Because you might be suffering from a hyper creative mind.
Understanding the Hyper Creative Mind
Hyper creative people have traits that are similar to ADHD:
The traits of inattention, impulsiveness, restlessness, daydreaming, lack of social skills, enthusiasm, hyperactivity, and difficulty in finishing projects are descriptive of successful and creative people as well as “ADDers.” (http://borntoexplore.org/evolve.htm)
Which means if you are hyper creative your inability to remain excited about a project once you get part way into it, is not simply because you are lazy, have no stick-to-it-ness, or just don’t care. Part of your brain is hardwired to want to spend all it’s time just creating those new brilliant ideas that get you so stoked up.
Now that we know it’s not all your fault that you’re this way, the question is, what can you do about it?
What can you do to turn that hyper-creative fire into hyper-success?
3 Steps to Keep Your Hyper Creative Mind on Task
1. Be Aware of Your Brain’s Battle
Be mindful of what’s going on in your brain.On a simplistic level your brain has two systems that fight for control:
a) The instinctual system that keeps you alive (if it’s cold get warm, if you’re hungry, eat). Your instinctual system lives in the moment and often knows what’s best for you (finish the project, get the paycheck).
b) And you have your intelligence system. This system can think and reason and decide what you might or might not want to do. This system allows you to override what might be best (you know it would be healthier if you went out and got that exercise but well, you’d rather watch TV).
As the two control systems battle it out the result is that you don’t always do the “right” thing. Every human has this internal battle, but for the hyper-creative person the bombardment of ideas creates fertile ground for more frequent and exhausting fighting. As in, you know you need to finish that project but the impulse to pursue your new idea feels too strong to ignore.
2. Explore Your Personal Hyper Creative Pattern
Ask yourself these questions:
- On any given project, when do you begin to lose focus or interest?
- Is it not too long after you begin a project?
- When you start on the final stretch before the end of a project?
- Do certain types of projects always lead to loss of interest?
- Do you do better when you work in a group or alone?
- When you have short or long deadlines?
- Do you hate paperwork or love to see reams of organized folders?
Once you get when you begin to lose focus and what types of projects lead to lackluster interest, think about what the signals might be that precede your usual crash and dropping off a project. Do you start finding excuses to do other things? Do you stop keeping to a schedule or start calling friends? Do you start poking holes in your project and decide it’s just too flawed? Or do you simply start to cut corners and do less than your best?
Take some time responding to the above questions because understanding your personal hyper-creative pattern will help you develop the best emergency plan in step 3.
3. Prepare an Emergency Stay-on-Task Plan
Generally speaking, hyper-creative people have strong highs and lows. You probably know this about yourself – you get that new idea and pow! you are higher than a kite and feel it’s this idea that will not only make the world a better place, but will skyrocket you to fame and riches. The best time to put your emergency plan into action is when you are on a high and you’ve just hit one of your signals (step 2) that the crash and loss of interest is coming.
The following ideas are suggestions to get you started on your own stay on task plan. But use what you know about yourself, and your responses in step 2, to develop a plan that is specific to your pattern and your needs.
Idea 1. Create a no way out for yourself
If you are the type of person who hates to disappoint people you can use this. Tell your boss you will have the project complete by Thursday and even if you have to stay up all Wednesday night you’ll probably get it done because you want to avoid having to go into their office and saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get it done after all.” For humans, avoiding discomfort is a strong tool so figure out something you want to avoid and then build that into your emergency plan.
Idea 2. Chunk the remaining project tasks
Most steps of any project have multiple smaller steps. Even when you start to lose interest there are most likely aspects of the steps left that you innately enjoy. Breaking down what’s left into small bites will help you see that there are portions you’d still like to do.
Idea 3. Make your environment more fun
As you face your usual crash and loss of interest, make what you have left to do more fun. Is a fancy coffee drink a rare treat? Go to your favorite coffee house and get one while you sit there and crank through the dreaded paperwork. Or, if you always crash and burn at your desk, take your laptop outside. The point is to shake it up because that just might be enough so you can coast to safe project completion.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Keep in mind that even two steps forward and one step back is still moving forward. Ideas are great and what the world needs to continue to progress. Once you get a handle on your own hyper creative pattern you will begin to feel more like you are controlling it, rather than like it is controlling you. Then you can get back to being excited about all those great cool ideas with the confidence that now those very ideas that used to hinder your success can contribute to it.
Resource: The Hyper-Creative Personality by Blaire Palmer
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