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7 Powerful Habits Of Insanely Creative People

7 Powerful Habits Of Insanely Creative People

When it comes to creativity and success, have you ever wondered what sets certain individuals apart from others? While much is dependent on intrinsic skills that cannot be taught, there are also certain skills, techniques, and abilities that can be honed.

If you’re someone who’s interested in maximizing creativity, fostering innovation, and making a significant difference in the lives of those around you, it’s helpful to learn from those who’ve come before you. Let’s look at seven powerful habits of insanely creative people.

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1. Always Ask Questions

Creative people never take anything at face value. Instead of simply accepting that things are a certain way because that’s the way they’ve always been, creative people ask questions and uncover answers. While you may not always find the answer you’re looking for, the mere act of seeking can be enough to spark a new idea or teach you a new lesson.

2. Wake Up Early

It would be incorrect to say that all successful and creative people wake up early. After all, Franz Kafka, the renowned German writer, was notorious for staying up all night and sleeping in until noon. And consider that Pablo Picasso rarely woke before 10 am. While both of these men were successful and creative, they’re exceptions to the rule. If you look at the majority of highly creative people, most are early risers. As Ernest Hemmingway once said, “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool and cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”

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3. Surround Yourself with Creative People

Like birds of a feather, creative people flock together. The reason for this is that you are what you surround yourself with. If you spend your time with lazy people, you too will become lazy. If you surround yourself with people who exercise all the time, you’ll naturally become active yourself. Well, if you spend time with innovative minds, you’ll automatically shift your thoughts and learn to think more creatively on a regular basis.

4. Expose Yourself to New Mediums

The best way to enhance creativity is to avoid limiting yourself. For example, painters shouldn’t only study other paintings. They should immerse themselves in music, drawing, woodworking, and sculpting. The more artistic mediums you expose yourself to, the more inspiration you’ll gain. On the other hand, if you suppress yourself and limit the types of art you consume, you’ll become one-dimensional.

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5. Identify and Remove Barriers

Everyone has those barriers and challenges that threaten to hamper their ability to innovate. It’s up to you to identify these roadblocks and remove them from your life. This could be a toxic relationship, a less-than-satisfactory work environment, a lack of resources, or anything in between. It doesn’t matter what they are – they have to go. The longer they’re present, the more agitated and overwhelmed you’ll become.

6. Work With What You Have

Everyone is exposed to different environments. Creative people are able to consistently respond to the situations in which they’re placed and utilize the resources they have at their disposal. If you notice one thing about creative people, it’s that they aren’t afraid to be spontaneous. They don’t plan out every minute of every day, instead they’re flexible and willing to adapt.

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7. Leave Time for Leisure

You can’t be creative all the time. Your brain needs to rest and recharge sometimes. That’s why highly creative people like Benjamin Franklin, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Charles Dickens, and Mary Flannery O’Connor always set aside hours of each day for food, leisure, and rest. What you do in your leisure time is up to you, but make sure you’re taking some time to simply be. You don’t have to be doing something 24/7/365. A little R&R never hurt anyone.

Featured photo credit: Creative People via flickr.com

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Schuyler Richardson

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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