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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 September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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