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Creativity Isn’t A Talent. You Can Actually Gain It By Doing These 3 Things Daily

Creativity Isn’t A Talent. You Can Actually Gain It By Doing These 3 Things Daily

Do you aspire to live a creative life but are not sure where to begin?

It’s a common problem. We look at famous actors, authors and musicians and think: how lucky they are to be creative, passionate – and hugely successful!

Just remember though that many of these successful, creative people were just like you once. They had dreams. They had goals. But they also struggled with confidence issues and creative blocks.

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If you’re willing to commit to reaching your creative pinnacle, then read on.

1. Combine ideas to lift you out of a rut

Being creative does not mean you have to reinvent the wheel (although that would be an impressive start!). Often, the secret is to take two existing ideas and combine them to create something new.

As an example, think of the traditional alarm clock. Clearly, someone a long time ago came up with the idea of fusing together a clock and a bell. An incredibly simple idea, but one that has stood the test of time (pun intended!).

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Now, over to you… what ideas can you combine to create something useful and unique?

2. Throw away self-censorship to unleash your creativity

To be truly creative, you’ll need to strip away years of self-censorship that culture and society have taught you.

You’ve probably heard people say that they used to be creative when they were young. This was a time when their minds were most likely free from career, relationship and financial worries. Life was fun, dynamic and full of opportunities to be creative. Unfortunately, for most of us, years of working in a dreary 9-5 environment has crushed our dreams – and drowned our inspirations. Creativity has been exchanged for conformity. (Not good!)

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You must break free from self-censorship to restore your authentic, creative self. Dig deep below your conditioned mind, and discover your powerful, creative subconscious mind. If you can tap into this mind, creative ideas are guaranteed to begin flowing again.

3. Be ready to capture your best ideas

Once you have opened the gates to creativity, you’ll be shocked at how many ideas you have every single day. There’s one problem with this: if you don’t capture the ideas instantly – you’ll be likely to lose them.

The secret here is to write down or sketch any promising ideas that come into your mind. You must do this immediately, otherwise they may evaporate from your mind and be lost forever. (You’ve probably experienced this many times before.)

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If you don’t already have a way of capturing ideas, then find a method that will allow you to do so. Highly-creative people frequently carry notepads, cameras and portable audio recording equipment so that they can catch their ideas the moment they have them. At the very least, make a habit of noting down your ideas and thoughts into your phone or tablet.

“Creativity takes courage.” -Henri Matisse

If you’re lacking in confidence, then you’ll be unlikely to believe that you have the creativity and talent to succeed in life. However, as we’ve seen above, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Be bold, be bright, and let your creative juices flow. And most importantly – start creating!

As soon as you have a good idea, why not find ways to implement it straightaway? By doing this, you’ll defeat the “dream-killer” known as procrastination. You’ll also find yourself with unexpected momentum in life. And this will create a cycle for you: ideas will come… you’ll apply them… more ideas will come. Try it and see for yourself.

Creativity is not just for child prodigies and musical geniuses. It’s also for you. Take the tips above, let them free your mind  – and unleash the best ideas of your life.

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Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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