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2 Ways to Access Your Creative Potential On-Demand

2 Ways to Access Your Creative Potential On-Demand

Experiencing a moment of creative genius is one of the most satisfying feelings we humans can have. You experience a spark of many positive emotions such as excitement, joy, and charismatic exuberance. Would you like to be able to prime your mind to access your creative potential on-demand? Would you like to increase your chances of arriving at creative genius? Here are two outstanding methods to ignite your creative fire.

Preparation:

What is Creativity?

Being creative means you are creating. You are producing, not consuming. Many of us know what creativity feels like. It is often a spontaneous thought that seemingly comes from nowhere at an unexpected time. Creativity may apply to writing a terrific article, creating a beautiful piece of art, or simply solving a problem. In these senses, creativity is best described as your brain connecting two or more unrelated pieces of information, and creating a unique new viewpoint.

In fact, your brain is full of a lot of information. It is expanding its database constantly as you sense new information. It does this quietly and without your direct instruction. Are you allowing it to sift through this data on occasion? Or are you simply a receptacle of information?

Separate Mind from Brain.

Imagine for a moment that your mind and your brain are separate entities. Separate your conscious and subconscious thinking. See your mind using your brain as a tool to interact with the outside world. As you visualize this, go ahead and close your eyes, and see your mind separating out from your body. You may imagine yourself looking down upon your body and your brain.

“You are not your brain. The mind that gives orders to the brain is the only true creator.” – Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, Super Brain

To form an analogy, you might see your body as a computer. Your brain makes up the user interface to the outside world. Your brain consists of the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Your mind, now separate, uses your brain to interface with the vast array of otherwise unintelligible information that the computer can collect from everything around you.

Separating mind from body and clarifying the role of each is a fundamental step to understanding the creative process.

Creativity and the Senses

Now that you can imagine the separation of mind from brain, you should begin thinking about the interaction between the two. Sensory input, in terms of site, taste, touch, vision, and hearing, make up our perception of the physical world. This information is passed from the brain to the mind, and is the basis for much of the conscious information flow between the two.

As you close your eyes once again, seeing your mind peering down upon your brain and body, add in another visualization: a colorful flow of information coming from the outside world into your body and up to your brain. Watch the brain process and filter this information, before it passes some of it up to your mind. Your mind responds, sending information and orders back down to the brain. This flow can look like a swirl of colors. This is a busy flow! Visualize your brain burdened by input and response—a computer running at 100%.

If you are able to see this visualization, you are prepared to begin igniting your creative potential.

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Reach Your Creative Potential:

Method 1: Overload your senses.

Have you ever been in a shower when out of nowhere, you solve a very complex or long-lasting problem, even though you weren’t directly thinking about it? Many people have reported this experience. This is a creative spark.

Part of the reason this occurs is because in the shower, you have overloaded your senses to the point that your mind has drifted away. During this state, information is flowing from your brain to your mind—uni-directional. Your mind leaves your brain alone and allows it to work through and process information it has been storing for a long period of time. You are allowing your brain to do its work rather than consciously directing it. This is similar to how computers used to “defragment” during down time, performing better once complete.

Does this mean you should take showers constantly? No! You can invoke this feeling in other ways. In fact, freshness and novelty are key.

Light up your senses. As you enjoy the experience, expect a creative spark. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sight: sit in a candlelit room. This causes a standard environment to look new, different, and exciting.
  • Sound: listen to interesting, rhythmic music or sounds, preferably without words.
  • Smell: use scented candles, incense, or aromatic food.
  • Touch: bring something of unique texture to hold onto as you sit. Beads, jewelry, and antiques can be great to run your fingers around.
  • Taste: bring a small snack that you normally do not eat. Wine, juice, fruits, and unique cheeses are excellent choices.

Placing yourself in this situation of sensual overload will cause you to become lost in the moment. You will stop thinking about work, your to-do list, and other stress factors. Your mind cannot help but get lost. Your brain is now free to make wonderful new connections and provide you solutions to problems that have been queued up.

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So how does this relate to your morning shower? Showers tend to excite your senses. You see body parts that are normally covered, the rhythmic sound of water hits your ears, your soaps bring unique scents, and there are different textures to touch.

You can place yourself in this situation for as long and as often as desired. You may try 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and several days per week to start. The more you do this type of activity, the more easily you will be able to achieve a wandering mind.

Method 2: Shut off your senses.

This method is a bit more challenging, but will ultimately allow you to most completely disconnect the flow between your mind and brain. Put simply, this is meditation, which has been used for centuries to help people solve problems and arrive at unique conclusions and spark creative genius.

Meditating for creativity is not easy. To start, go back to our visualization. See your mind floating over your body and brain. See the information exchange. As you hold this image, start allowing your mind to drift further and further away, until you can no long see your brain.

The flow of information fades until it has been temporarily stopped. You are not providing input and direction to your brain. You will return, but you will understand the importance of letting your brain alone to do its work. Your mind should continue to drift into blackness, reaching a state of calm. You may float in this state as long as you like, ultimately working your way back to your brain, re-engaging the information flow, and opening your eyes.

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Upon doing so, it may be good to sit down with a journal or instrument, and write, draw, or play whatever is at your finger tips. Let your brain communicate to you what it figured out while your mind was away.

If you’re having a hard time with this visualization, try starting out by focusing on a rhythmic bodily function, such as your breathing or heartbeat. Accept thoughts as they come to you, but then turn back to your body. As soon as random thoughts become less intrusive, begin the visualization.

Conclusion

If you are like most people, you probably operate in a near constant state of information overload. The Internet, TV, smartphones, and more all work to make you an information consumer—perhaps to beyond the degree we’re capable of handling. With this in mind, take time to unplug from your brain. Assign it a problem to solve. Then allow it to sift through and sort its database. Use your senses as the tool to do this. The results will be surprising.

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Justin Gesso

Bestselling Author, Business Leadership, Real Estate

7 ways to create your life purpose 7 Ways to Create Your Life Purpose Creative Spark 2 Ways to Access Your Creative Potential On-Demand

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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