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3 Strategies to Generate Creative Energy

3 Strategies to Generate Creative Energy

    At the end of the week — or even the end of a Monday — you are depleted. You’ve given your all, physically and emotionally. You can’t imagine thinking about one more creative solution or doing one more chore. How will you do it all again tomorrow?

    When you do work you love and engage in a purposeful life, it’s hard to recognize when it’s time to stop. While there is a big difference in the tired you feel after working a soul sucking job and doing work that makes your heart sing, you are tired either way.

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    Instead of waiting until something’s gotta give, recharge on a regular basis. By carving out this time, you will be more creative, productive and happy and less grumpy, blocked and miserable to be around.

    Recharging and refocusing allows you to generate creative energy.

    Your Creative Energy Strategies

    Take a Nap

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    The longer you’re awake, the more difficult it is for your brain to store new information, whether it’s names and faces, the details of a conversation, or your grocery list. An afternoon nap seems to refresh this short-term memory and open your mind for new information, researchers found. This makes sense to me. I am much sharper in the morning and tend to get a little fuzzy towards the end of the day when it comes to processing new material.

    In the study, the researchers asked 39 college students to learn a series of new names and faces at noon and match the faces and names a few minutes later. They then performed the same test at 6 p.m. the same day. A group of students who took a 90-minute afternoon nap at 2 p.m. performed better than non-napping students, who had a serious decline in their memory test scores.

    “Why? The part of your brain where short-term information and memories are stored is a bit like your email inbox, says the study’s lead author, Matthew P. Walker, the head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. “You can only receive so many emails before your inbox starts to bounce,” he says. “When you sleep, essentially what you may be doing is clearing out that inbox to another folder, so you have a refreshed capacity to receive new emails.”

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    Move every day

    The best way to stimulate creative ideas is to move. Take a walk, go to a yoga class, or jump in a pool every day. Taking 10-60 minutes to disengage from your work and get your heart rate up will actually save you time. You’ll spend less time procrastinating and more time creating. Have a small notebook and pencil nearby while you are exercising, and get ready for the ideas to flow.

    Give

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    You are so wrapped up in your work and your life that when you step away and focus on someone else, you will naturally relax and take yourself less seriously. All the little things that cause stress and anxiety will become less important when you give and help someone else. Give your time, talent and treasure to benefit a worthy organization or individual. They benefit from your gift and your creativity will soar.

    Don’t wait until you crash and burn. Instead, intentionally add these healthy habits into your daily life. By simply directing your energy to napping, moving and giving, you will benefit in more ways than one. Not only will you experience more creativity, but better health as well.

    More by this author

    Courtney Carver

    Courtney Carver is a speaker, author, productivity expert and founder of Be More with Less.

    How to Become a Vegetarian Easily (It’s not that Hard as You Thought!) How Living Clutter-free Will Make You a Better Decision Maker How to Love the Unlovable 3 Strategies to Generate Creative Energy

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

    15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

    Reading is an essential life skill. It’s how we record our history and share stories. Sure, there are countless books jam-packed from cover to cover with valuable facts. But there are also limitless volumes containing invaluable insights on the human experience.

    Generations of people have scribed their experiences and struggles, their emotions and confessions onto blank pages, thereby transforming them into rich resources. Given this truth, it’s disheartening to report that global literacy rates are in decline.[1] Individuals young and old all around the world are reading less, less absorbedly.

    According to author John Coleman, this lack of literature extends into the business world and all the way up the corporate ladder.[2] In his experience, “business people seem to be reading less.” Which is bad news considering the fact that “broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders.”

    Perhaps it’s because reading has been shown to improve communication,[3] emotional intelligence,[4] organizational effectiveness, and to reduce stress.[5] All of which are critical requirements for an effective leader.

    Now that you’ve been sufficiently convinced of the importance of reading, you’re probably wondering what you should be reading. You might also be thinking that you don’t have the time. Well, the truth is that you do have the time:

    “Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you.”

    You don’t have to read 52 books in a year, but you do have to make time for more reading. And when you do, this list of the 15 best leadership books to read will inform and inspire you to become a great leader.

    Lead Yourself

    Before you can lead someone else, a group of people, or a company, you must be able to lead yourself. That means discipline, self-actualization, sense of purpose, and humility.

    1. Meditations

    by Marcus Aurelius

      Although Aurelius was writing for himself, the surviving text is a road map to living a better life. By removing the excess, Aurelius shows us all how to rise above distractions to maintain our principles. Rooted in Stoic philosophy, Meditations is practical advice for controlling your thoughts, emotions, and actions to remove stress from your life.

      Print | eBook

      2. Man’s Search for Meaning

      by Viktor Frankel

        This book recounts Viktor Frankel’s experience in Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, during the Holocaust. Through all the pain and suffering Frankel was able to maintain perspective and conclude that there “must be meaning in suffering.” He reminds us that the meaning of life is to define that meaning for ourselves through action.

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        Print | eBook | Audiobook

        3. The Alchemist

        by Paulo Coelho

          Life is a journey. Each one of us should be trying to follow our own personal legend (that is, what you have always wanted to accomplish). The tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, reveals what happens when we pursue our own legend: “the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

          Print | eBook | Audiobook

          Defining Leadership

          After building your foundation from which to lead, it’s important to understand exactly what leadership is and how it’s applied. It’s also helpful to study other successful leaders and businesses.

          4. The Truth About Leadership

          by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

            There are some things that will always play a role in effective leadership. Trust, credibility, and ethics are among those things. Kouzes and Posner reveal 30 years of research that support these and other core principles.

            Print | eBook | Audiobook

            5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t

            by Jim Collins

              Some companies succeed, but most fail. Jim Collins evaluated thousands of articles and interview transcripts to figure out why exactly that is. Then he packaged it all into this book to show you what traits you’ll need to build a great company.

              Print | eBook | Audiobook

              6. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

              by Steven R. Covey

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                Seven Habits is a timeless lesson in leadership and success. By changing your mindset to embrace an alternative perspective, Covey walks you through the self-mastery Paradigm Shift. This process is broken down into Independence, Interdependence, and Continual Improvement, resulting in meaningful and consistent growth.

                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                7. Delivering Happiness

                by Tony Hsieh

                  As CEO of Zappo, Tony Hsieh built a massively successful business by doing what everyone else talks about: putting the customer first and hiring the right people. Serving customers and company culture were the main focus. As a result employees and customers were happy and satisfied. Hsieh was able to dismantle traditional corporate leadership and deliver happiness and loads of profit along the way

                  Print | eBook

                  8. The Innovator’s Dilemma

                  by Clayton Christensen

                    Here Harvard professor and businessman Clayton Christensen lays out the path to “disruptive innovation.” This, as described by Christensen, requires rejecting the needs of the customer right now in favor of adopting new methods and technologies that will meet their needs in the future. Early adopters and innovators get ahead; all of the others fall behind.

                    Print

                    9. Tribes

                    by Seth Godin

                      Start by reading Tribes and then continue on reading everything Godin has written. From his blog to his books and everything in between, Godin is sharing a winning formula for stepping outside of the status quo to do meaningful work. It’s this kind of work that will inspire others to follow, help you get noticed, and leave a legacy long after you’re gone.

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

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                      Communicate and Motivate

                      To lead you must inspire others to follow your example or orders. It helps if you’re able to attract, engage, and encourage employees, business partners, and potential clients to get on board with your plan or proposal.

                      10. Drive

                      by Daniel H. Pink

                        The ability to motivate is central to leadership. That’s what makes Pink’s book so valuable. Packed with the secrets of motivation, Pink suggests we move away from rewards and punishment, opting for meaningful work, mastery, and autonomy instead.

                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                        11. How to Win Friends and Influence People

                        by Dale Carnegie

                          Everyone wants to feel important. In Win Friends Carnegie shows you how to use that in your favor to make people like you and win people over. It’s a book about how to communicate and interact with people in a meaningful way. It all comes down to showing interest in the people you interact with and the work that they are doing. If you make that connection you will have won a friend.

                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                          12. Team of Rivals

                          by Doris Kearns Goodwin

                            If Abe Lincoln can unite his cabinet and the country around abolishing slavery amidst war, you can probably reconcile conflicting personalities in your company. Meshing people of divergent ideologies into a team or group is an admirable leadership trait. In Team of Rivals Kearns Goodwin recounts the story of how Lincoln surrounded himself with the best people, despite their differences. He was humble and unafraid to be challenged: two traits that will serve every leader.

                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                            Keep Going

                            Sometimes things don’t go as planned. If and when that happens, you’ll have to pick yourself up and start all over again. Perseverance and resilience are mandatory.

                            13. Endurance

                            by Endurance

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                              In 1914, explorer Edward Shackleton undertook an expedition to the South Pole. Although the mission was a failure, the resulting story of survival in the ice-bound Antarctic seas serves as a guide post for leaders confronted with adversity.

                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                              Be Real

                              No one can fake leadership. And, if they can, it won’t last long. Acknowledging fear and vulnerability are far more valuable leadership skills than being cold or shut-off.

                              14. Daring Greatly

                              by Brené Brown

                                Being vulnerable doesn’t have to be a weakness. Fear and shame shouldn’t prevent us from daring to do big things. Instead, Brown tells us that it’s most important to show up; to try and to fail. Because coming up short is better than never having tried at all.

                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                15. The War of Art

                                by Steve Pressfield

                                  Anything you create is going to require one heck of a battle: that’s the war of art. Every single person in the world who has written a book, published an article, started a business, or made “art” has been scared out of their mind. Procrastination, fear, and self-doubt strike everyone. The only way to beat them is to make stuff and share it with the world.

                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                  Featured photo credit: Quino Al via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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