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7 Basic Rules Of Creativity You Should Know

7 Basic Rules Of Creativity You Should Know

If you’re want to live the creative life, you need to know the rules of the game. There are 7 basic rules of creativity that every creator should know to flourish.  These rules of creativity are the culmination of years of experience as a creator and I know that if you follow them they will make a big difference in your creative life every day.

1. Create Something Every Single Day

Persistence is key when it comes to creativity. Every day you create, you are exercising your creative muscles and becoming bigger, better and more confident with what you do. You’re also keeping the momentum going which is essential to living the creative life. Create something every single day and you’ll quickly see your creativity flourish.

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2. Always Have Your Basic Tools at Hand

Always have your most basic creative tools at hand and you’ll never be stuck with an idea and no way to express it. Your most basic tools might be as simple as a sketchbook and pencil, or as complex as an entire creativity on-the-go kit complete with all the tools you need to create on the spot wherever you are. Whatever it is, make sure you have it on hand for when inspiration strikes.

3. Believe In Your Creativity

To live the creative life you need to believe in your abilities and set out to express them creatively every single day. Without the belief, staying focused and creatively productive can be tough! Importantly, you need to believe in your creativity before anyone else can, so if you’re ready to make your mark, start believing in your own creativity today.

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4. Cultivate a Creativity Habit

Forming a creativity habit is essential to living a creative life. Set aside as little as 30 minutes a day, and choose a set time and place to make it happen. Stick to it and show up to create every day, even when you’re feeling uninspired and out of ideas. Of course you can go on and create for much longer than your set time each day but it’s a minimum and a start to get you going. You’ll be surprised at the difference it will make to your creative output over the course of a week, month and year!

5. Limit Your Options to Focus In

As a creator, you instinctively think that having options would a great thing but it can actually make the creative process much harder. Give yourself some self imposed boundaries to create within such as specific creative medium, theme or a time limit. Limiting your options by setting these rules of creativity will help you focus in and spark unique ideas you never would have thought of before to create something truly amazing.

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6. Embrace Your ‘Bad’ Ideas

Embrace all your ideas, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and give them a go before dismissing them. It’s easy to make a judgement on a half formed idea but until you have further developed it, your assessment of it as a ‘bad’ idea is just a hunch. Some initially bad ideas can form into something amazing so give them a fair go, to form into something wonderful first.

7. Join a Creative Community

There’s nothing more powerful than joining a creative community. Whether it’s online or in your local area, joining together with other creative people and sharing your experiences, challenges and successes is a powerful way to propel yourself to living a fulfilling creative life every single day. Your creative community will be there to support you through both good and bad and cheer you all the way. Being part of a creative community is one of the most crucial rules of creativity because it will help you keep going even when things get tough.

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You might also like: 10 Things You Probably Do That Block Your Creativity

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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