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7 Fresh Ways to Spark Creativity That You Haven’t Tried

7 Fresh Ways to Spark Creativity That You Haven’t Tried

Being creative can be tough sometimes. Every day you show up ready to pluck a new idea from the depths of your imagination and sometimes they just aren’t there. No matter how hard you try, the creativity just doesn’t seem to flow some days. Of course it doesn’t mean being creative is completely out of reach at those times, rather it might just mean you need to try something new.

Next time you’re in a creative slump take note because today I’m going to share with you some fresh ways to spark creativity that you might not have tried before.

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1. Use Old and Unique Objects as Inspiration

There is a world of untapped inspiration in the thousands of old and unique objects that surround you. Every object has a unique story to tell of where and how it was made, what it has been used for, who has owned it, where it has lived throughout its life and how it has aged. Take a look through a family member’s attic, your local opportunity shop or a specialist antique store to find some objects to spark creativity.

2. Play With Color

Color is something that can really bring out your creativity, so do some experimentation and just play. Get out your paints, colored pencils, magazines, and paper to set yourself free with a color explosion. Don’t worry about creating a masterpiece—or even anything at all. Just doodle, cut, paste, paint and express yourself freely with color to see the creative inspiration start flowing.

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3. Talk It Out

Sometimes the best way to spark your creativity is to talk it out with a friend. Whatever is keeping you stuck is likely so because it is trapped within your own head. By getting your thoughts out there you make space for all your amazing creativity lurking in the dark recesses of your mind.

4. Experiment With Technology

Technology is such an amazing resource, literally at our fingertips, but how often do we truly tap into its power? Harness the power of technology to find some creative inspiration online within seconds: get digital with your visuals using image editing software, or play around with some digital beats. The sky is the limit once you introduce technology, and you never know how it might spark creativity.

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5. Play Like a Child

As children we’re taught to act more like adults, and as a consequence as we grow up we often lose that childlike wonder we had as kids. That childlike wonder is something special though, and it can be very useful for your creativity. To tap into your childhood creativity, let loose and play like a child! Indulge in make-believe, draw a picture just because, and fully commit yourself to exploring for the day. These activities have the potential to spark your creativity because they are all about doing new and different things without a set agenda or goal.

6. Take a Walk Somewhere New

It’s amazing the impact experiencing a new place can have. While you might not be able to travel to your dream exotic location today, you can take a walk somewhere new and bask in the experience of everything a new place has to offer. The sights, sounds, smells, buildings, plants, animals and people of a new place all have the ability to shape our ideas in entirely new ways and can be a great way to spark creativity.

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7. Do Nothing

It sounds a little counterintuitive but sometimes what you really need to do is nothing at all! By doing nothing you give your mind the opportunity to wander and that is when some of the most amazing creative connections are made. If you’re struggling to spark creativity, sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing at all—so sit back and relax!

Featured photo credit: Shall We Play? by PermaCultured via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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