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The Simplest Ways To Be Highly Creative

The Simplest Ways To Be Highly Creative

Everyone is creative. People who are highly creative see themselves as creative, and make time for their creativity. They work at it, and they don’t care about making mistakes—they expect them. As Thomas Edison said:

None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Edison also said: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

If you want to be highly creative, these strategies will help.

1. Create Anyway: Out of Quantity Comes Quality.

You want to create something—a piece of writing, or art, or a product or method—which is amazing. Create junk. Lots of junk. The more junk you create, the more you’ll stimulate your mind to produce something new and exciting. If you wait for the perfect idea, you’ll wait forever.

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2. Schedule Time for Creativity.

Everyone’s busy. Highly creative people schedule time to work on their creative projects. There’s no other way. Don’t wait until you have “more time.” If you only have five minutes a day, that’s fine.

3. Become Playful: Collect Tools and Toys for Creativity.

Kids love toys, and creative adults love playing too. Working with your hands is a form of meditation. If you want to build a deck for your house, or a model airplane, or cook a five course meal or knit a jumper, go ahead. You’ll be more creative.

To become more playful, watch this TED talk by Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play.

4. Ask Questions. Question Everything.

Become creative by asking questions, primarily of yourself, but also of others:

The Five Ws, Five Ws and one H, or the Six Ws are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering.

You may have heard of the concept of “beginner’s mind”; it’s the foundation of creativity.

5. Trust Your Intuition. Yes, You’re Intuitive.

Your creativity depends on your intuition. We’re all intuitive. Our stone age ancestors wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes if they hadn’t paid attention to their subconscious impulses, both to hunt, and to avoid becoming prey.

Albert Einstein said: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Make space in your life for intuition, and your creativity will flourish.

6. Set Limits, and Create Within Those Limits.

To become more creative, set some constraints. The simplest constraint to set is to give yourself a non-negotiable deadline for a piece of creative work. Once you’ve set your deadline, get it done.

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Here’s the key: get your creative work done even if you think you have no time, and no budget. Ask yourself to creatively come up with solutions to these constraints.

7. Go Where You’re Most Creative: In a Coffee Shop? In the Shower?

cafemama

    Think about the last time you got a great idea. Chances are, you weren’t sitting in your office. Perhaps you were at the gym, or driving to work, or sitting in a coffee shop. Creative inspirations bubble up from your subconscious when your conscious mind is occupied with a task you can do without thinking about it.

    8. Drink Up. A Glass of Beer or Wine May Make You More Creative.

    You can’t be creative if you’re drunk, but a glass of wine may loosen your inhibitions sufficiently for you to be creative. Try it.

    9. Doodle, Then Write About Your Doodles.

    When you draw, you’re using the right side of your brain, the creative, intuitive side. You don’t need to be artistic, just doodle on a piece of paper for a couple of minutes. Then ask yourself what the doodle has to tell you, and write it down. Or, you can ask yourself a question, doodle, and then write down the solution.

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    10. Get a Pen. Handwriting May Make You More Creative.

    Neuroscientists’ studies seem to suggest that writing by hand can make you more creative, and it also improves your memory. Try it yourself. Write some notes and ideas. Writing by hand may give you fresh insights.

    11. Work Hard. Struggle. Then Let The Project Go.

    Creative breakthroughs arrive after you’ve worked hard at something. The intense struggle seems to be necessary. If you’re stuck on a project, keep going. Work hard. Then let the project go. Your breakthrough will come as a sudden inspiration when you’re doing something else.

    12. Map Your Mind. Make Connections With a Mind Map.

    Mind maps are a useful tool to help you to think and develop creative insights. British author Tony Buzan made the term “mind map” popular.

    To create a mind map, draw a circle in the center of a sheet of paper, and write your topic in the circle. Draw lines as branches radiating out from the circle, and add a word to each branch.

    Try a few of these 12 ways to be highly creative. You’ll be amazed at the results.

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    Featured photo credit: tsevis (via photopin) 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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