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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 31, 2020

    How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

    How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

    How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

    There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

    The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

    For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

    1. Feeling Eager and Energized

    This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

    2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

    The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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    3. Still No Action

    More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

    4. Flicker of Hope Left

    You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

    5. Fading Quickly

    Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

    6. Vow to Yourself

    Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

    Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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    How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

    Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

    To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

    1. Feeling Eager and Energized

    This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

    2. Plan

    Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

    3. Resistance

    Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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    What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

    4. Confront Those Feelings

    Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

    Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

    5. Put Results Before Comfort

    You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

    6. Repeat

    Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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    Final Thoughts

    Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

    If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

    Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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