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You Can Have A Creative Life If You Follow These Rules

You Can Have A Creative Life If You Follow These Rules

We all want a creative life, but actually living one can feel like a challenge at times. The thing to remember though is that living a creative life is a habit more than anything else, and as with all habits there are certain rules you can follow that make sticking to it easy.

If you’re wanting to life a more creative life, follow these ten rules and you’ll soon find living a creative life to be easier than you imagined.

1. Learn to say no to things that don’t light you up

To live a creative life you need to be specific about what you do and don’t let into your life. By saying no to things that don’t light you up and excite you, you’ll be making room for the things that do. You can’t do everything, so make sure the things you are doing are the very best for you and your creativity.

2. Let curiosity guide you

Let your curiosity guide your creativity and really take the time to explore. Being creative is all about exploration and discovery, so let your imagination run wild and be open to the possibilities of what could be. You never know what amazing opportunities might come your way.

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3. Expect, accept & embrace your natural imperfections

Nothing is perfect, and neither is your creative work. It’s easy to fall into the trap of lamenting your imperfections but they are natural and completely normal. Creative work isn’t meant to be ‘perfect.’ It’s meant to be real and raw, made by a human being not by a machine. Embrace the imperfections in your work and you’ll see yourself flourish creatively.

4. Don’t compare yourself with others

Comparison can be a huge trap in living a creative life. The problem when you compare is that you’re not comparing like for like. When you compare your work, with all its known inconsistencies and struggles, to someone else’s carefully curated presentation of their work, you are comparing two completely different things. It’s simply not a fair comparison, and you will lose every single time. Remember your creative work is wonderful and unique just as it is, there is no need for comparison.

5. Make the space and time live a creative life

Living a creative life is easy when you have the time and space dedicated to make it work. Even if you work a full time job and live in a tiny apartment, you can still make a small time and space for your creativity. It might be as small as a simple desk in the corner of your lounge room and small daily commitment to show up and create.

6. Create a daily creativity habit and stick to it

There’s amazing power in forming a daily creativity habit, and it doesn’t need to be a huge time commitment either. If all you have time for is 30 minutes a day, start with that. Commit to a specific time of day every single day and make that your time to create. Schedule it in like an appointment and stick to it as part of your daily routine. There is amazing power in forming a daily habit, it’s time to start harnessing it for your creativity.

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7. Stop being your own worst critic

For all the criticism you might get from others, it’s quite likely that you are actually your own worst critic. Think about the way you’re talking to yourself about your creative work and consider whether it’s negative or positive. If you find it’s leaning towards the negative end of the spectrum, put an end to it by affirming some more positive thoughts. Your work is good enough, you have enough time and you will get there!

8. Keep learning

To live a creative life, it’s important that you never stop learning. There are so many great creators who have come before us and there is a lot you can learn from them. Whatever your particular creative field, make an effort to learn something new every week. It could be as simple as reading the story of a great creator in your field or as in-depth as learning a completely new style or technique. Learning keeps your creative mind active and your ideas fresh.

9. Expose yourself to new experiences

Living a creative life and creating every day means you need to expose yourself to new experiences. Drawing an idea from within during the creative process can be difficult at times, particularly when you are lacking experiences to draw from. Living is what informs your creativity. It is where you will draw your inspiration from and its importance cannot be underestimated. So get out there and do something new!

10. Keep showing up no matter what

If you want to live a creative life, you need to keep showing up and creating no matter what. We all have down days when we’re not feeling inspired but the most important thing to remember is that inspiration comes from doing. The more you show up and engage with creative work, the more inspired you’ll feel.

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11. Connect with a creative community

Creative community is so important. It will keep you on track, motivated, inspired and give you an amazing support system. If you want to live a creative life, find some creative people in your area to connect with.  They’ll be there for you to support and encourage you in your work, while you’re cheering them on with theirs too.

12. Don’t restrict yourself to one creative medium

Just because you consider yourself to be a writer, painter or designer, does not mean that’s all you should ever do.  If you’re feeling like you want to explore a new creative area then let yourself do that.  Living a creative life isn’t about pursuing one creative medium relentlessly, it’s about experimenting and finding what works.

13. Share your creative accomplishments

Always share your creative accomplishments with others! You’ve worked hard to get there and your good work shouldn’t go unrecognized.  Show off your creative work with pride.

14. Let your creativity evolve over time

Your creativity should be ever evolving, growing and changing. Don’t box yourself in just because you think your style or medium is all you should ever do. The magic of living a creative life is that you can steer it in any direction you choose. Let your creativity evolve with time, it might surprise you.

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15. Don’t forget to have fun (because creating is meant to be fun!)

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, creativity is meant to be fun! Let your imagination run wild, experiment with different materials and when the pressure is getting too much, create something just for the fun of it. No goals, no pressure – just creativity running free!

Photo credit: Abby Lanes, Flickr, CC

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Last Updated on November 5, 2020

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come, and then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

The things we read are like food for our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great material.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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8. Have a Quick Nap

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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