In order to ship great stuff (even mediocre stuff for that matter) on a regular basis you are going to have to find ways to spark your creativity. As I look back at the last year or so, I realize now how much my creative productivity has increased. I paused for a few moments to make a list of the activities that have contributed to the increase. So, in no particular order, here they are – seven ways I spark creativity.
Change your venue – Try doing your pure creative tasks like drawing or writing at a local coffee shop. After a full day working in your office or with clients, the change of scenery will help you change gears. I often find a local coffee shop and bring only my MacBook along so as to reduce distractions.
Work less – Tired minds and bodies do not handle creative tasks well in my experience. Sure the occasional 18 hour day is inevitable if you are aiming high. The trick is to find a more human level of ten or so hour days that allow for down time and human interaction. At least that formula is working better for me.
Consume less information – Ask yourself if you can really process and act on the level of information you are consuming. When I asked myself this question several months ago the answer was no. I read fewer books and consume fewer blog posts on a daily basis. Please don’t take this to mean stop reading all together. Quite the contrary, become more selective and focused in your information consumption.
Listen to Music – It’s amazing what a pair of ear buds and iTunes can do to convert a busy coffee shop or full airline flight into a focused creative environment. I’ve listened to the same two or three CD’s over and over again while writing for the past few months and it works, so I’m not messing with it for now.
Live, love and laugh – My Aunt signs her emails with this phrase. I try not to confusing living with existing, for they are quite different. Showing love for others and laughing each day make you a happier person with all kinds of crazy endorphins racing around your body. That’s energy you can focus on creative efforts.
Take a vacation – I’m just back from one and can’t believe how refreshed and recharged my brain is. Just a few days in paradise with my wife recharged me for another three or so months. I’m a big believer in finding a way to get away for two to three nights every few months. Finding a way to get away for a week once a year is also highly desirable.
Write (maybe even a blog) – For me at least this is the creativity fountain of youth. I arrived at this coffee shop tired and mentally foggy. After about thirty minutes of writing this post I feel refreshed and energized. I also now have a list of ideas for when I feel stuck and need to spark my own creativity.