Dearest ones, Happy 2021! Despite still feeling much like the year we left behind, there is so much ahead of us to be hopeful for. During the last past days, I have been working with clients around the topic of creativity and exploring ways to bring it back to our day to day experiences. I lost count of the times I have heard someone say (or myself) "I'm not creative enough" or "my ideas aren't very creative" or " I find really difficult to find new ideas".
Let me break it down for you: there is nothing wrong with you, with me, with us. However, the way we are trained, schooled and prepared for work in environments who are predominantly risk adverse and change avoiders, which allows very little space for "controlled" creativity to flourish. I remember very vividly how, back in the corporate world, after hours of staring at a screen replying to emails, I was asked to put my creative hat on and come up with an immediate solution. Of course, it wouldn't happen here and then. I felt extremely frustrated. I blamed myself and my lack of resources. However, I was missing a fundamental part of the equation that would lead to open up the creative juices again. Side note: here is one of my all time favourite TED talks about how creativity is an inherent capacity of every single human being and how, partially, our current educational system is killing it.
Routine and repetitive tasks kill creativity.Creativity needs time to expand, to play, to breathe and explore. We can't expect our brains to switch from autopilot to creative genius in 1 second. We need to provide a more suitable environment to wake up. And most importantly, we need to bring it to our daily routine. Just like a muscle, it improves and expand with repetition. And you might say, why do I need creativity for? Besides the tons of more fun you will definitely have when you embrace your inner child into play, creativity allows us to be more efficient and effective in problem solving, critical thinking, increases our focus and capacity for analysis, resilience and mental health. So where do I start? Here is a summary diagram with some ideas for you to try:
Photo credit: Shout
And some of my favourite suggestions to unleash your creative juices:
1. Be curious, be collaborative Creativity is a muscle that can be built and improved systematically. And through conversations, shares and reading, the brain has the magical capacity to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to, voila, bring new ideas as inputs are consolidated. 2. Have fun & do something that you like Part of getting in "the zone" in the creative process is starting with something that pleases you. Love and creativity are intertwined. A hobby, such as playing an instrument, running, or painting, can help you relax and fight stress while giving your creativity a boost. 3. Be open to be inspired by others Your next idea won't come from copying what a competitor has already done. So look for innovation in different industries and niches, 4. Rest, rest and rest after Sometimes your best ideas will come when you're not wracking your brain trying to come up with the next great idea. It could be while you're sleeping. A good night of rest will help you be more productive and creative. It could be while your mind wanders in the shower that you get a great idea. If your creativity is lacking, unplug. Relax. And let your brain do its magic. 5. Move your body The average person sits between 7 and 15 hours every day. Besides the effect on health, the static position and almost not flow of energy, makes your mood static, which means it drains your creativity. Stanford published a research piece where stated that walking improves creative thinking. 6. Set the Right Mood If you feel stuck, change gears, do something to change the current energy levels. Shake it off. Listening to music, dancing or a change in your environment can definitely help to bring a fresher perspective. Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear how you decide to tap into your creative sel. Looking forward to reconnecting with all of you in this new year! With love and kindness,