Perfectly bookmarked between Christmas Day and New Year's Day comes this mid-week lull, in which days blend into one, and you've consumed far too many leftover Lindt chocolates. As we count down the days until we finally bid adieu to 2016, it's easy to feel drained of energy, and lacking inspiration. One of the ways I have always found to pass time is to stay creative. When I was younger I would play for hours with LEGO, building imaginary worlds.
But as an adult, it's a little more difficult to find ways to be creative. The term creativity is tossed around a lot. But the truth is everyone is creative, it's not a special gene only some possess - the secret is unlocking your creativity. Much of what I learned about being creative, was in college - and surprisingly not in the many of the art courses I took where researching, sketchbooking, and moodboarding were daily tasks. I learned the majority, in a creative business class - a wacky 8 am (on a friday!) lecture that focused on creative problem solving for the boardroom. One of my biggest takeaways was that just because you were deemed "creative" didn't mean all your ideas were good. Just that you had more than others.
I used creativity every day.... vomiting up tons of new ideas. The first bits were usually useless (or had already been done) - then I get down to something real. Applying creativity to work - thinking, "what hasn't been done before?". And combining different concepts and inspirations for something entirely new.
Here I'm sharing some of my tips for staying creative each day ...
1) Change your routine
Sleep upside down in your bed. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand. Listen to music from a far-off land while cooking dinner.Using different parts of the brain for even the most mundane tasks will fire new synapses - who knows what that change of electrical or chemical energy will unlock!
2. work when you're tired
ever notice you have a stream of ideas when you lay your head down? Harness that. When your brain begins to drift into la-la land, the crazier (and often better) ideas will rise to the surface. Ideas the fully awake you would usually shut down. keep a notebook next to your bed to avoid reaching for your phone (where the light will surely keep you up all night). I even dreamed up the idea for this post while laying in bed (upside down) one night.
3. Have a drink
Similar to working when you're tired, is working after having a drink (one drink!). With your inhibitions slightly lowered, you'll be more likely to think outside the box. Obviously, this is not an invitation to work on your next presentation absolutely wasted, and a gentle reminder to edit while dead sober if you do decide to try out this tip!
4. Don't ask for the Wifi
On my morning commute, I have the option to switch on Wifi while riding the tube. I chose not to, we are so connected all day every day - it's nice to have some solitude even if it's just for the 20-minute tube ride. Hang out in and old bookstore, leave your cellphone in your pocket, turn your laptop off while traveling. You'd be surprised where your mind will wander when you aren't a slave to outside influences and the constant hum of something electronic.
Similar to the above, keep things analog by carrying around a pen and paper. Stuck on hold with waiting music? use this time to doodle. Let your pen and mind wander as create abstract loops across the page. With your mind focused elsewhere, it'll be interesting to see what turns up on paper.