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How to be more creative

Deirdre Wilson – Tuesday, September 09, 2014   


Creativity requires you to be present and focussed. The 10% inspiration 90% perspiration rule applies to the creative process: bright ideas are easily come by but execution of those ideas is the difference between fantasy and reality. What's the solution? Create before you consume. 

Apart from having robust routine and some sensible processes you need a heap of motivation to grind through the process of bringing creative ideas to life. And, motivation works like a muscle, it fatigues during the day as you exercise it more. So it makes sense to harness motivation when it is fresh for the tasks that benefit from it most. Save routine tasks that don't require you to be all that present for later in the day.

It is really easy to be distracted by the huge volume of information available on the Internet. There are videos, blog posts, case studies, lol cats and the worlds shortest runways. But you can spend time exploring the richness of other peoples creative outpourings as well as get your own stuff done. How? The answer lies in structuring your day so that you are using your ability to pay attention at its peak for the things that require it.

Spend the early hours of the day getting your own creative work doneTweet this

Create before you consume. Spend the early hours of the day getting your own creative work done then, later on, look at what everyone else has done. We are more motivated early in the day so that is the best time of day to tackle those tasks that require imagination, creativity or problem solving skills. When we are more motivated we are better able to focus on what needs to be done, we can concentrate on solving the problem or drafting the strategy etc.

Later in the day, when your motivation is fading is the time that you need a bit of inspiration from other people. It makes sense to check out what others are doing when your motivation is lower. Any inspiration you get from looking at other peoples stuff can be noted down in a spark file and acted on in the early part of another day.

self discipline doesn't look creative but it is the key to creativityTweet this

Hmm, that all sounds like having a bit of self-discipline. Funny that, most successful creative people have enormous self discipline but it doesn't look creative so isn't talked about much. Forget about how things look, if you want to be creative you have to knuckle down and do the work otherwise you are just dreaming.

At Hothouse Design we love a good book. Here are a couple we recommend about creativity and productivity. Use our link to Amazon and the affiliate fees will go to charity:

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality:   Along with the gift of creativity come the obstacles to making ideas happen: lack of organisation, lack of accountability and a lack of community support.

The Creative Habit: The Creative Habit isn't about getting the lightning bolt of inspiration but rather the artistic necessity of old-fashioned virtues such as discipline, preparation and routine

Further Reading

More on getting in the right frame of mind to be creative...
- Strategies for content creation: turning fans into content
- About getting organised with habits and processes

This post is by Deirdre Wilson, Director of Hothouse Design – Australia's most sensible information design company.
Deirdre applies her background in industrial design and design management to the complex and wondrous projects undertaken by Hothouse Design.

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