When does creativity strike?
I'm a runner. I often experience my aha moments on the trail. Also, I am a morning person. I find my focus is better in the early morning hours, but it's different for everyone.
Let's talk about your creative process. In 1940, an advertising executive named James Webb Young published a short guide titled “A Technique for Producing Ideas”. I want to explore his concept of the creative process, and why it goes beyond a spark.
The first step is to gather ideas, experiences, and information, regardless of your creative outlet, The painter can gather ideas in nature. The content creator may need to get out there and experience life. This can fit into a time block.
Step two is to reason and consciously think about what you want to create. This is the step in the process where we connect ideas in new and different ways. As Mark Twain wrote, “There is no such thing as a new idea.” The most creative things that are put out into the world are just taking old ideas and putting them together in new ways. This is the reasoning process of creativity. Again, easily blocked into your calendar.
Step three is stepping away from our work. Inspiration strikes when you are not thinking about the problem. Maybe this has happened to you in the shower? To find that creative spark, you need to gather the information, think about it, and then step away for a while. Yes, you can block time to step away from your work.
Step four involves letting the idea return to you. At some point, you have to stop thinking about it and start working on it. There is a flash of insight and a surge of energy. Can't seem to ignite that creative spark? Trust the process. Take a step back and do something you love, or something that you know has ignited the creative sparks in you.
A ninja tip: always have several projects running at once. If you get that creative spark, jot it down so you can come back to it later. While I am working on Project B, maybe I get a spark of inspiration for Project A. I can go back to Project A and create, and then wait for inspiration for Project B to strike.
Your final step is to shape and develop your idea based on feedback. You have to put your creative work out into the world in order to take it to take this step. For any idea to succeed, you have to release it and refine it and get feedback and get how can I make this better. Of course, you have to look at where you're getting that input.
I hope you see how all these pieces (minus the creative spark) can be put into time blocks.
Need more proof? Here’s why you should give it a try:
If you're still not convinced, then let me end this by saying that many creatives feel that locking their creativity into a box on their calendar really dampens who they are. My recommendation is to try it for all the reasons I listed above. But if not, I teach all the different systems for organizing your time in The Life After Busy Bootcamp.
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