If you have an idea and you want to impact people with it, you will need to make it tangible in some way. If it is an online course that you want to produce, you will need pages for students to use, and you need to have an email responder in place to funnel people in the right direction. If your idea is to open a restaurant, you will need to have a location, employees, vendors, systems, licenses, and don’t forget hours of operation. If your idea is build a non-profit organization, you will need to have a way for people to donate money and a mission to inform people of what you are wanting to do with their money.
Last week I wrote about How to Make Time for Creativity. While that is all fine and dandy, what do we do after we have made time for creativity?
Let’s take a look at a couple of ways we can stir up the creative pot by stretching ourselves and practicing the lost art of writing things down.
1. Get outside of your bubble! Try a new workspace!
Are there certain places you feel more creative than others? Is it a certain coffee shop that gets your creative juices flowing? Maybe for you, it’s at the local park, people watching, or a nice café downtown.
Sometimes we need to simply break away from our routine and try something different. Different for me comes in the form of heading down to the local coffee shop where I feel I achieve maximum productivity. Why, you ask? Because for me, my little bubble of a workspace is my apartment. I feel comfortable here. I know this space. While having a normal place to work is good for consistency, it can also become monotonous and mundane. Venture out somewhere new and unknown. It just might be what sparks your next idea.
According to a study published in The Journal of Consumer Research, “moderate background noise can increase creativity. The ideal volume? About 70 decibels worth of conversations, acoustic music and whirring espresso machinery.”
Another study by three University of Illinois professors last year found that “[A] moderate … level of ambient noise induces processing disfluency, which leads to abstract cognition and consequently enhances creativity.”
Maybe that coffee shop you have wanted to check out has just the right amount of ambient noise that will inspire your next creative idea or project.
What new space will you find this week?
2. Write it down!
Grab a pencil, some paper, and write it down.
How many times have you had a great idea but did not write it down? Let’s just say I have done that more times than I can possibly count. Like I am sure many of you have experienced, I feel some of my best ideas come to me as I am lying in bed attempting to go to sleep. I say to myself, “Oh, I am too tired to write this down. I will for sure remember it in the morning.” That could not be more further from the truth.
Dustin Wax, project manager for LifeHack.org, claims, “When we write something down, research suggests that as far as our brain is concerned, it is as if we were doing that thing.” Writing down your ideas not only gives your brain an opportunity to visualize the idea but this is also where the term “quality over quantity” can come into play. Writing down multiple ideas frees your brain up from having to remember so much information. You are then able to dedicate time to each individual idea and cultivate that idea into something greater.
“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.” Michael LeBoeuf
How will you break out of your bubble this week? How will you make an effort to write down your ideas?
Creative Commons Photo Credit by ollesvensson
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