This summer, I haven’t been doing as much writing on here as I usually do. That’s because I’ve been making room for more family time and reading time. If you are a writer, my two best pieces of advice to you are to make yourself available to do the work and to read as many books as you possibly can. That may seem counterintuitive–to write, you must read–but it is in the activity of reading where new ideas can begin to be pieced together and your writing style can evolve. I am also a big believer that once you are empty, you must fill yourself again, in order to then give your new findings and perspective away to others. This makes the idea process important, not only for you, but for other people as well.The world needs your ideas. Click To Tweet
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?
Both sharing and consuming is beneficial for everyone involved.
When we pour into others and share what we have learned, our first response afterwards should be to fill ourselves up again with new knowledge. Then, it becomes a constant flow of information. All people involved become more confident in what they have learned, commits it to memory and builds even more trust with each other.
Information consumption is easier than it has ever been, too. Books, magazines, newspapers and especially the internet has increased the easiness of consuming. With laptops and tablets, I find that I consume even more on the run and you probably find that as well. New information is always at your fingertips.
With consuming being so easy in 2013, we should always be moving forward. Reading is just one way to increase your knowledge and to consume more. There is listening to podcasts and watching vlogs as well. These are just some ways to become more knowledgable in specific areas. One of the best things about consuming now is that you get to pick and choose what you consume. It saves time and is more beneficial when the ideas that you need to read are the only ones going in. Viewing only positive information changes your outlook on life and cuts the negative out. Of course, this is different than most people’s outlook. Most people don’t even realize the negativity in their life. When we are more intentional with what we consume, we can actually change our outlook. This sounds like something you want in your life, right?
So, here are 3 ways to recognize if it is time to share or consume: