What is the flow? The ultimate goal of the creative spirits. When your creativity flows and you lose track of time — ideas and images flow feverishly from your brain to your fingers. The term emulates water flowing as your ideas are born. “In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.”
Maya Angelou said “You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” And thankfully this is true. But can you do things to increase and nurture your creativity? Absolutely! Here are some innovative ways to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Make a to-do list before you start
Clear your mind of any tasks that need to be completed by writing them down and not thinking about them while you are focusing. They will be waiting for you when you have time for them and if anything else pops into your mind, jot it down and return to your project.
2. Focus on your goal
Some Jedi wisdom from Star Wars “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” Take a moment to take in the gravity of that statement. Leo Babauta states in The Magical Power of Focus, which is a definite print and save article, “focus is the most important determination of whether you’ll achieve a goal or stick to creating a new habit. Not self-discipline, not rewards, not sheer willpower, not even motivation (also an important ingredient, however). If you can maintain your focus on a goal or habit, you will more often than not achieve that goal or create that habit.
If you can’t maintain your focus, you won’t achieve the goal, unless it’s such an easy goal that it would have happened anyway. It’s that simple.”
3. Create a nurturing environment for yourself
A cup of tea, a scented candle and organized workspace. What creates an environment that boosts your creative senses? Take some time to thing about it and make your own creative nest.
4. Schedule time
Just as you would any other tasks or item in your life, schedule time in your life that is open to creative time and projects that you love. Or during your work day if you work in a creative field.
5. Make music the backdrop of your day
A great soundtrack for your day can easily be created on Pandora or Spotify. I like music without words such as classical or spa music when I am writing since I want to focus on the words I am using to create my own art. Singing along is fun for some types of projects but I know what works best for me at certain times.
6. Use Pinterest to find some visual stimulation
I have created boards with beautiful photography, color boards and many other things that spark my imagination. Or share in others inspiration as you stroll through their visual diary. I also post things that I love and might use for later work projects.
7. Read a book that you love
Going to another place in a book is a great way to unwind and clear your mind. The ultimate in relaxation to me is reading.
8. Turn off the notifications, phone and all the digital distractions
You will not miss anything. Or it will be waiting when you get to it. Seriously!
9. Don't expect perfection on the first take
Keep creating and allow yourself to get into the flow of your work. If you stop and edit frequently while you are writing your brain switches from left to right side thinking and you can break your own creative flow. Edit later.
10. Be willing to make mistakes
Perfectionism can be the enemy of creativity. Don't let the fear of getting started stop your creative actions.
11. Know yourself
Are you a morning person who thrives on the quiet of the house or a night owl staying up until the wee hours working? Work with your natural rhythms to reach your maximum potential.
12. Hit a creative wall? Get some fresh air
Taking a walk when you hit a stopping point is a great way to reinvigorate yourself. Your brain uses 20% of your body's oxygen intake at any given time, refuel with some fresh oxygen. Even if you just walk around your office or go get a glass of water. Stretch, breath and, then refocus!
I know that you have some ways to get yourself into the flow. Share your tips with me and let's grow! Follow @PegFitzpatrick