Or Damn You ‘Eureka Moment’ Get Here This Minute!
Creativity is a funny thing. When you need it the most it seems hell-bent on playing hide and seek. Have you ever had to be creative on demand? Perhaps at school you had to write a poem and read it out to the class. It wasn’t easy was it? If you were anything like me, you stared at the blank paper for most of the time, wrote something that you weren’t entirely happy with and hoped your peers wouldn’t crucify you.
And the annoying thing?
You knew that if you had been given the time to take it away with you and work on it over a few weeks you could have written something much better. Well, despair no longer about not being able to get those creative juices flowing.
Here are a few useful tips to not only switch the tap on, but to overflow the bath.
- Brainstorm: That’s right, declare all-out war on your frontal lobes! Sit down and blitzkrieg your brain cells. If they complain, remind them that it’s actually good for you and will prevent you from getting Alzheimer’s later. The trick here is not to edit out the bad, but to break through the bad barrier to the good stuff that’s hiding further back. Or if you want another analogy, think about it like picking fruit. Your first ideas are usually the low-hanging fruit, the ones that any chump or chimp can reach, the better fruit is further up the tree but you need to get rid of the low hanging fruit first.
- Think Laterally: Half the time you aren’t getting the solution to the problem because you are butting at it head on. Well, the door may be locked, but did you notice that window around the side that was open? Probably not. If you only tackle jobs from one angle you miss the little sidestep answer that’s possibly waiting there.
- Get Crazy With It: Have fun with the problem. Come up with ideas and suggestions for no other purpose than to amuse yourself. It takes the pressure off and you’ll be amazed how many times these far-out solutions can be paired back into something that’s useable.
- Think About It By Not Thinking About It: Your subconscious is actually a great problem solver, but a lot of the time you wouldn’t know this because you are too busy trying hard to “be creative”. What you want is for the whole thing to be in your brain like a wad of chewing tobacco. You chew, chew, chew, then, when you least expect it, your subconscious spits out the solution. This is the reason that a lot of people have great ideas in the shower or in that dreamy space just before they fall asleep.
- Imbibe In A Little Vino (Or Whatever You Like To Drink): Now, I’m not saying that people are more creative when they’re nine-sheets-to-the-wind, but a little wine (or whisky) can actually help the creative process by loosening your focus and making it easier to think creatively. This works because alcohol relaxes you. Remember what we were saying before about relaxing and not focusing on the problem? Here’s a bit of friendly advice. Check with your work place to find out if they are happy for you to help your creativity along in this way before you turn your office into a set from Madmen.
If you have some useful techniques to help get your creativity on, we’d love to hear them.
Comment below for what you do when faced with a deadline.