by Ali Washington |
No matter what your area of creation is – be it writing, drawing, painting or number crunching –we all create something on a daily basis. Often times we only consider artistic expression as being expressions of creativity, when in reality creativity takes many different forms.
Productivity = Creativity
I believe that we can think of the words creativity and productivity as one in the same. So if you are an accountant keeping track of someone’s books, you are just as much of a creative as someone who draws landscapes. Your creations are different, but the process is very similar.
So if you are finding yourself in a rut, or finding it difficult to motivate yourself to do what it is you do, here are my 5 favourite tips to help get you in productivity mode:
Tip 1: Write Out Your To Do List On A Piece Of Paper
It can be very helpful to clear your mind of any distractions when you are trying to focus your energy and attention on your creative endeavours. Which can be hard to do when you are worrying about forgetting to pick up the shampoo you need at the grocery store or to pay your phone bill. Getting all your life maintenance stuff out of your head and onto a piece of paper – or a word document – will give you the peace of mind that you do not have to focus on those items right now, that you can let them slip into your subconscious because you don’t need to worry about fully forgetting about them anymore. You may find that focusing is much easier after you try this exercise.
Tip 2: Move
Sometimes, getting stagnant in your body can create stagnancy in your mind. One of the best antidotes I know for writers block is to go and move my body for a while, and I know that this technique works for any form of creative expression. I highly recommend that instead of trying to push through a block, that you get up and do some yoga, go for a walk around the block or around your building, jog in place, do some pushups and jumping jacks – whatever it is you feel like doing. One thing to note here is that when you are feeling uninspired, getting up to move may feel like that last thing on earth you want to do – and that is all the more reason to do it! It will move you out of your energetic funk and back into your flow.
Tip 3: Talk It Out
Brainstorming is a part of many creative team processes for a good reason. Getting to speak your ideas out loud to someone, or even better to talk about your ideas with someone and get feedback is one of the best ways to fuel creativity. You may not even be aware of all the amazing ideas that are floating around in your subconscious right now until you speak them to someone else. Find someone to bounce your ideas off to, or to engage in conversation with. You never know what may come up, and as the saying goes, sometimes two brains are better than one!
Tip 4: Meditate/Relax
If moving and talking are not doing it for you, there is always stillness. Interrupting what may be stressful or dull thoughts around your area of creative pursuit with an intentional break in thinking may be just what the productivity doctor ordered. Finding a calm space where you can simply watch your breath, or repeat a mantra could unleash a great deal of inspiration – which is a phenomenon that happens when you take your focus off of the thing you were currently focusing so hard on before and were experiencing a block with. Give your mind a break to just be, and see what arises.
Tip 5: Go Have Some Fun!
Lastly, if work is just not happening, there is no sense in chaining yourself to your desk or workspace only to toil for not. Getting up and getting out for some enjoyment is one of the most under utilized creativity sparks there are. When you are in a state of fun, you are in a state of joy. You are in a state of relaxed openness, and in this state, creativity and inspiration can strike with much greater ease, than when you are in a state of stress or pushing or boredom. So go play that game of solitaire or hit some balls at the driving range. Relax and become open in your energy, and watch what amazing ideas come to life!
What do you do when you get into a creative slump? Have you ever tried any of the ideas I have mentioned? I would love to hear your experience!
by Ali Washington