The biggest challenge that people face with their creativity is procrastination. It is the nature of the creative person to put off a task because of the energy levels it requires. When you can fight back against this tendency, then it is possible to nurture your brain, stay engaged, and have the courage to act on an idea when it comes your way.
If you’re ready to tap into the creative part of your brain, then these are the steps that you can take to make successful outcomes happen regularly.
1. Know When You Are Awesome
Creativity is a tactical decision that you make. There are times during the day when your brain is ready to work. Always put your best foot forward during the times when you know that you are the most creative. Protect this moment of the day at all costs. Then create a system that will help you to capture the ideas that occur during this time so that your awesomeness can shine.
2. Change Your Routine
Creativity happens when you step outside of your usual routine. You can make small changes, like the time you brush your teeth each day or the route you commute to work, to see what happens. Significant changes, like taking a gap year between high school and college, can produce results as well. If you are doing the same thing repetitively and life feels stale, then decide to do something different so that you can create the outcome you want.
3. Eliminate the Distractions
Creative people always follow an exciting idea that comes their way. Procrastination is not a character flaw. It is merely the decision to pursue a different path toward productivity that does not include the project you’re working on at that moment. If you are a writer, then eliminate the distractions of email and social media so that you can just write. If you are a painter, lock the door to your studio and begin painting. Be decisive in what you want to do.
4. Get Some Exercise
If your creativity feels stuck, then it might be due to stress. Creative people often ignore feelings like anxiety or fatigue because they are hyper-focused on getting a job done or an idea out for review. If this blockage occurs, then step outside to get some exercise. Taking a walk in nature can soften the filters and obstacles that work to stop new thoughts from coming to the surface of your mind. Even a familiar activity, like washing the dishes, can trigger your brain to work around the problem.
5. Start Breaking the Rules
There are times when creative people must work within a specific set of guidelines, but it is also essential that you’re willing to break the rules should the need arise. The best ideas are sometimes the ones which are the most controversial. You can set the stage to take advantage of this concept by giving yourself mental time and distance from the problem. Make sure that the outcome isn’t about you or what happens in the present. By getting “out of your head,” away from your regular patterns of thought, there is almost always more creativity to unlock.
6. Find the Diversity in Your Life
Innovation happens when you have access to more ideas outside of your comfort zone. People today come from different cultures, perspectives, and experiences. You can look at the same problem and come up with two different solutions because of the diversity in humanity. If you need a fresh perspective, then consider a reverse mentorship to boost your creativity. Find someone in your circle is 5-20 years younger, take them out to lunch or dinner once per week, and get their perspective on things.
7. Forgive Yourself
Creative people are usually their own worst critics. If an idea fails or seems ridiculous, then the negative self-talk can begin right away. When you experience several adverse outcomes in a row, then there can be a hesitancy to continue pressing forward. Everyone has good ideas, but it is the creativity that you have which allows you to experiment with new thoughts, take risks, and find results. Be willing to forgive yourself for a real or perceived failure so that you can transition to the next solution.
8. Create a Plan for Work
Information flows around us every day. There are numerous people who want our attention at a moment’s notice – and sometimes for a good reason. If something happens at school and your child’s teacher needs to call you, then having availability by phone or email is helpful. Creative people tend to work in reactionary ways because of the availability of data because it feels productive. You get the short-term stuff done for sure, but what happens to your long-term goals? If you struggle with the need to respond instantly, then unplugging for a while can give your creativity a surge.
9. Worry About Today
Checking on what people are saying about you, the analytics of your website, or the followers you have on social media is a time-wasting trap. Because we have so much information out there to review, there is a certain anxiety creative people face that leads to insecurity when criticism is present. If you can avoid this issue, then your best periods of productivity can work toward solutions instead of the chores we do that have no intended outcome.
Tapping into your creative centers can sometimes mean that you need to share an unfinished idea with the rest of the world. Start a blog, create a social media profile, or talk with someone you trust about what you are learning. By sharing what you love, you will find that many other people have the same perspective.