Today we will explore a topic of creativity on demand? Is it possible? Is it doable? If yes how? If no why not?
Let's start with a truth bomb.
You can't say: I want to be creative now?
The sad truth is WE CAN'T.
I wish we can.
It happens when IT wants to happen. In a shower, in a run, in a drive, in a dinner, it just happens. It strikes you. The question is are you available when it strikes you?
This is why creative productivity is unpredictable and we can't estimate how long it will take for the creative work, how much we can produce in a time period etc.
This is one idea a manager of a knowledge worker struggles with. The best part is even the knowledge worker has no clue. The only thing you can do as a creative is get ready and wait for IT to strike you.
Here are a few tips you can follow to increase the probability of the strike rate. The next step is to trust on grace of creativity.
- Learn how your brain works. The more you understand your brain, how it works, you can hack it better. Neuroscience as a subject is a must for all creative careers. It is a crime to not know about the organ of creativity.
- Design your environment so that creativity can strike you more than usual.
A guided structure aka environment design can help you enhance opportunities for creativity striking you. For example, scheduling a deliberate ME time in a week and doing whatever you love. A mindful me time has a high probability to launch you in a flow state and generally creativity visits you. A full post on that shortly.
- Reduce cognitive switching by design and avoid so called multitasking. The more switches happen, it is hard to diffuse your brain. Just have an entire day for ONE thing and you will get more work done in a more creative way.
- Assimilate and absorb reflectively. When you read or listen or watch something, pause every 10 minutes and ask yourself if it is making sense? Just jot down things that strike you and try to connect it your way.
- Increase your exposure to 1ox on things you are curious about. The more stimulation, it is easier to sieve what is exciting. Spend more time reflectively post exposure so that you allow yourself to remix things in your brain.
- The more dots are collected, more dots can be connected. Give time for your brain to connect those dots. It happens only when you reflect.
- Brainstorm with people who think different compared to you. The diversity brings in a variety in exposure and the pointed questions bring in focus. Naturally, you will think deeper than usual. It helps in remixing better.
- Have an ability to jot down your thoughts on demand. A notebook or a smart phone with stylus or voice recorder or something which can capture the thought in the moment. It is precious. If you don't catch it when it strikes, it fades away and you can't get it back. I call this as BEING READY FOR THE STRIKE.
- Rest deliberately. After an intense work, take a nap deliberately. It helps your brain to make sense of the collected dots and allows the dots to form well.
- When there is input, ensure there is an output in some form or other. Else you will be clogged. A stagnant water gets stinky. Allow it to flow.
As creativity is not an on-demand thing, when it strikes you ensure you receive it on-demand in the best possible way you can. All creatives consider this act as act of grace. They even sound spiritual with their words. Have you heard them say, it is not me. It came to me.
The words are ambiguous. The reality is, it is nothing but watching the synapses of your neurons mindfully. This awareness triggers a whole new path of novelty and utility.
🥂 to readiness!