Did you ever feel drained of ideas and want to get back in bed and pull the covers over your head? If this type of depletion happens, and it happens to all smart entrepreneurs, pay attention to that message of overload. Get back in bed.
Yup, take the rest of the day to rest.
You say you can't do that. Too much on your plate. Think of it this way. If you get a really, I mean really, really bad toothache, do you keep working or call the dentist for an emergency appointment.
You know the answer.
So, when nothing is happening but the same old stuff and you feel like you are running on empty the first way to re-engage your creative side is to relax.
OK, maybe not taking the whole day off, at least an hour will do. And during that hour do nothing. No checking your phone or even talking to someone. Just chill.
Research done at The University of Virginia by Dr. Timothy Wilson in 2014, wanted to answer the question about what people will do when they have true alone time. The study had people in a quiet lab room for anywhere from 6-15 minutes. They had a choice. Relax with their thoughts or push a button to get an electric shock.
Stop a minute and answer, what would you do?
The results showed that 67% of the men and 25% of the women chose the shock button rather than sitting and being quiet, thinking and relaxing.
OK, first step in activating new creative thoughts is to relax, to learn to relax.
We are running so fast we have lost the art of being still, of reflection. Learn to meditate, read a book on mindfulness. One of the best books today is by my friend Chade-Meng Tan, who recently retired from Google. His book Joy on Demand, is truly a joy to read. And will help you with this first step to extreme creativity.
The next way to drive your creativity quotient through the roof is to seek out new ideas and adventures. Do something, anything that is new and different from your routine ways of living. If you're normally a beach person, go to the mountains. If you're a city lover, find a small town and spend a few hours exploring there. If you only read business books, get a racy novel. You have the idea.
Next is really vital and rarely done. Seek out those with conflicting ideas and listen. Go to a meeting set up to support the candidate you like least. Just listen. Find a lecture, in person or online, that seems oddball or a waste of time. Yes, it may be. However, it will get you to think in new ways and isn't that what creativity is all about.
Now, for the fourth suggestion. Find at least 45 minutes or more, and start to either write out ideas or use crayons and paper to draw your thoughts. Stay with it. Set a timer if you need and don't give up till the time is over. This is a great way to rev your engine to get into the flow state.
Here is the list. Put it near your computer or on the bathroom mirror. Creativity is in you and here is how to access it effectively.
- Seek out new ideas and adventures
- Find opposing perspectives and situations and just listen
- Get into the zone through art and writing
Creativity is in every one of us and for busy entrepreneurs it is crucial to romance this part of yourself to stay at the top of your game.