Stop creative block in 30 minutes
Successful people have this one thing in common
Successful people have a bias toward action.
They do stuff and they get things done.
Do the most important thing first each day and you will never have an unproductive day. - James Clear
We must therefore unblock our creativity
If we are going to be productive in creating original solutions to problems we need to get started.
Have you ever gone on to Youtube or Facebook or Twitter or Google to answer a question and 1 hour later you are still on social media and you are not really any closer to solving your problem. Now you have run out of time because it is pick up or you have to feed everyone or you have to go to a meeting.
Our kids are doing the same. They research but don’t get around to putting pen to paper. Or worse they are putting pen to paper, expecting inspiration to come in the moment and wonder why they keep rubbing it out.
How do we get started if we are overwhelmed by so many distractions and don’t have any new ideas.
What creativity is not
Before I get into how to unblock our creativity I thought it worth mentioning what creativity is not.
This will help frame the tactics introduced in the next paragraph.
Creativity is not putting two things together that have always been put together. What it is is the marriage of two or three unrelated things put together in a way that has not been done before to create something unexpected.
We see chefs do this all the time in cooking shows. Putting flavours and textures together that has not been done before that surprise and delight those that taste it for the first time.
If we are to marry ‘different flavours’ in a way that has not been done before, where do we start when we have so many flavours to choose from?
We focus on just three
Restricting ourselves and our kids to just these three things means we can have three separate ideas to percolate together in under 30 minutes.
These may not be our only new pieces of information, but to start with we limit ourselves to three. We do this so we do not get stuck in this first phase of the creative process.
They are simply called the 3Ss and they are the source of your ideas.
Use the following three sources to get an answer to your question.
1. Search Engine – why not start where we all naturally go to for answers to our burning questions.
In addition to typing your question into the search engine, add an extension ‘+ research’ or + ‘forum’ to the end of it.
The type of information you are looking for will influence which extension you use. Forum, for example is a place to find opinions on a question. What people are thinking and feeling about an issue where as research is more independent objective analysis of the question. I talk about this more in this article.
Go to page two, so many people never go beyond page one. Scroll down until an article captures your attention.
You can also click ‘image’ and be inspired by the images connected to your problem.
ACTION: Pick one and print it out
2. Someone else – this person is someone whose opinion you value and trust. You can know them, like a colleague, friend, family member. Alternatively you may not know them. They maybe someone who is informed in an area, who inspires you and you may seek out what they think about your problem. You could read their book or blog, listen to their podcast, or email them direct.
For example I recently sent a question to James Clear about when best to be creative. His answer has been incorporated in the 5 Day Challenge so girls can get into a rhythm with their daily creative challenges that is really productive.
ACTION: Write down what they say or print out their email response.
3. Self – I really like the idea of a mind map here. Spend 10 minutes starting with a word from your problem and just go crazy on the page connecting words. Fill the page. Don’t over think what you are writing down. The thinking comes in the next phase.
ACTION: When done filling the page with words, circle a couple in a bright pen that really pop for you.
Gather your three separate pieces of information
You have now started you creative process by Saturating yourself with 3 new pieces of information. You can have this done in 30 minutes.
Put your 3 pieces of information together:
- Search engine result
- Someone else’s idea
- Self mind map words
What if I haven’t got all the information
Do not worry that the ideas you have are not complete or right. You will not know this until you go through the creative process. Trust the process and do not worry about the outcome yet. There is plenty of time to go through the process again, but don’t do that until you have taken yourself through it once with what you have.
Something extraordinary and unexpected may come of what you already have. You cannot possibly know if they are right yet.
Form your controlling idea
Take your three ideas and start to form a controlling idea for your creativity. A controlling idea is the one thing you want people to remember when you communicate it. From this controlling idea everything flows.
For example, our controlling idea for all of DBFLG’s communication is that Creativity is a process, not an outcome, that puts you in control of a rewarding life.
You will probably need to go through the process multiple times before you nail your idea and have the confidence to communicate it with clarity.
This tactic is the beginning of the creative process
This Saturation phase is just the start of the process.
There are 4 more steps in the process which ultimately guides you through to action in a way that sits comfortably with you.
As mentioned in the beginning, the one thing that distinguishes successful people, smart or not, wealthy or not, connected or not, is action.
This process takes the overwhelm out of coming up with original ideas that solve problems, because you know exactly what your next step is.
When you know what you next step is you cannot help but keep moving forward.
Join the 5 Day Creative Challenge
Master Her Creativity
A process that gifts competence and resilience to seize life’s opportunities.