Today, I’m going to share an idea with you, which I found amazingly valuable. It can help you become massively more creative, improve your problem solving skills and make you far more productive too.
I’d like to start, by asking you a few quick questions.
- Where do you tend to be, when you have your best ideas?
- What activities are you doing, when you get your best ideas?
- What time of the day or night, do your best ideas come?
You don’t wait for inspiration – you command it
If you take some time to think about your answers, it’s possible that, like me, you will spot some common factors that cause you to be at your creative best. By utilising these factors so they are working for you, it’s easier for you to get into a creative mindset. The alternative is to wait for inspiration, but that’s a very risky, unnecessary approach for business owners, who constantly need to solve problems or write for their blogs or newsletters.
The following quote sums up the professional approach to creative inspiration:
“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at 9:00 every morning.” Peter De Vries.
Deliberately summoning inspiration
Here’s how I summon inspiration, followed by an example from a copywriter.
Whilst I can get a useful idea at any time, I tend to be most creative in the mornings and usually when I am walking around the village where I live. So, if I have a particularly challenging problem (or puzzle) to solve, I grab a voice recorder and get walking. This gives me the best opportunity of finding the answer I need, exactly when I need it. It places me in an inspiring location, doing an inspirational activity at my most inspired time of day.
I remember talking about this to a friend of mine, who is a copywriter. I asked her those questions and she replied that she tended to get their best ideas, when enjoying a break from her office in a local coffee shop. I suggested that the next time she was feeling unproductive, she should take her notebook with her to the local coffee shop and start writing. She called me a few weeks later, to say that she has never been so productive. By deliberately putting herself into a ‘space’ where she felt creative, she had found a way to eliminate writer’s block. Now, when she get stuck with a challenge, she takes it to the coffee shop.
Your inspired recipe
There are 3 things you need to be mindful of, when developing and implementing your recipe for inspiration.
- There is no right or wrong. We are all different and as a result, you may find yourself more creative at 8pm than 8am. You may find that you feel most creative after going to the gym, going for a drive, tap dancing, skating, playing a musical instrument or flying a kite. Don’t rule something out. If it works for you, it works.
- You need to start off, expecting it to work. Go into the process fully expecting to feel inspired, then relax and see what comes into your mind.
- Record your inspired ideas. Make sure that you have either a smart phone, digital recorder or notebook with you. Then, as the ideas come, get them out of your head and save them. This helps you become even more creative, because you have the freedom to think freely – rather than have one idea then have to try and remember it until you back to the office.
When I used to wait for inspiration
I wasted years, assuming that inspiration was something that happened randomly. In the late 1990’s I started a marketing newsletter, which I published 3 times a month. It was an enormous struggle for me to dig deep and come up with something for my readers 36 times a year.
Today, I often write 30 posts or articles a month across my 4 sites, thanks to learning and then practising what I have just shared with you.