This is a guest post from Kylie Saunder of kyliesaunder.com.
You’re taking a break from your desk and have “escaped” for a coffee at your local café.
As you sit down at the communal table you realise that you’re surrounded! You try to ignore them as you figure out whether to order the plain or fruit toast with your coffee.
But your curiosity becomes too strong. You look up from the menu and notice what’s going on around you. You feel like you’re the only one not hunched over, typing fast, listening to music.
You tell yourself:
this coffee outing is a break away from my desk, an opportunity to get focused and relax a bit… to invite in new thoughts and creativity.
As you sip your coffee and leaf through the newspaper you’re wishing you could tap into their ‘secret formula for being creative, productive and focused’.
But here’s the thing – you’re just as creative as they are!
New concepts and ideas flow in and out of your consciousness thousands of times a day. Often at the most random moments. Except you want them to “arrive on demand” as you sit in front of the computer screen. After all, you’ve scheduled this time to write a blog post, work on a proposal or develop a business idea!
Here are 3 secrets your ‘café friends’ are doing that you can incorporate into your work day to harness your creative energy.
1. Prepare by Capturing and Organising Your Ideas Regularly
That old saying “prior preparation prevents poor performance” is your first step to harnessing your creativity. Preparing your ideas into bullet points, short paragraphs and even mind-maps will give you direction and focus.
Here are some preparatory tools to start incorporating into your daily routine.
Use technology to capture your ideas:
- Evernote is an App that many bloggers, writers and entrepreneurs use. It helps you jot down your ideas, projects and musings and syncs them across your tablet, phone and computer. Waiting for a taxi and have a flash of inspiration? Pull out your phone, open the App and record it!
- Voice notes. Most phones now have the ability to record your voice. And even though it may feel weird at first to listen to your own voice, it’s an invaluable tool. Walking your dog at the beach and don’t have a chance to stop and type your ideas into your phone? Open your voice memos, hit record and capture your ‘aha moment’.
- Post-it notes. Good old fashioned technology. You’ve probably got a stack of these on you desk with to-do lists and reminders, but they’re also useful in the car, next to your bed, in your garden shed and even in the bathroom.
- Pen and paper. Failing all else, invest in a great notepad (Moleskine have a great range) to capture your ideas and dreams. The simple act of writing your ideas in a journal can help unleash your creative mojo!
2. Create ‘Space’ by Scheduling Time Out
Scheduling regular ‘creative time’ will help you feel a sense of lightness, energy and optimism.
Creative time doesn’t mean that you have to sign up for life drawing classes or learn how to crochet! It can be as simple as getting away from your computer screen and sitting outside under a tree for 15 minutes a day.
As you walk in the garden, visit an art gallery or try out a new style of yoga, it’s giving your mind the space it needs to open up to new ideas.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Your creative process is totally different to everyone else’s – so it’s time to stop comparing yourself to your ‘café friends’.
Looking at and worrying about the outward appearance of your peers or colleagues’ lives is a waste of your energy and time.
When you find yourself comparing yourself to others, it’s a “red flag” to shift your focus. Close down your social media accounts, shut down your emails, turn off your phone, and revisit secret #2.
Now you know the ‘secrets’, it’s time to create and develop your ideas. Gather your ideas together, stay focused, and only then, go and sit in front of your computer screen.
Leave a comment below telling us which secret you plan to commit to doing (i.e. needs the most work for you) to become more creative.
Kylie Saunder is an online marketer, content creator and blogs about life and creativity. She writes creative copy for her clients that engages and inspires their audience, while infusing it with their passion, knowledge and personality.
Kylie also provides a “blog rescue service” perfect for people who need direction and focus with their blog writing.