Do these things today; be more creative tomorrow
It’s fair to say that there can be an airy fairy attitude to creativity at times, aspersions cast of tortured souls burning the midnight oil on their latest passion project. But, creativity is one of the things that sets our souls on fire, an escape in a world where excess information comes at us from all angles. Whether it’s for work or play, making time to be creative shouldn’t be reserved for the kids and there are a million and one ways to inspire more creativity in your days. Give some of these a go, then sit back and wait for those creative juices to start flowing.
Study after study has shown that meditation helps calm the mind and improve mental wellbeing. Contrary to popular believe (and those tortured soul connotations), you needn’t be fraught with emotional turmoil to inspire your inner creative. In fact, research shows that those who meditate tend to approach problems in a more creative way, thinking outside of the box more than those who don’t. Still not convinced? The Walt Disney Company was one of the first to introduce meditation into the workplace many moons ago and Google even has its own labyrinth especially for walking meditations. And if it’s good enough for them, not to mention our own Rosscoe, it’s good enough for us.
Practicing gratitude is a fast-track to negating negative thoughts and clearing your head. Journaling doesn’t need to be War & Peace; writing a list of things you’re grateful for today is enough to get you thinking more positively. For full effect, don’t do it digitally; just the act of using pen and paper alone is enough to inspire you to get more creative. Do those doodles, you know you want to.
It’s no coincidence that your best ideas come to you when you are out and about. Our minds need our bodies to move to be able to think straight and movement increases both our creativity and cognitive output. You don’t need to run a marathon but it’s no coincidence that many of the most successful men and women on earth make time for some sort of exercise in their day. Nothing clears your head problem solving and creativity quite like getting your blood pumping.
More energy equals more creativity and what you put into your body, you get out on the energy front. You are what you eat, remember. Eat your greens, skip the McDonalds unless you’re exceptionally hungover and only some salty fries will do, and make a conscious effort to steer clear of the processed stuff. You know it makes sense.
Hydrate before you caffeinate, people. We’re as caffeine-dependent as the next pulled-out person but even we’ll admit that a cold glass of agua first thing in the morning is more revitalising than a cup of joe. Your brain needs to be well-hydrated to perform at its peak, so water first, coffee later, and repeat.
Once upon a time, entrepreneurs thought that getting by on four hours sleep a night was the busy person’s badge of honour. Now, thanks in part to the eye-opening sucker punch of a wake-up call delivered by Matthew Walker in his book ‘Why We Sleep’, we’re all about getting enough shut eye. Waking up feeling knackered every day isn’t just bad for your health, it also zaps every last ounce of creativity. There’s no shame in an early night anymore.
If you’ve ever stopped by Helm, you’ll know that we aren’t averse to an afternoon game of table tennis or a kickabout in the grounds of our co-working space. There’s a reason why the best offices in the world (think Facebook, Google, Airbnb, etc.) have invested as heavily in their chill-out zones as they have the technology at their workstations. Play breeds creativity even better than any of the above factors, so get out there and have some fun like doing your best work depends on it.