12 Most Innovative Tips to Get into Your Creative Flow

12 Most Innovative Tips to Get into Your Creative Flow

Creativity is a fascinating topic and one that I love to discuss. It is a personal thing and a universal ideal at the same time. My creativity isn’t your creativity but in some ways our brains function in a similar manner. I wrote a post about creativity on my own blog and explored this topic with some of my friends and generated some interesting conversation.

What is the flow? The ultimate goal of the creative spirits. When your creativity flows and you lose track of time — ideas and images flow feverishly from your brain to your fingers. The term emulates water flowing as your ideas are born. “In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.”

Maya Angelou said “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” And thankfully this is true. But can you do things to increase and nurture your creativity? Absolutely! Here are some innovative ways to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Make a to-do list before you start

Clear your mind of any tasks that need to be completed by writing them down and not thinking about them while you are focusing. They will be waiting for you when you have time for them and if anything else pops into your mind, jot it down and return to your project.

2. Focus on your goal

Some Jedi wisdom from Star Wars “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” Take a moment to take in the gravity of that statement. Leo Babauta states in The Magical Power of Focus, which is a definite print and save article, “focus is the most important determination of whether you’ll achieve a goal or stick to creating a new habit. Not self-discipline, not rewards, not sheer willpower, not even motivation (also an important ingredient, however). If you can maintain your focus on a goal or habit, you will more often than not achieve that goal or create that habit.

If you can’t maintain your focus, you won’t achieve the goal, unless it’s such an easy goal that it would have happened anyway. It’s that simple.”

3. Create a nurturing environment for yourself

A cup of tea, a scented candle and organized workspace. What creates an environment that boosts your creative senses? Take some time to thing about it and make your own creative nest.

4. Schedule time

Just as you would any other tasks or item in your life, schedule time in your life that is open to creative time and projects that  you love. Or during your work day if you work in a creative field.

5. Make music the backdrop of your day

A great soundtrack for your day can easily be created on Pandora or Spotify. I like music without words such as classical or spa music when I am writing since I want to focus on the words I am using to create my own art. Singing along is fun for some types of projects but I know what works best for me at certain times.

6. Use Pinterest to find some visual stimulation

I have created boards with beautiful photography, color boards and many other things that spark my imagination. Or share in others inspiration as you stroll through their visual diary. I also post things that I love and might use for later work projects.

7. Read a book that you love

Going to another place in a book is a great way to unwind and clear your mind. The ultimate in relaxation to me is reading.

8. Turn off the notifications, phone and all the digital distractions

You will not miss anything. Or it will be waiting when you get to it. Seriously!

9. Don’t expect perfection on the first take

Keep creating and allow yourself to get into the flow of your work. If you stop and edit frequently while you are writing your brain switches from left to right side thinking and you can break your own creative flow. Edit later.

10. Be willing to make mistakes

Perfectionism can be the enemy of creativity. Don’t let the fear of getting started stop your creative actions.

11. Know yourself

Are you a morning person who thrives on the quiet of the house or a night owl staying up until the wee hours working? Work with your natural rhythms to reach your maximum potential.

12. Hit a creative wall? Get some fresh air

Taking a walk when you hit a stopping point is a great way to reinvigorate yourself. Your brain uses 20% of your body’s oxygen intake at any given time, refuel with some fresh oxygen. Even if you just walk around your office or go get a glass of water. Stretch, breath and, then refocus!

I know that you have some ways to get yourself into the flow. Share your tips with me and let’s grow!

Featured image courtesy of cobalt123 via Creative Commons.
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

Peg Fitzpatrick

http://pegfitzpatrick.com

Peg Fitzpatrick is co-Editor-in-Chief of 12 Most . She's co-author of the best-selling book, The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users co-authored with Guy Kawasaki. Peg works with global brands and leaders in the social media sphere every day. She's spearheaded successful social-media campaigns for Motorola, Audi, Google, and Virgin as well as having been a brand ambassador for Kimpton Hotels. All about being positive and connecting, she is a true social butterfly. Tweet her and say hi at @pegfitzpatrick, find her Stumbling on StumbleUpon, rocking Google+ here Google or happily pinning on Pinterest.

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19 comments
bzp
bzp

Rule #1. Break the rules. Piece them back together. Repeat. 

dbvickery
dbvickery

#5 is absolutely crucial for me - and I'll pick my music to reflect my current mood or creativity "goal" for the day. I go for a lot of instrumental throughout the week (like Bond or Lesiem Radio on Pandora). Fridays are for Boston, Evanescence, ZZ Top, Santana, 3 Doors Down, Nickelback stations. Weekend evenings are more for Rat Pack, Buble, John Mayer, Edwin Mccain, Norah Jones, Adele, etc.

 

When I'm hitting a wall, then I apply #8 and turn off everything...and if all else fails, I jump to #12 and go DO something!! And each failure is just one less obstacle to success...blow through them and get 'er done!

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

#12 is a big one. I am a firm believer in the "thinking walk." If you ask me what I am doing when I walk circles around the office building, I will answer honestly, "I am working."

 

Oxygen and movement.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

#3 and #5 are key to me... it took a surprisingly long time for me to learn them though. I used to think that pampering myself was for AFTER I'd finished all of my work. And of course your work is never finished.  My desk would be a mess... my office would literally depress me.  Now, I do those 2 BEFORE anything else because I realized how much more effective and just plain GOOD my work is when I'm in the right frame of mind.

 

Another great post Peg!

seopeace
seopeace

Really nice and innovative tips you shared here so thanks for sharing these useful and informative tips. Because as you mention that one should set up a goal I am very much agreed with this tips because without having a goal no one can face difficulties.

thehealthmaven
thehealthmaven

Fabulous insight on creativity - getting fresh air truly does help! @thehealthmaven

thehealthmaven
thehealthmaven

Fabulous insight on creativity - getting fresh air truly does help!

RababKhan
RababKhan

Since I started following #8 my life has become way easier. I don't feel like I'm running between hundreds of things that I HAVE to do. (reading every link shared, commenting on everything, resharing etc). I usually do it all after I'm done with "real work" and seriously, you're right, it's still there and the world is still spinning and didn't end because I wasn't there. :D

Latest blog post: The Lovers of Valdaro

DixieLil
DixieLil

 @PegFitzpatrick #5 resonates for me, since I have music on constantly, when I'm working or not.  I also unleash my creativity through playing the piano and writing. There is something very satisfying and peaceful which occurs after a burst of creativity. 

susansilver
susansilver

#1 and #2 are saving my little behind right now. I learned this year it is not that hard to juggle projects. You need to clearly set your goals for each one every day. Then only focus on one task at a time! I try not to think of the big picture, but just the little pieces I need to move towards my goals. 

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick

 @dbvickery I like that you vary things and keep it fresh. Very smart! Every day is different and sometimes we need different things to keep us going.

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick

 @jpJeremy Love that Jeremy! It is one of the only things I miss from my last job in an office. When my friends and I got frustrated or needed a break, we used to talk a walk around the area and it always helped. Working at home, my dog gets to come with me, he is a decent listener and is always up for a walk.

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick

 @AmyMccTobin I love starting the day with a clean desk, coming back to a messy workspace it not helpful at all. Clutter in general can cause stress so I try to keep it clutter free.

 

Thanks Amy!

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick

 @RababKhan Ahh #8...yes! Those digital notifications make you feel like you are missing something. When you focus and work on other things, you can look forward to  the notifications once you have completed your tasks. 

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick

 @DixieLil  I love music too!  Music can enhance a mood, create a new mood or just be a part of the day. Sometimes I turn off the music when I am on the phone and really feel like I am missing something when I forget to turn it back on.

 

Nice to know that you play the piano, very cool! 

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick

 @susansilver I agree! Breaking things down into pieces does make things easier to complete. It is so important to find what works for us and then repeat it!

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