Hey guys, Jeremy here with The Winn Group. Sunday, I came home from a vacation to San Antonio, Texas (the seat of pride and joy for all Texans – Remember The Alamo!). Anyway, when I got home, I went to the kitchen to pour myself a nice tall glass of Dr. Pepper. Much to my disappointment, it was flat. Gross.
This got me thinking, as a creative mind, does my creative flow ever get “flat”? The answer is YES! And, if you ask yourself the same question, I’m sure you’ll agree that, yes, in fact, our creativity does at times get stale and gross.
So, how do you keep your creative genius from going flat like a 4 day old Dr. Pepper? Here are some ideas that just might do the trick.
1. Break out of the normal
Let’s face it, we are all creatures of habit…and for many of us (as well as the nonprofits we serve), we have become slaves to the mundane, the routine and the predictable. We gotta break out of that prison! If your creative idea flow today looks a lot like it did yesterday, I’ll wager that your daily routine has kiboshed your creative side. Remember, creative doesn’t start at 8am and end at 5pm. Nope. Creative inspiration and ideas come at midnight when you are scarfing down that left over lasagna (with a side of Rolaids).
So, look at your routine and think, “how can I upset this apple cart?” Do it. Get out of the proverbial “box” and do something weird – unexpected – and maybe a little bit insane. Wanna break out of the normal, that’ll surely do the trick. But warn your coworkers – we don’t want them worried about you (“Man, she’s gone postal on us. Better call the boss.”)
2.) Pretend like you are a kid again and dare to imagine!
Remember when G.I. Joe was the great American hero in your backyard? Remember when a sheet tied around your neck allowed you to leap the tallest building in a single bound? Go there again. It’s a fun place. And it’ll bring your creativity back. Gin up that part of your brain that dared to imagine so long ago. Who cares what people think, really. There just boring, right? YOU, my friend, are a super hero!
Come up with an outrageous idea or concept and take it to the most unconventional, unrealistic degree. I mean, be CRAZY with it. Play the “what if” game…and see what comes out of it. Pretend there’s no budget, not deadlines and no constraints and dare to dream in this make believe world. You’ll be amazed at what comes out of these kinds of creative sessions.
3. Finally…go outside and play. Really. Just play.
I know this sounds dumb. There’s work to be done right? And, your deadlines? What about them? Besides, you’ve got your best business suit on today. Playing is the most fundamental measurement of the intelligence of all creatures. And, it’s the wellsprings from which fresh creativity flows.
Go to the park at lunch. Bring a board game to work and have a “board” meeting. Grab Bob down the hall and say, “Hey Bob – think fast!” then throw him a wad of paper. Remember those paper footballs and the goal posts we used to make with our fingers? Yup…that’s what I’m talking about. Stop taking yourself and your daily “to do” lists so seriously. Just play and watch your creativity come rushing back to the surface.
So, hopefully this helps. Get out of the norm, unleash your childlike imagination and simply play. You watch that stale, flat creative flow come back fresh and full of inspiration.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and let us know how these tips work to revive your inner creative genius!