Hello! Seiiti Arata. If creativity is a skill that can be developed, what can we do to train our creative potential?
1. There must be adequate challenge.
You do not want to face challenges that are either too easy or too difficult.
To reach the maximum potential for creativity, the challenges ahead should be in line with your skills and current resources. They should be achievable.
If the creative challenge ahead is so difficult as to discourage, you may give in to feelings of fear and helplessness, smallness. You may just give up.
Remember the Golem Effect that we discussed earlier? See the video http://arata.se/hello46
If self-doubt enters our mind, we come to believe that the challenge ahead is impossible, and therefore we will not have the motivation or persistence to continue developing our skills in order to overcome it.
On the other hand, if the creative challenge is too easy, we don’t feel the necessary degree of courage and motivation to do our best. We do not feel that we can make a difference. A simple challenge is not worth our time.
2. Develop the creative ritual that works for you.
When we read the biographies of people considered creative—philosophers, scientists, writers, painters and artists in general—we realize that some of them had very specific habits.
Some found inspiration while bathing, others as they walked, others while taking a solitary cup of coffee. Some worked in the first hours of the morning; others could only work creatively in the night.
Are there habits that help creativity? Can you simply copy the rituals of creators who went before you, maybe drinking a glass of wine before work, or smoking cigarettes like a chimney, or waking up before sunrise? No. You will not have the same level of creativity just by repeating the same rituals.
The strategy that works for one person will not necessarily work for another. The secret is not in the cigarette that author smokes while writing. The secret is in the action … writing!
If you want a guaranteed tip, here goes: we have to work. We need discipline to do the work regularly, consistently. Commitment is the price we pay for creative success.
What differentiates a great writer from a mediocre writer? The great one gets up every day and keeps working and producing material. Are some days better than others? Certainly. But the value of consistency and writing every day is unparalleled.
In other words, although it is helpful to find the habits conducive to creativity, it does not mean that creativity comes from habits. Creativity cannot be manifested if you make no effort to refine your skills. It takes commitment. You need to focus.
There is no magic formula. Find what works for you.
3. Develop ways to protect yourself from distractions and interruptions.
If you cannot protect yourself from phone calls, visitors, email and other interruptions, you can hardly find the tranquility you need to develop your creativity.
Do whatever is necessary to avoid interruptions during the time you practice your creativity.
Be sure to make your preparation: You may need a breakfast to get you going. You may need to warn your co-workers that you will be available only in the late afternoon, or only to address emergencies. In the FOCUS course, we teach everything you can do to defend against interruptions.
Sometimes, you need to invest a few minutes during the preparative process to make sure you will not be interrupted. It may look like we’re wasting time in these preparations, but the return can be worthwhile.
It is important to make any adjustments and preparations that will allow you to work uninterrupted, especially if you work in areas that need intellectual and creative power. Respect the value of your creative potential, and don’t allow yourself to be interrupted.
4. Develop complementary skills.
Imagine you want to make videos on YouTube, but you know little or nothing about lighting, photography techniques, adjusting the ISO speed and aperture, sound control techniques and the video editing program. It will be very difficult to allow your creativity flourish, as you will be very busy time with the technical challenges.
This was just one example. Look at the work you do and identify the creative heart of it and are the technical skills that support it, the complementary skills.
What are the minimum technical skills you need to master to stay focused on your creativity and not on solving technical problems?
Besides all the internal conditions that foster our creativity, we also want to create the right environment for it. This ideal environment varies from person to person. Try different things until you find what works for you. Modify the time you work. Modify the tools you use for your work. Try different locations. Pay attention to the people around you. And always realize that every moment contributes to the quality of the work you do.
In our Productivity Ninja course, we primarily work on our internal skills. Then we learn to focus our minds, to have higher productivity with good habits. We also make changes in our external environments. It will not help you to have the most favorable environment if your mind is wandering, getting sidetracked with various thoughts that are not related to your work. First, learn to manage yourself.