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October 19, 2019

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 3

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#3 – Try Free Writing

Cartoon Pen

This is a new idea to me, but I am willing to give it a go. By definition from Wikipedia, Free writing:

Free writing is a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism. It is used mainly by prose writers and writing teachers.[1][2] Some writers use the technique to collect initial thoughts and ideas on a topic, often as a preliminary to formal writing. Free writing is not the same as automatic writing.

Unlike brainstorming where ideas are simply listed, in free writing one writes sentences to form a paragraph about whatever comes to mind.

You start by picking a subject and writing it on the top of your page. Then, set the clock for five (or ten) minutes and type away. Or, using your handy notebook and pen from Part 2, start scribbling. The idea is write as quickly as you can without stopping to think, connect ideas, spell correct or punctuate. Apparently, with practice, you can read it back and pick up patterns and ideas that will help release your creative processes.

OK… I have my notebook and my pen…wish me luck!

pen & notebook






Keeping up the Creativity: Part 2

If you’re jumping in just now, I’m working my way through a series called “Keeping up the Creativity” based on this infographic – 29 Ways to Stay Creative, and you can find the rest of the series parts here!

#2 – Carry a Notebook Everywhere

Scott Ginsberg the nametag guySpeaking of creative, have you heard of Scott Ginsberg, aka, “The Nametag Guy?” He’s an author, speaker, trainer and coach who teaches people creative ways to build a brand and business. He’s perhaps best known for wearing a nametag 24-7. Even to bed. It’s all about approachability… anyway, I am not suggesting wearing a nametag 24-7, but he also recommends carrying a notebook and writing everything down.

That’s an idea I can embrace. Think about how handy a small notebook, one that can fit in your purse or pocket, could be. That small notebook could make all the difference.

That To Do list? Put it in the notebook.
You meet someone new? Write down his/her name & phone number.Got an idea? Jot it down.

Directions? Dates? Sketches? Taglines? Wish lists? LOVE that song … endless possibilities.

If you can capture your ideas no matter where you are – I typically get my best ideas when I am nowhere near my computer – you won’t lose them. You can reduce your mental clutter by writing down those ideas. They don’t have to be used right away or even ever, but you have them forever. Think about how that could stimulate your creativity. And … don’t forget your pen!

(Here’s a shot of what my notebook looks like; feel free to share yours in the comments below!)

Moon spiral notebook

Keeping up the Creativity: Part 1

29 ways to stay creativeRecently a member of our staff came across this little gem of an infographic – “29 Ways to Stay Creative.” We noted that many of these suggestions are already in play in our office and some of the others were great ideas we should implement. So, in the interest of inspiring an even more creative workplace, I’ve decided to create a series taking a closer look at each of these ideas!

#1 – Make Lists

When I am feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what I need to get done, I stop and make a To Do List.

Brain Dump: I find that starting with an old fashioned brain dump on paper or in a MS doc helps me clear my head and feel less stressed. There are online tools and software solutions available – Microsoft One Note is highly recommended by one of our project managers – but I’m a paper girl.

Prioritize: Take your list and rearrange it with the most important tasks at the top of the list. If some jobs are large or complicated, break them out into action items, and note as sub-action items to the larger task.

Bite the Lemon: Start each day at the top of the list, no matter how big or onerous a project it is. The “lemon” is the project you may not want to tackle, may be unpleasant or complex, but is still a priority. I can’t remember who to attribute this to, but a motivational speaker once said, “Bite the lemon first thing in the morning and everything else will taste sweeter the rest of the day.” Works for me.

Results: You’ll experience less stress. Nothing will fall through the cracks. You’ll be able to focus your time and energy more efficiently. And, nothing feels better that checking things off your list.

Check, check, and check!