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Productivity / Innovation

Learning to be creative

Some people wrongly assume there are certain “creative” types out there who will spontaneously generate brilliant, world-stopping ideas all day if you stick them in a room with some trendy designer furniture and a chai latte.

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The idea that some people are creative and others are not is a myth. In fact creativity is an innate gift of being human. It’s a matter of setting yourself up to tap into it.

That said, creativity doesn’t just happen, instead it has to be consciously created. And while it might sound counter-intuitive, one way to encourage creativity is through purposeful rituals.

Rather than proscribing or limiting behaviour, rituals can be vehicles for expressing what matters most to you and to your business. Rituals help put values into action and keep you focused and walking your talk.

It’s easy to say you value creativity, but in the real world of stress and tight deadlines, how can creativity flourish if it isn’t part of a conscious, ritualised way of being?

If you want to walk the creativity talk, why not think about ways you can build creativity habits into your work day? For example,  Don’t let yourself begin work until you’ve spent some time learning and engaging your mind.

"You could resolve to start every day with a piece of inspiration – an article, a chapter of a book, an image – whatever you like."

Alternatively, you could designate a certain time each day to stop, leave what you’re doing and clear your mind for ten minutes. Even when you’re in a rush, or especially when you’re in a rush, this can be a very valuable and refreshing exercise. Sometimes it pays to do the counter-intuitive thing.

Want more articles like this? Check out the innovation section.

If you’re clear on what supports you to be creative, you could develop a series of questions to ask yourself at certain times during the day.

  • Am I conscious and connected?
  • Have I sought any feedback today?
  • Am I feeling confident and positive about my strengths and capabilities?
  • Do I have any limiting belief systems kicking in? What’s that about?

Honest answers to questions like these, answers that are meaningful to you, can really support the flow of creative energy as they confront and challenge creative block.

There are hundreds of ways to make creativity a habit. Ultimately, it’s up to you. And that’s the point. Your very own rituals should help you maintain focus, stay true to your values, and produce work of which you are not only proud, but in which you also delight.

Rituals are a reflection of our approach to our work, and of what is important to us. They can help us form productive and positive habits. Rituals can help maintain credibility with our clients, and, perhaps most importantly, with ourselves.

Kath O'Sullivan

is a writer, editor and facilitator who helps people find their authentic voice and use it to tell the stories of who they are.

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