Time to Create

I start my presentation on Creativity asking for a show of hands in the audience of who thinks they are creative.  Surprisingly, not every hand shoots quickly to the ceiling.  There are various reasons for that; as varied as the people in the room.  Some people really don't believe they are creative and others don't want to appear arrogant about their amazing flow of ideas.  The truth is that everyone is creative; we just don't take the time to let our creativity work. 

Here are some simple ways to incorporate creativity into your busy life when you only have a few minutes to spare: 

- Attend an organizational meeting of a group you don't typically associate with (if you are an engineer - go to a writers club meeting).  Hanging out with a different crowd can inspire new ways of thinking and ideas.

- Take a ten minute break from whatever work you are involved in.  Set a timer, write down one problem you need ideas for at the top of a page and then write all the ideas that come to mind as you focus on just that one problem.

- Take a break and go outside with your Ipod or other music player.  Listen to music without lyrics and let your mind wander, jotting down any thoughts that arise.

- Write down three problems at the beginning of the day and keep the short list in plain sight.  Jot down any thoughts that come up as you go through your day regarding those three specific problems.

- Ask someonewhat ideas they might have about an issue that is puzzling you and see what they come up with .  Make sure they aren't involved in or familiar with concept - to open up your thinking.

- Assemble a group of seven or eight people together in a circle.  Each of you writes a problem you have at the top of your own piece of paper.  Then each person passes their problem one person to the right.  For one minute everyone writes the first thing that comes to their mind regarding the problem they are reading (advice, empathy or concerns).  When the one minute is up everyone passes their paper one person to the right.  The process is repeated until everyone has had a chance to respond to each person's problem.  

Give yourself time to create.  Your mind just needs a break from all the other things going on in it.  Give it a chance to think casually and calmly about nothing.  And then nothing will become something.