Everyone goes through this now and then. There are times you’re just a creativity bank and everyone gets ideas from you. Then there are those other times we all hate – when it seems we don’t even have an ounce of creativity. These are some of the things that I’ve seen kill creativity…
Creativity killers and dealing with them:
One of the things that I used to fight is getting bored easily. Now I rest in the wisdom that routine is just not my thing! My creativity tends to suffer when repeating the same thing over again. This is different from the A.D.D. that leaders have.
I thrive when I can constantly create new things. To overcome monotony and guard my creativity, I juggle tasks. I also engage in activities that are not related. Every now and then I find it beneficial to go work in a restaurant, tea garden etc. (See also “Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work”)
Stress is a big one! Unfortunately, there is only one way I’ve learned to address this one. The only way I know how to deal with this one is to address the cause.
This may entail completely dropping something that was on my plate, requesting extensions on deadlines, delegating and simply dealing with the biggest issue first.
I’ve also discovered that dealing with the bigger giants first tends to release great pressure off me. You may want to read “5 Reasons You Get Overwhelmed“
Sometimes I lose my flow when I’m constantly interrupted. One of the most critical stages for innovation is ideation. Failure to guard the ideation process by getting rid of distractions can be the nail in the coffin for innovation.
Switch off your phone, notifications and put a do not disturb sign on your door.
Over time, I’ve taken note of some of the interruptions that have stolen ideas and momentum. Now I anticipate them and deal with them before they’re interruption. Interruptions are best dealt with before they become interruptions. Take note of the things that steal from you and stop them before they stop you.
I’m not the go to guy for ideas when I’m tired. At my worst, I slur when I’m extremely tired. My brain just doesn’t seem to want to work. What should be a two-minute conversation can end up a ten minute one as it takes me longer to collect and articulate my thoughts.
The remedy for this one is rather obvious – rest! However, I would add that you need at least one good break during your work day, a day in your week and one month in a year.
Working with a rundown body is not how you will be more productive.
You’ll be practicing self, team and vision destruction. And, as a result, you won’t be any good to your team or yourself! Rest! Guarding your times of rest is part of guarding your well-being and vision.
All of us have ‘those people’ in our lives. You know the people who cannot have ”blue-sky” days with. These are people who cannot disconnect with circumstance and just dream “possibilities” with you. I’ve met people who do not hear, “let’s say everything was perfect & we had no restrictions“.
Creativity feeds off creativity. One of the best ways to help creativity is getting around creative or “ideas people” as I call them. You also have the people who will give you a million ideas at your command. Get around them to help your creativity. The kind of people you cannot do without!
What have you found not helpful for your creativity? How have you dealt with it?