Leaders really get paid to be CREATIVE. Part of your value includes knowing things, but real value is taking the KNOWING and combining to make something VALUABLE. Creativity allows people to solve larger and more valuable problems. You may KNOW lots of things like: the ins and outs of products; the desires and needs of clients; the processes of your corporate bureaucracy; who are the key decision makers at clients and what is on their mind; the competitive forces at work in your industry… but top performers REALLY create value by synthesizing that knowledge.
So how does a person boost their own creativity? Tim Ferris, podcaster and author, had a guest recently that suggested the “three B’s”. These are Bed, Bath and Bus. BED refers actually getting some rest and quiet time. BATH refers to doing something relaxing. (I think you could also substitute a sauna or a hot tub.) BUS refers to getting a change of venue. (instead of “Bus”, my alliterative contribution would be bed, bath and BEYOND…my two cents).
I would also add the following…(my three R’s??)
- Reserve time. Don’t be like everyone else and fall in love with (and settle for) just being busy. Block time specifically for creative thinking.
- Record insights. Sometimes, key insights will come at the weirdest times: in the car, in the shower, as you are getting ready for work, at the gym…have ways to jot down those ideas before they blow away.
- Review some of your old ideas. Is there some genius tidbit that you forgot you generated??
- Move around. Get your heart rate up. (OK, this one does not start with R, but who cares?) Use exercise or music to move you to a state where you feel energized and excited.
The key is to focus your habits to get the most out of your creativity and distill what you know in new and valuable ways.
What are your triggers to be at your most creative?
Bonus…. Creativity Killers in otherwise Bright People…
- Allowing dogmatic thinking
- Blocking out new information
- Falling in love with the ideas and Not the solution
- Staying wedded to the past
- Lack of time Control