I recently came across this list of 29 ways to stay creative, and thought I would pass it along to my blog readers.
There are several things on this list that I can wholeheartedly attest to. I think #4 is crucial. 99% of my best ideas come when I’m away from the computer. They usually pop into my mind when I least expect it, and if I don’t write the idea down immediately (#26), it’s often forgotten. I used to carry a moleskine notebook with me everywhere, but that’s recently been replaced by an ipad. However, the process is the same… #2 – make sure you have some way of quickly recording those random ideas before they leave your mind forever. Many times, I’ve pulled my car over to the side of the road to make notes about something I just thought of, or I’ve gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to get ideas on paper right then.
#22 – Don’t force it. This is something that took me a long time to learn. I’ve been self-employed and working from home for several years now. In the beginning, I tried to adhere to a specific work schedule – 8am to 5pm. Often I would find myself sitting at the computer for hours during the day struggling with a project, but then later that night, the ideas I needed would just come to me instantly. I soon discovered that if I let go of the notion of having a strict work schedule, and instead just worked when inspiration struck (which just happened to be after 10pm usually), I could be so much more productive. The overall result has been a more unconventional schedule but faster workflow and better ideas.
Another item on the list above that I love is #17 – go somewhere new. It’s the reason why I work on a laptop. On any given day my “office” might be at home, one of several local coffee shops, or even outside. Nothing helps recharge my batteries like taking a little break (#6) and re-locating to another area to work…even if that just means moving my computer from my home office to the table out on the deck. Changing my environment is also something I always do when I’m starting a new project. It’s helps me shift gears from what I was working on before to the new design work I’ll be doing.
Finally, I really liked this list of 29 ways to stay creative because it reminded me of several things that I need to make a better effort at doing, and it gave me some new ideas to try. Although, I’m not sure you’ll ever actually find me reading a page of the dictionary. :) So what about you? I know many of my blog readers are creative professionals. I would love to hear what things you do to stay creative!