One of the key lessons that I learnt over the past year was the importance of continuing ‘input’ to keep my ideas flowing as I continue to grow my business.
I make my living from bringing together lots of different things into great ideas for the people that I work with. The thing about being creative, having ideas and being inspired on a regular basis is both hard work (in a very nice way) and something that can be learnt.
So, I thought I would talk through some things that you can do over your downtime during the festive season to help inspire you with lots of creative ideas for the coming 2018.
- The first thing to do is say yes to the next thing that you might normally say no to. I have to school myself often on this one, as I’m a natural introvert, I’m happy to spend time alone and I always sway towards no when it comes to invitations and doing things that means spending time with lots of other people. But making the effort to overcome this inclination always results in inspiration from a new environment, new experience and new people.
Shonda Rhimes (the creator of Greys Anatomy, Scandal and How to get away with murder) wrote a book about her year of saying yes. She is a woman who makes her living from idea generation and creativity. You can get the general gist by viewing her TedTalk.
- Watch a random TedTalk through their discovery piece. Deliberately choose something that is completely outside anything that you know. My favourite discovery was about crows and how incredibly clever they are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL96cD47DPw
- Listen to podcasts on things that are completely different from what you do every day. I love Planet Money which is about all the crazy things that work in our world like the economy of zoos and how they exchange and barter animals. Other great podcasts are Science Vs – which takes on controversial topics and steps through all the facts that are proven, and not proven and Wow in the world which is a pod cast for kids on science and explaining the Why of things.
- Strike up a conversation with a random stranger. The very act of stretching to engage with someone you know nothing about, pushes your comfort levels and thus helps you think on your feet and really listen to what they have to say. It also has the added benefit of occasionally allowing you to walk away with new knowledge and a feel good story.
- Choose a non-fiction book on a topic you want to know more about and read just 5 minutes per day on it. I do this over coffee. I get through a few pages and while it takes a long time to finish the book, I find that reading it slowly allows me to better digest and connect up the new content to my existing knowledge.
- Allow yourself to be bored. There are a lot of studies that show that the downtime allows your mind to go places it can’t when you’re constantly ‘on’. You can watch Manoush Zomorodi who wrote a book on the topic of bored and brilliant ideas and you can get the general gist here in her TedTalk.
Want somewhere to capture your brilliant ideas during your down time over the break?
Check out my 2018 Planner, I’ve built this Planner so I could have everything in one neat package. Diary, Action plan and a place to capture all my notes and thoughts for my business.