10 Ways to Get Creative
When was the last time you accidentally stumbled across something on your social feeds that was truly memorable? It's rare these days. That's because there is so much more content out there today than before. It's just harder to find the good stuff when so many people are pushing out average content.
As you contemplate how to break through that noise; how to reach the people that matter to you and make the impression you want to make, I want you to think about the process differently. It's not the type of video you make. It's not the production quality. It's the idea. And that is a creative problem not a technical one.
The best Art, the best Music, the best Comedy, the best anything is great because it opens us up to seeing things differently. The most memorable content will help us to expand our understanding of things. The most memorable marketing causes us to react, to laugh, to cry, to pose questions to ourselves, even if it is inside our own head. How do you do that?
My wife was trolling Facebook last night with her cup of tea and she started to laugh pretty hard. I asked why and she showed me this video her cousin posted. Her cousin is a30-something year old father of two...a country boy. The video started with him sitting in his living room asking himself out loud, "Did I leave my sprinkler on?". We then see him walking outside to reveal his house is surrounded by 4-8' of water. If you live anywhere in south Louisiana you’ll know what a tropical storm can do to a low lying neighborhood. He obviously lives in one of the coastal flood zones. So he walks down the steps to the raging river that surrounds his property and pulls his sprinkler out of the flood water, (it's on), and then proceeds to yell apologies to his neighbors for leaving his sprinkler on. As a person always thinking about marketing I saw that as perhaps the most memorable sprinkler ad of all time. Just tag that video with, "Hydro-Rain - one damn powerful sprinkler!"
So how do we do that? I'll tell you there's no system I know that guarantees instant creativity. What I can share with you are things I do that help me think my way to creative perspectives.
10 things you can do to get you thinking more creatively:
1. Stop telling yourself, "I'm just not the creative type."
There's no such thing. Force yourself to believe this truth: Creativity is a skill and, (just like any other skill), you can cultivate it
2. Create a Ritual
It's hard to get to the gym everyday. It's easier if you pack your gym bag the night before and set an alarm to wake you up with enough time to go.
3. Create something every day.
It doesn't have to be much. It just has to be creative. Write a blog. Sketch a picture. Make a video of yourself expressing an opinion, (nobody has to see any of this). Just commit to the act and do it for 30 days straight. It'll change how your brain works.
4. Get passionate
Find the passion in the task. Can't find anything within the task itself? Then find passion in the outcome you hope the act of doing the task will bring you.
5. Dig In
A simple way to stimulate creative thought is to ask questions. A question is like a shovel. Whenever you use it the hole gets deeper.
6. Focus on thoughts that serve you.
Doubting yourself will only slow you down. Focus exclusively on thoughts that serve you and ignore the rest.
7. Look after yourself.
Eat vegetables, sleep more and maybe pass on the fried food at least once in a while. Your mind works better when you look after it.
8. Remove Distractions.
Dedicate a time to your creative workout. 15-minutes a day? An hour every other day? Whatever it is shut off the email and social for the duration. If all you can muster in the absence of noise is to sit quietly that's ok. You need space for a thing to grow
9. Do your creative work first.
Creative work is hard so do it when you have the most energy. For me, that's in the morning. And, (if you hit flow), you'll have time to go with it.
10. Write down the ideas that come to you when they come to you.
Creative ideas rise to the surface at unexpected moments. Be ready to capture them when they do.
You are a work in progress just like everyone else. Pick one of these tips and go biblical on it. Do that and you might just surprise yourself at the creative thoughts that come to you when you.