Creative-ideas

How To Get Motivated – And Stay That Way

Perhaps you to find the motivation to do the laundry or write a novel. If you are struggling to get moving, follow through on those goals and commitments with the help of these tips.

RELATED: How to find time for your creative projects

1. Change out of your pyjamas

It’s not so much a change of clothes, as a change in your state of mind. Some people recommend not doing work in your bedroom because you associate this room with sleep. Others can’t get anything done without a shower and a clean working space. But staying in your pyjamas gives you one less reason to get moving, get out of the house, and get to work.

2. Get inspired

Even if you think it’s corny, collect inspirational quotes – and review them from time to time when you’re feeling a dull patch. Personally, I have go-to TED Talks and poems. Read a book or listen to music get your mind rolling and blood pumping. Seek out material and activities that you enjoy, and people whose company fuels your soul. In short, get excited about life and find reason in what you’re trying to achieve!

3. Just do it

Nike was right all along – just do it. Don’t make excuses. Whether you need to exercise, respond to an email, or compose an aria – you need to get to it! Don’t tell yourself the weather is bad or you had bad dreams last night. Sit yourself down (or get yourself up) and just throw yourself into it.

4. Disconnect

Oh dear, a day without the internet?! While once upon a time, television was seen as the enemy of productivity; today, it is social media. Sure, Game of Thrones might still be around to distract you, but we are all know how easily a casual browse through your Facebook feed can turn into a four-hour rabbit hole of Buzzfeed quizzes and Wikipedia. Also, you don’t need to perpetually be connected. Constantly being within an arms reach of your mobile is completely unnecessary and totally distracting. I don’t care if you haven’t finished this article yet, if you have something to do… bookmark it and walk away.

5. Reconnect

Don’t forget to lean on others for support. It may be as subtle as announcing your intention to achieve something to someone else – you are less likely to pull out of a commitment if you have someone watching over you. Perhaps you would rather go talk to a friend, seek their support and perhaps they will remind you of what you are capable of.

6. Relax

Sure, some things need to be done on a deadline, but use your spare time wisely. Give yourself a good sleep, meditate on your lunch break, and just take some time every day to gather your thoughts. Taking a step back from your task and getting some perspective can be a far more effective and intelligent way to work, and will often allow you to refocus on what actually needs to be achieved.

7. Make time

We can all get weighed down in menial, everyday tasks, like doing the housework, that distract us from something more important. Make time to execute your goals, even if it’s just a planning session, remembering that staying on track with your life is far more important than vacuuming your bedroom.

8. Be brave

There is nothing more rewarding than surprising yourself. For example, I’ve been taking steps in being more assertive – speaking up about things I would have previously died before saying. In some cases they have worked out and sometimes they haven’t. However, even when they haven’t resulted in what I imagined, I’ve felt proud of myself for achieving something I was previously too scared to do, for being honest and true to myself, and then being more excited that, instead of belittling myself for a “failure”, I patted myself on the back for making progress.

9. Take baby steps

If you’re in a serious slump or suffering depression, start small and remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remember that the something is always better than nothing and reward yourself for your achievements, no matter how small. Make a to-do list and pat yourself on the back as you check things off. The best way to remind yourself you can do it, is by doing something (anything!), and recognising that you have achieved. Which brings me to…

10. Practice self-love

Ever been told that you are your own worst enemy? Being self-critical is not the key to success. Contrarily, perfectionism is more likely to contribute to low confidence and feelings of doubt that inhibit your ability to achieve. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself like a close friend and forgive yourself for mistakes and work to understand your misgivings. If you have spent all of today in your pyjamas, recognise that this was merely a mistake and you won’t make the same one tomorrow. Be kind to yourself!

November 8, 2014

Where To Find Great Ideas

We often fall into the trap of believing that a unique idea should be entirely our own. We sit in front of our blank screen or notebook, browsing our brains for worthy thoughts and finding nothing. Even if we spot a thought that seems interesting, we start wondering. Is it new? Is it different enough? Or are we just remembering something we read in the paper a couple of weeks ago?

This is not how the human brilliance is supposed to work. For thousands of years each generation has been building on the knowledge and experience of those before them. Next time you’re looking for a great idea for your work, home improvement or creative project, take advantage of something that’s already been created and add your own unique spin to it.

RELATED: 7 Easy Ways To Boost Your Creativity

Improve on someone else’s idea

If an idea already exists to address your challenge, have a look at it. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? How would you improve on it? If you don’t know, who could you ask?

Adapt an idea from another field

If there’s something you like in a different area than the one you’re working in, there’s probably a way to adapt it to solve your challenge. For example, you’re in the middle of a home improvement project and you see a photo of your friend’s kids playing in the park that catches your eye. Maybe, you could use the colour palette. Or, if it’s the smiles of the playing kids that attracted, you could use your own kids’ photos for your project. Or you may be looking at the interesting angle the playground equipment makes – how can you use it in your interior design?

Combine two (or more) ideas

You can create something new by taking the best features from several different ideas (related or unrelated) and dropping all the features that you don’t like.

Brainstorm with others

I’ve been participating in a brainstorming project for my blog and I’m finding it fascinating how other people’s ideas can supercharge my own. Even when someone has no knowledge of your area or doesn’t understand what you’re asking and their response seems unrelated, it can send your thought into a completely new direction.

Collaborations with others can also help us realise that what we think is boring and mundane (because it’s something we’ve been thinking for a long time) is completely new and useful to someone else.

Great ideas are everywhere around us. Don’t be afraid to reach for them and use them as fuel to build your own.

Image by geralt via pixabay.com

October 8, 2014

7 Easy Ways To Boost Your Creativity

Where are all the great ideas when you need them? If you find yourself stuck, looking for a new solution or simply bored and craving something new, here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.

Lower your standards

You may be thinking here, “Really? How am I going to get better ideas if I keep the bar low?” Imagine you wanted to paint, but you’d only do it if you were guaranteed to paint a masterpiece. You’d never even start! On the other hand, if you just got started, your painting skills would improve overtime and you’d eventually create your masterpiece. The same concept applies to creative thinking. You need to start somewhere. Sometimes you’ll get lucky immediately. But more often you’ll tweak, change, improve and combine your not-so-great ideas before you come up with something truly useful.

Ask different questions

Your ideas are a direct response to the questions you’re asking yourself. So if you’re stuck, try looking at your challenge differently and exploring new questions. Why is it a challenge? Is there something else you need to solve first? How can you make your challenge smaller? Bigger? More fun? More beautiful? How can you simplify it? What if you painted it blue?

Change your settings

Another way to see your challenge from a new angle is to change your physical environment. Re-decorate your room, go to another room or, even better, go outside, to the park, the local library or a café. What do you notice from your new viewpoint?

Pretend you’re someone else

What would Leonardo da Vinci say if he was presented with your challenge? What about Albert Einstein? Imagine what the world would look like if you were them and notice if anything different comes to mind.

Share your ideas

Often we keep our ideas to ourselves because we’re afraid of being criticised. Sure, we avoid potential criticism, but we miss out on valuable feedback from others. Sometimes just one phrase or suggestion from a friend can set you on a whole new trail of thought that can lead to an unexpected conclusion.

Walk away

When you feel like you’ve spent hours on a challenge and you’re not making any progress, it’s time to walk away and do something completely different. Your subconscious mind will be working on your behalf while you’re meditating, playing with your kids or taking a bath. Be sure to have a notebook handy to capture the new ideas when they arrive!

Play and have fun

Play engages your imagination, reduces stress levels and helps your ideas flow freely. You’re less likely to sensor and discard what you come up with as useless. Instead, your childlike curiosity will lead you to examine your ideas closely and seek new connections.

Do these suggestions sound too easy to be effective? Put them to the test!

Image by weinstock via pixabay.com

By Tatiana Apostolova

June 16, 2014