Look. I also don't like these kinds of list posts. But I've done most of the things on this list recently. So I didn't feel very creative today. And the only idea I had today was to write down the 10 things that kill my creativity. As some sort of reminder to myself. Or whatever..
Whenever you're too comfortable, when you have all you need, you will stop being creative. Because creativity and innovation is the result of being uncomfortable. Of willing to change things. Of willing to create things. And when you already have everything you need, there's no need to be creative. To come up with new solutions.
# things I don't like
This is probably one of the biggest creativity killers out there. At least for me. Whenever I do things I don't enjoy doing, but have to do, like editing a book I wrote, it's like my brain is shutting down to punish me. I don't come up with new ideas anymore. I stare at the screen for hours and can't think anymore. It's like my brain is completely empty..
Whenever I go out drinking too much I don't come up with anything anymore. All my creativity is gone. Puuf! And not only this. I could sleep all day long. Which is what I do most of the time after a night out drinking.
I don't know. Maybe it's just me. But when I was still in my early twenties I could go out drinking all night, sleep for three hours and would be super fresh the next day.
Today when I go out drinking and sleep 6+ hours I still feel like crap. I can't get out of my bed for an entire day and still feel like crap two days after I went out drinking. But maybe I'm just getting old..
Whenever I try to be super productive, when I write down a big list of things to do and tick one box after another I'm completely exhausted after having done half of the things on the list. I feel like I just like ran a marathon. I never ran a marathon. But I think that's what a marathon feels like. And these sessions feel like a mental marathon that sucks all the creativity out of me.
# people I don't like
Meeting and being around people I don't really enjoy being around sucks all the energy out of me. I don't like to argue. I don't like it when other people talk bad behind other people's backs. And when all of this happens, it's just exhausting. And pointless. And I think about all of this pointlessness for way too long. It keeps my brain busy spinning. I know, I shouldn't care about it. But I do. I just can't help it..
The longer you're able to work and the less sleep you need, the better. That's a way of thinking that originated during the industrial revolution when we were still working in factories (or on the fields). The longer you were able to work and the less sleep you needed, the stronger your health and the more you could earn.
That was the general understanding back then. When physical strength was most important. And creativity didn't matter. I don't think this still applies today. We work with more and more information, in more and more complex systems with more and more complex tasks where our minds need to be well rested. Otherwise we won't be able to properly navigate through these complex systems and tasks anymore.
# no routine
A lot of people believe that creativity is the result of chaos. I don't think this is true. Whenever I travel a lot and don't manage to have some sort of routine going on, I don't come up with anything. It's like I'm a completely different person. Which is good from time to time. To spice things up. To reinvent yourself. Still, I don't believe that creativity is the result of inspiration, a muse or whatever. It's the result of a pretty damn good routine, discipline and a good portion of sitting down on your ass and doing the work..
# information overload
Everything you consume online or offline will take over some of your brain's capacity. It will keep your brain busy thinking. Consciously or unconsciously. Just think about when you check your emails first thing in the morning. Or your Facebook timeline. Ughhhh. Mary is back together with John. And you know that John was cheating on her. Should I tell her. Think. Think. Think..
You know, you're exposing yourself to hundreds of pieces of information within a short period of time. You won't be able to process all of that information anymore. Probably the worst start of the day ever. And the beginning of a cluttered brain for the rest of the day..
# you time
If you don't spend enough time with yourself, if you don't give yourself some time to breathe and instead run from one meeting (business or private) to another you'll never have time to figure out what you really want in life. You'll never have time to figure yourself out. And when you don't know what you want in life, when you don't know who you are, you'll never be able to come up with creative ways of getting there. You'll be stuck where you are right now forever..
I think the general rule is this: BS in. BS out. Whatever you put into your system will come out of it.
If you only put in negative things into your system, like meeting people you don't like, doing things you don't enjoy doing, alcohol, chaos or stress the result of it won't be anything good. You won't be very creative.
On the other hand if you try to put as much positive stuff into your system as possible like doing things you actually enjoy doing, being around people you like, a routine and enough sleep you will be able to be so much more creative. And when I say „you“, I mean „I“.
I know it sounds easy. But it's not. And it doesn't work over night. It only works one step at a time. It only works when you give yourself the permission, time, space and room to avoid all of the above things.
Hopefully I will be able to avoid more of these things again in the future. Then I won't have to write one of these stupid list posts again.
What worked yesterday might not work anymore tomorrow. But some things will always work.
No matter how many robots are out there. Or how many algorithms are replacing our jobs.
Learn these 14 micro skills and you'll never have to worry about your future ever again (of course it isn't that easy, but it's a great start.)
You can download a free report where I discuss these skills below.
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