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4 Techniques to Spur Creativity in a Noisy World

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You feel that familiar buzz in your pocket as you finally detach your eyes from the spreadsheet you’ve been staring at all day to reach for your iPhone. It’s your significant other, and they need you to call them right away. After pausing your Spotify app and removing your earphones from your ear, you dial them while simultaneously thinking about that YouTube video you were planning on watching during your break.

After you’re finished conversing about the latest political blunder you read about on Facebook, you hang up and head back to your desk. After bouncing back and forth between the spreadsheets and emails all day, it’s finally time to go home where you spend the evening watching Netflix until you fall asleep. Once you wake up, you realize you had planned to work on your creative project that day but somehow got lost in all the daily distractions.

If this sounds like a typical day-in-the-life for you then you’re not alone. Plenty of us have been sucked into the digital sphere of distractions to the point where it’s considered normal to be so all-over-the-place.

The thought of taking a few minutes out of our days to work on a creative endeavor seems impossible. Or worse, when we do find the time, we end up not getting anything done due to a “lack of inspiration.” Thankfully, there are things we can do to help spur creativity and get things done.

Here are 4 techniques that will help ignite your inner creativeness:

1. Be Fully Present

In this day and age, it’s easy to have our minds pulled in fifty different directions at once thanks to our smartphones and computers. Not only is this a problem for people while at the office, but it’s also been shown to have a very negative impact on people’s creative lives.

If you plan on creating something, try to eliminate as many distractions as possible and position yourself in a place where you can be fully present.

For me, I have a designated room where I spend my time writing or creating music. It’s quiet, my phone is left in the other room, and I have all of the tools in front of me ready to be used including my laptop, my piano, and my guitar. Without this place, I find it much more difficult to engage with my creative side due to distractions and noise around me.

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” –  American Proverb

2. Start Your Project Even If You Don’t Feel Ready

This is a tricky one for most of us – why would we start something big if we’re not fully sure how it will end up? We love to plan things out, research, talk to others about our ideas, etc. while never actually starting our projects.

The best advice anyone ever gave me was to simply start whatever it is I want to do and figure it out as I go along. It was this advice that allowed me to finish writing my first song after spending years making excuses as to why I wasn’t ready to write one yet.

I needed to listen to a little bit more Bob Dylan for lyrical inspiration, read a couple more books about the Beatles for chord inspiration, and learn a few more City and Colour songs on guitar for melody inspiration before I was ready to write my own song. In other words, I needed to feel ready before I started.

Unfortunately, we’re never going to be fully ready by most of our standards. It wasn’t until I grabbed a notepad out of frustration over my lack of action and penned a couple phrases that I had a sudden revelation that I was actually writing a song. A day later, I had the entire song penned including a chord progression and melody. A week later, I wrote another song from start to finish in just 4 hours.

Had I not taken action and actually started the process of creating by putting pen to paper, I would have never experienced the creative flow that allowed me to write these songs.

The 17th-century British poet George Herbert put it best when he said, “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, work with whatever tools you have, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

3. Develop a Routine and Don’t Wait for Inspiration

Chuck Close put it brilliantly when he said, “Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.” Inspiration, while certainly important, pales in comparison to the simple act of developing a routine.

In the book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work”, the author highlights how famous novelists such as Michael Chabon and Haruki Murakami have set routines each week that they spend writing.

This is the secret to their success more than just being inspired – they developed a pattern of behavior that gives them the time to allow their creativity to flow. Personally, I find it much easier to write music when I set aside time during the day to create rather than waiting around for inspiration to hit me like a ton of bricks.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent Van Gogh

4. Stop Constantly Listening to Success Stories

While I have been inspired greatly by the success stories of others, if I’m not careful I can quickly find myself spending more time focusing on other people’s success rather than my own.

Problems arise when I begin comparing myself to others and this, in turn, makes me feel frustrated that I’m not yet experiencing the level of creative success that these people are.

The cruel irony of the situation is that listening to these stories that are supposed to be motivating can actually make me feel less motivated if I overindulge. It wasn’t until I took a break from consuming this content and, instead, learned to celebrate where I was in the creative process that I gained that sense of motivation to keep striving for more.

I’m always reminded of the fact that when I was younger, I spent hours creating and publishing satirical videos on the internet, writing creative short stories, and even producing beautiful melodies on my piano without listening to a single podcast or reading a single motivating article. These tools are effective motivators, but relying on them rather than your own inner creativity can leave you feeling unmotivated and scatter-brained.

Creativity isn’t just dependent on inspiration, it’s instead dependent on people taking action and eliminating distractions. If you wish to explore your creative side, spend some time figuring out what space you need to make for yourself to unleash your creative potential and take action.

How to you remain creative in your daily life? Let us know your tips and advice below!

An SEO expert, consultant, and musician, Thomas Adams writes on his website ThomasFAdams.com where he teaches wanna-be entrepreneurs how to start and maintain successful online businesses involving everything from web design to eCommerce. He has worked extensively with businesses both big and small to improve their SEO since 2014. On the side, he loves playing piano and writing songs.

Success Advice

7 Ways to Face Adversity Using the Power of Extreme Ownership

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Adversity is an inevitable part of our lives, and it is an important and defining factor of our personal story. The stories we build for ourselves in the face of adversity will either empower or discourage us emotionally, help us move forward or remain stuck in the past, allow us to grow or to decline. (more…)

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Why Your Confidence Needs to Match Your Competence

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Even if you produce amazing results at your job or in other areas of your life, others may still not see you as being competent if you lack the confidence to back it up. If you are good at your job, exuding confidence will ensure others also recognize your competence in your area of expertise. And research backs this up. (more…)

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5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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Prepare Yourself for Prosperity With These 6 Success Habits

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Success stories don’t come from naturally successful people. They come from ordinary people with starry eyes and big dreams who stayed true to their end goal and consistently put in the work. They are just like you and me. What sets them apart is their mindset — a success mindset. (more…)

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