Once upon a time, creativity was thought to belong to artists and poets. It had nothing to do with the real world and certainly nothing to do with the rest of us. Creativity was something you were born with, and that was that. So how does becoming creative fit in with today’s world? Let’s check this out and see what we can find out!
That idea has taken a 180-degree turn and bitten the dust. In our fast-moving times, whether it’s in science or business or many other areas, innovation and creativity are the things that lead to success. Without them, businesses stagnate and fail.
So, What is Creativity Then?
Two French mathematicians, Hadamard and Poincare, have defined the creative process in the following four steps.
- Preparation – You discover a problem and try to solve it with established means.
- Incubation – These methods don’t work so you go off and do something else.
- Illumination – All of a sudden, the answer appears to you.
- Verification – You assess the new idea to see if it’s any good.
It used to be thought that only two types of thinking led to creativity: convergent thinking where you draw on all your resources to solve a problem, or divergent thinking when you solve the problem by seeing it in a different way.
What Do Psychologists Believe?
In the last few decades, psychologists have come to believe that there are many different ways to be creative. They think that creativity is simply a state of mind in which a person is ready and willing to entertain new ideas.
Psychologists also believe that almost all of us can learn to be more creative. Some of us may be more creative than others, but we can all be creative, especially in the areas of the 10 intelligence types, where we have our own unique strengths.
Many times we stifle our own creativity with the little voice that says,” It will never work.” Often we say that about other people’s ideas, too. The thing you need to do is challenge that anti-creativity with a counter-argument. When you do this, you give your own creativity permission to flow.
What Do YOU Think?
Ask yourself open-ended questions like…
– Is there another way to do this?
– What’s the worst that could happen if we tried this?
– Are there parts of this idea that will work?
– What’s good about this?
– How can we make it better?
– What can we do instead?
Practice non-judgmental idea gathering to enhance creativity. Do this and watch your creativity explode. I kid you not! It works, for most people, including me!
Turning Problems Into Challenges
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, a remarkable book in which he discusses how our thinking can enhance our quality of life. He explains how a rich, strong, powerful person is no more in control of his consciousness than someone who is sickly, poor, weak, or oppressed. The difference is in whether he sees challenges as threats or as opportunities for action. This is a very interesting topic, a discussion on how turning problems into challenges can benefit you in your business. What do you think?
There are exercises that can help you think better, faster, more clearly. I hope you find some of them in this book, and here’s a link where you can purchase a copy on Amazon Flow. Geez, that’s amazing, right?
The Autotelic Self
What he calls the autotelic self refers to someone who has the ability to translate potential threats into enjoyable challenges, and thus has an internal balance. The term autotelic self means a person who has self-contained goals.
And then there are insights that can change your life. Autoletic thinking turns problems into challenges to be met and learned from. It is an approach that will change your life if you practice it. Now there’s the challenge for you, will you practice it?
adjective: (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
For most people, goals are shaped by biological needs and social conventions – things that are outside the self. The difference is that the autotelic self, or the person who is capable of defining things for himself, is also capable of transforming threats into non-threatening challenges.
This can be done with a simple change of perspective, a shift in consciousness: that is, seeing a threat as a challenge that you can overcome. Isn’t that interesting?
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Once you can do that, the steps are simple:
- Be crystal clear about the goal. Once you know exactly what the goal is, you have an understanding of what is needed to meet it. Then you can decide on a series of actions necessary to accomplish the goal. You can modify these actions as needed in order to meet the goal.
- Become involved in the activity — This means commitment. This means action. Whether things are going your way or not, you consistently take action with the next best steps. This demands concentration, commitment, and follow-through.
- Pay attention to what is happening – This really means that the project becomes more important than your own feelings about what is happening. Your concentration is on the results of the project. You invest your energy in the project. You are committed, you are involved – it’s about the project, not about you.
- Enjoying the experience – the autotelic self is able to set goals, develop skills, be sensitive to feedback, get involved, and look past obstacles. The benefit of learning to be an autotelic personality is that anything that happens can be a source of joy because it is a source of learning and a step to the next goal. In other words, there are no failures, only learning experiences.
This approach to thinking can mean the difference between living life in fear or living life in joy. Developing autotelic thinking will give you the ability to transform random events into learning experiences that eventually result in success.
Life is change – by definition and for everyone. Seeing that as a challenge to be accepted, enjoyed, and built on is the “secret” to successful living.
Now you can read the book at your leisure once you’ve purchased it and if you need any help at all, please contact me for a Free Call to see if I might help you with this challenge.
There are four distinct learning styles. Most people will have a preference for one of the four, but to some extent also use the others. The better you use all four of them, the more you will learn from your experiences.
See if you can pick out the learning style that you seem to choose naturally from the four styles below.
– This person enjoys new experiences and dives right in
– So, he likes the excitement of drama or a crisis
– And he enjoys out-of-the-box ideas
– He likes using other people as sounding boards
– This person enjoys theories and concepts
– So, she enjoys intellectual exercises
– And she performs well in structured situations
– She doesn’t like shallow, unsubstantial thinking
– This person enjoys detailed research
– So, he likes just sitting back and thinking
– And he thinks before he acts
– He doesn’t respond well in crises or with time constraints
– This person works well on practical tasks
– So, she enjoys putting things into practice immediately
– And she needs guidelines
– She doesn’t enjoy learning that does not have a practical outcome
If you can see that these four learning styles are all aspects of the complete learning process? In stage 1 the activist has the experience. Stage 2, the reflector, reviews the experience. In stage 3 the theorist makes conclusions from experience. And in stage 4 the pragmatist takes action based on the first three stages.
So, whichever style is your strong suit naturally, you can benefit from practicing all four stages.
If you need help with figuring out your style and what would work best for you, schedule a FREE Call with me, and let’s discuss. Call Me Using this Link!
Three Productivity Tools
Today’s topic is all about Three Productivity Tools. Now everyone can use more productivity in their lives, I know that I can. I would rather spend my time doing things that I enjoy, wouldn’t you?
If you’re like most busy people, you’re always looking for ways to increase your productivity.
If you can find a way to:
- Limit distractions in this distraction-filled world
- Stay focused on a single task at a time
…you’re well on your way to getting more done, but it’s not always easy to get there. Well, thanks to the amazing technology we have available to us today, there are plenty of tools out there that can help.
Abundance of Tools
Here are 3 of our favorite productivity tools to help you limit distractions and stay focused.
1. Rescue Time
Let’s get the distractions out of the way first because even while technology brings us so many great productivity tools, it also brings us tremendous distractions. RescueTime helps you track your time on your computer and your mobile devices and identifies where you’re spending (ahem…often wasting) a lot of your time.
- Alert you when you’re spending a certain amount of time on an activity
- Allow you to block distracting websites during focus time
- Keep track of what you accomplished throughout the day
- Identify how much time you spend on a variety of activities, including email, meetings, etc.
You can sign up for a Lite account, which is completely free, or their premium service for added features.
Production is Easy
2. Focus Booster Pomodoro App
The Focus Booster app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which is a long-standing productivity technique that uses a timer for focused work periods, usually 25 minutes, followed by a break of 3-5 minutes. After you complete 4 work periods, you get a break of 15-30 minutes. The idea is you stay completely focused on the task during the work period.
There are a lot of apps that can help you execute the Pomodoro Technique, but you can check out Focus Booster. The app is free for up to 20 sessions per month or you can pay a reasonable yearly fee for unlimited sessions and extra features.
The app keeps a timesheet for you and produces a report that allows you to track your productivity and identify ways to become even more productive. And they have a 30 Day PRO Trial also.
And the Last One
Now here’s something very different, but scientifically proven to increase focus and productivity. And if you love music, this is going to be great news for you.
Focus@Will uses human neuroscience and music to help you focus, limit distractions, get productive and retain more information. All you do is answer a few questions and the software will determine the right music to put your brain in a flow state that makes you super productive. Wow!!
There is a free 2-week trial, so you can see if it works for you.
Try these Three Productivity Tools and let us know what you think. And hey, if you’ve got a productivity tool you love, can you send me a message? We’d love to gather up your answers and make part 2 for this article with more great productivity tools.
Manage Your Time – how many times have you heard that phrase? Like it’s been beating you in the head forever, but is it actually registering in said head? You know, you’ve heard it a thousand times but if it’s not getting through, then you’re not really listening, are you?
Managing your time is not just good practice but it is also good for productivity, organization, and achieving success with your goals. By managing your time properly and efficiently you can create an organized life.
It doesn’t need to be overwhelming if you follow the strategies below.
Get Up Early
The most successful people are early risers and have a morning routine in place. Do you have one?
Morning routines often include:
- Healthy Eating
A regular morning routine will ensure that you start your days successfully.
Creating a to-do list should be a regular habit undertaken daily. The best lists are 10 items or less to ensure that you can complete them. Don’t forget to prioritize the items on the list and review them throughout the day. Checking off items as they are completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
Sticky notes are ideal for displaying reminders of tasks, motivational quotes, and visualizations. If you’ve got a pile of letters that need to be mailed and that’s an item on your to-do list, why not put a sticky note on top of the pile with a deadline for posting them? It’ll serve as a reminder to get them posted and cleared out of your way.
Of course, you can record your notes digitally using note-taking apps or in a text document, or using pen and paper but have you thought of recording them using a digital recorder? You can get free recording apps for smartphones. By making a voice recording you can replay the recording and listen to your ideas. This will give you the opportunity to listen from a different perspective.
Create a schedule. Using an online planner such as Google Calendar will ensure that you are able to access your schedule on your smartphone, tablet, or computer wherever you are. You can color-code different categories of entry and share with friends, family, and colleagues as necessary.
Use Pen and Paper
For your most important events, tasks and notes use the traditional recording method of pen and paper with a diary, planner, or bullet journal. You can keep it with you at all times, it won’t distract you with messages or run out of power. You’ll also be able to flick through at a glance to see how much you’ve achieved, past or forthcoming events, and outstanding tasks.
Be realistic. Not all tasks and events are created equal. Find a way to highlight events that are essential so that you can see them at a glance and be sure not to miss them. On your lists of things to do always prioritize them and complete the most important first. If there are items that aren’t important or not time-sensitive then consider moving them off your current list and on to another day. You can’t do everything!
If there are items on your list that aren’t important then think about delegating them. You don’t need to try and be a superhero and do everything yourself. Kids can tidy away their toys and when old enough learn how to load the dishwasher, set the table, and do other simple chores. By enlisting the help of other household members you can get more accomplished in less time.
Managing your time properly and efficiently is one of the keys to staying organized. And, it’s also the way you create success along the way when you are working your business. Take these ideas and use them for both your personal life and your professional life. Then you’ll be able to fit more into your day. And even have time to play with your kids and enjoy time with your husband or significant other. Now that’s what I’m talking about!!
Need help figuring out how to create your Time Management Goals? Let’s set up a time to do that. Here’s my booking link to make it easy for you to schedule a time to get together. → Calendar Link This is a free 15 – minute call to see if we want to work together. And then we schedule a time to work on your project. It’s simple and as easy as that!
I would be more than happy to help you figure things out.