Got to kick out ten ideas for an end-of-play deadline?
Gotta pitch a new policy idea at a meeting?
Gotta stuff 3 penguins into a suit and train them to walk and talk like a human so that you can send them into work on your behalf and have them do your job with their…Flippers? Is it flippers penguins have?
Well, never fear the Simply Thrilled guide to getting creative is here!
(I mean, we can maybe help you with the first 2 of that list but the penguin thing, what… What is that all about son? Like, where are you gonna get a quarter-dozen penguins from mate?! Mate, if you don’t want to go into work just ring in sick like everyone else, good god! Why you going around messing about with penguins and such?
Okay, anyhoo, on with the list!
Kill the distractions
At the top of the list – you know this is true mate, you know this is true. As the French would say, you gotta Killé Le Telephoné (okay hands up, I have no idea if that’s proper French or not, on reflection it probably isn’t, I think the french for kill was mort, I’m aware I could quickly Google the word and check but as per the advice on the top of the list I’m minimising distractions.
…There is nothing worse for coming up with cool ideas than a constantly chirruping phone. I mean there is stuff that’s worse, a triple homicide is worse, but only marginally. (obviously it’s a lot lot worse)
Picture if you will, a scene in which you, the conduit for true inspiration in creativity, are staring into the distance you mind wandering in and about a particularly perplexing problem, be it business otherwise. Out of nowhere there’s a series of PINGS followed by a shrill:
DUH DUH DUH… DUH DUH DUH…
(incidentally, this is me trying to do a semantic impression of the iPhone ringtone, it obviously doesn’t work. Obviously.
And, lo, there goes your thought process for the past few minutes, oh great. You might even have been on the brow of a an epiphany, Damascene moment. And now, not only have you lost this, you’ve also lost all the mental ‘workings out’ by which I mean the thought you had before the thought that led you to the watershed moment of clarity. All for the sake of your tweet being auto-liked by a bot. Or someone trying to hard-sell you PPI you don’t need.
Get very distracted
Oh what’s that? Advice in this sub-heading which runs directly in the opposite direction of the advice in the latter? SMOKE AND MIRRORS BABY! Who knows what’s going to happen eh?
Okay the thing is with this is if you are wicked stuck with something, get distracted. You’ll be astonished what your mind can do of its own accord. The subconscious is very much the Wild West of the brain, it’s free like a braying mountain goat and should be treated as such i.e. be allowed to roam and play hither and thither. And fed cheese.
(goats don’t probably eat cheese I guess, not even goat’s cheese but hey)
Star jumps, baking, a crossword, doing the washing up, doing my washing up, writing me a cheque right now for all the money in your bank account (NB the last one is extremely important). These are all things you can do to get distracted and come up with those killer ideas.
Go for a walk
This could easily have been subsumed within the vestiges of ‘get distracted list’ but it didn’t because I think it needs its own paragraph altogether.
Walking is an activity beloved of many famous figures Including Aristotle, Nietsche, Einstein William Wordsworth Charles Dickens and Steve Jobs.
I have a pacer app and unless I hit my 10k steps a day I kick off and hit someone, no really (not really I’m quite nice). I always think it should be the journey not the destination, what does matter is that you put one foot in front of the other. As well as putting one foot in front other other I also want you to join me in this creative exercise.
Stand up, put one arm out, palm facing down, then the other arm beside it palm also facing down, then flip them over so the palms are facing up one at a time.
Congratulations, you just did the start of the Macarena dance! Find out how to do the rest here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpW-djiKVg8
(look at me, hyping on a random Youtube video – they’re not even sponsors! I’m just hyping them for free!
But yeah, nonsense aside walking is a good thing to do. Dude.
Yeah, I first got taught it about 4 years ago in late 2013 – it’s good man it clears your MIND!
If you’re anything like me, (and god help you if you are) your mind goes something like this: (I am going to write all of the thoughts that enter my head, I’ll type them as quickly as I can)
Why no thoughts?
Do I need the toilet?
Too many plates in room
Ears blocked should call doctor or ear candle?
Need to call Hannah.
Those fudge fingers in Roses.
…And those were the ones not fleeting enough to be caught!
I will now do a 20 minute meditation and try the same thing again.
(btw I’m aware this experiment does not hold up to any kind of academic or scientific rigour, but screw it)
Now, post meditation here are my thoughts in real time:
(That’s it! That’s literally all of my thoughts!)
See, see how clear that made my head? Read it again:
The power of meditation! Look how clear headed I am now! I’m not banging on about ringing Hannah… good god I don’t even know who hannah is?!
Nature ‘n’ stuff
It’s been proven in experiments even more methodical, rigorous and peer-reviewed than mine above that the presence of nature, improves mental health all told, with sharper creative thinking being a key benefit of that. (no I’m not going to link it all to you here, go Google it yourself if you want it that much! Oh okay then, now you’ve asked nicely it’s here) So go for a walk out to the country on the regular to get that clean green serene thing going down.
Commissioning us to make your next tv advert or promo film
Ever got to like, nearly the end of an article which seemed like the dude writing it was being really friendly, writing all this without a care in the world then BANG! sales pitch. Just gonna leave this link here and let you do the decidin’ that’s all. All I’m saying is, not only does working with other creative folk make you more creative yourself it also increases attractiveness to the opposite sex by up to 215% facts mate, facts!
It does not do this 😉
Look yeah, I included this on the list, but I included it last as I’m terrible at exercise. I mean, I guess the walking maybe at a push is exercise I guess?
I mean, I walk pretty fast.
But yeah, probably exercise might help, from what I’ve heard…
I mean this could be me, but an ickle bit of vitamin c works wonders for creative thinking (the c in this case stands for caffeine not whatever the c in vitamin c, stands for, does anyone know? Answers on a postcard to my email address please.
Green tea is especially good for this- for me it has just the right amount of caffeine in to be just right. A coffee (obviously depending on how weak or strong you make it) has a definite buzzing up and correlating come-down effect of tiredness and perhaps even a headache if you’ve made it strong. Green tea on the other hand has no negligible up it’s more of a bit of a boost or added perkiness plus it has a bunch of other benefits such as a shed-load of antioxidants too. Look at me, god you’d think I was an affiliate marketeer for green tea or something (I’m not, but gosh, I should be)