29 Ways to Stay Creative… How Many Will You Try?

by Robin Ferrier on July 15, 2011

29 Ways to Stay Creative #7I saw a link on the Facebook page of one of my friends last week to a video called “29 Ways to Stay Creative.”

I have to be honest. I almost didn’t watch the video.

For one, I’m not a big fan of video online. I find it easier to read content than watch it. Second, I’m always skeptical about advice columns on the topic of creativity. Because, let’s face it, we all find our creativity in different ways.

And if you’re reading this right now saying, “I’m not an artist/writer/insert-typically-thought-of-as-a-creative-profession here. I don’t need advice on creativity. I don’t need to watch this video.” …

Well, you’re wrong. Everybody in every profession has to be creative at some point. So keep reading.

But I overcame my skepticism and forced myself  to watch it. And I’m glad I did. It’s not that the video necessarily had any revolutionary advice, but  it reminded me of some important “lessons” that I think many of us forget in our daily life.

Things like:

Step Away from the Computer

It’s easy to read and answer “just one last email,” post “just one more Facebook or Twitter update,” or edit/write “just one more document.” It’s much harder to leave that email unread or document unwritten and step away from the keyboard.

But it’s critical you do just that – be it for 10 minutes or 10 days. Clearing your head clears the way for creativity, problem-solving and rejuvenation.

Today, I’ll be stepping away to visit the new Shady Grove Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market on our campus.

Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes

There are a lot of numbers out there about failure vs. success. One website I visited claims entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. Not convinced yet?

R.H. Macy founded seven unsuccessful companies before launching the successful Macy’s department store chain.

Henry Ford started five unsuccessful companies before launching Ford Motors.

Walt Disney was fired from his job with a newspaper because his editor didn’t think he had any imagination. (Who had the last laugh there?)

The point? Make mistakes. Just make sure you learn from them. [For those of you who have employees, I'd say also allow -- perhaps even encourage -- your employees to make mistakes... as long as they don't make the same ones over and over and over again.]

Go Somewhere New

Maybe it’s a new restaurant. Or a new town nearby. Or maybe it’s a new country. Regardless of where, a new environment can spur innovative ideas.

And those are just three of the 29 ideas. Others include tips like “Read a page of the dictionary” and “Sing in the shower.”

My own tip:

Read something you normally wouldn’t read.

Maybe it’s a non-fiction book even though you’re a novel junkie… a Harry Potter story when you normally devour crime novels.  Or a business magazine when you’re an US Weekly fan. But reading something new often spurs new ideas or new ways of thinking.

I encourage all of you to watch the video and then come back here and either tell us your favorite tip from the video or add your own advice as to how you stay creative.

Screen shot reprinted with permission from @tofu_design

Robin Ferrier is Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the immediate past president of the Capital Communicators Group, chair of the PR Committee for the Gaithersburg Book Festival, and chair of the Marketing & PR Committee forLeadership Montgomery. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.

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