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Posted on: Oct 23, 2012

Staying F.R.E.S.H.

Staying F.R.E.S.H.

SummitUp

Last week, Roger and I attended the SummitUp conference held at Sinclair Community College organized by the many great Dayton creative associations.

The morning keynote from Todd Henry of Accidental Creative was worth the price of admission to the event.

He spoke of the creative process and how it’s easy to gravitate toward activities and environments that reinforce our expectations or existing beliefs. In other words, it’s easy to stay in our comfort zone and that we have to be committed to continuous improvement.

“The love of comfort is the enemy of greatness.” – Todd Henry

I’ve always been an advocate of a great work/life balance but it has changed thru the years to creating a creating rhythm. Brilliance at a moments notice begins with the fundamentals.

The fundamental elements to create rhythm are:

Focus

  • Define the real problem or challenge, refine them, and cluster adjacent tasks. Don’t jump from conceptual to emails.
  • Tame the “PING“; Things that distract you from being creative and productive. Emails, calls, and IMs can all distract and add up. Checking email every five minutes equals to checking it 24,000 times a year.

Relationships

  • Start circles with like-minded individuals/creatives who can contribute to ideas, help solve struggles in work, inspire us.
  • Try “head-to-head” problem solving. Going head-to-head doesn’t always have to mean a competition. Share ideas and collaborate. Choose someone whose notebook you’d want to look through.

Energy

  • Practice pruning; sometimes you have to say NO to things that will drain time/resources from you when better used for creative.
  • Think “Whole Life” – Be mindful of big picture and commitments where you need to place energy. It is better to be effective than efficient.

Stimuli

  • Engage in activities that stretch and create new skills.
  • Create relevant experiences in your life.
  • Take better notes and listen to your intuition. The quality of our notes equals the quality of our creative process.
  • Try a ‘stimulus dive’ and get out of comfort zones and try something new or difficult. Put yourself in a position to experience something new to you.

Hours

  • Try some unnecessary creative projects. When did you last spend time creating something for yourself and your own growth? Draw, build, or develop something on your own. Most of us started into design this way, doing only ‘work’ and not anything for your personal benefit can erode creativity.
  • Try some idea time with yourself or work peers. Engage in activities to build your skills.
  • Don’t rush! Rushing can equal mundane and imperfect work. Set your own style. Where you are putting your time determines your success or failure.

Tap your full potential and leverage your value. This will keep you FRESH! Remember: “Cover bands don’t change the world.”

So go out, generate brilliant ideas and explore new opportunities.