The control room horse blinkers, a lack of energy and drive, a result of lacking lifestyle balance. Time to F-R-E-S-H-en up your creative lifestyle.
As creatives we strive to meet one important expectation in our work – to produce awesome results. Not a problem, most of us don’t lack skills. But something we often lack is an ability to produce – NOW and on-demand! Sometimes the relationship between expectation and the limitations on our creation do not want to play nicely together. Sometimes the creative breakthrough you need just isn’t showing up on time. Thankfully there are strategies we can employ that will establish a fresh sense of perspective for allowing creativity to happen at a moments notice. The Accidental Creative, a book by Todd Henry, is so on point. The entire book expands around 5 core principles; focus, relationships, energy, stimuli and hours, or ‘FRESH’ in short. By targeting and implementing a little forethought into each principle, your creativity will rise with wealth in production – prolifically, healthily and brilliantly.
I remember when I first came up with the idea for EndlessWaveDynamics.com, I thought the idea was an untouched avenue. A project where I could bring together lifestyle coaching and my finely crafted producer skills to deliver some much needed advice as a creative industries performance and business coach. After a large amount of field research, I quickly realised that Todd’s advice for creative entrepreneurship is some of my favourite I’ve found. It’s important to illuminate the introversion, the self-belief or lack of it, relationship problems both personal and business, the control room horse blinkers and a lack of energy and drive, all a result of lacking lifestyle balance. Time to F-R-E-S-H-en up your creative lifestyle.
So lets talk about what it takes to deliver our best creative potential in this on-demand world. There are no magic bullets but 5 things you need to apply in order to start making the best out of…well, making your best stuff.
The first thing to check is the dissonance that rings between the gaps of ‘Why’ and ‘What’. Simon Sinek (the author of ‘Start With Why’) says ‘complications in the creative process always start when we don’t examine the meaning behind what we are doing’. This can be anything from checking our phones regularly, taking a photograph and even reading this blog. Go on, ask yourself, WHY are you browsing the Internet right now…? (oops, don’t leave yet).
Ask yourself is it through habit, random scrolling or have you set aside time this morning to educate yourself? Being conscious about why you are taking actions will allow you to focus on a specific agenda and formulate long and short-term plans. You also need to make your primary focus or ‘why’ cater for the bigger questions in your life. ‘Why’ are you working on that? Is it because it’s your life’s purpose or because it’s expected of you (by others or yourself)?
Now you’ve got those answers you can move forward with the rest;
It was revolutionary for me when I realised that all my major failures in business up until now where not because of my technical ability going awry but because of my lack of connection and acknowledgement to the necessary people skills in that moment. As fundamental to our nature we are all wired to connect to other humans. We depend on others to help generate and circulate ideas. We need people we trust to ground us, fill in the missing pieces and provide support or competition when needed. Most importantly people buy people and not your talent.
You need to set aside time and plan for other people in your life, which for an introverted self-indulgent cave dwelling creative, this can be more difficult than it sounds.
The problem with energy is we only have a finite amount of it per day and to give towards any of our projects. The trouble with creatives is we want to book our calendar solid. To us, a thought of stopping to refuel reflects badly on our performance. The problem is that every area of our life is connected in some way and living in the fast lane means a burn out is just around the corner. With the focus and planning we can carve out efficient rest times to allow our creativity the space it needs to kick in.
There is no such thing as not enough time, just energy spent elsewhere.
One of the biggest energy vampires is our information diet, that ‘ping’, the words of Facebook, that desire to check our messages every 5 minutes, the television and internet browsing. We need to be careful of the information we stuff into our brains just like the food we shove in our mouths. You can have a fat brain or one like a muscly tiger. Needless drama is energy that could be spent on a project that is more align to your ‘why’.
Just like junk food, the occasional binge is ok, in fact we need it for inspiration and recovery but we should treat it like the desert that it is.
Organisation is the key to keeping the F-R-E-S-H life balance. How you split your hours is what will keep you in the creative game longer. Effectiveness is paramount to your creativity. Todd’s great analogy “the difference between treating time like a portfolio and treating it like a slot machine” for time spent effectively raises an important question, where is your time going? Did you dig your well before you were thirsty? Now dig deeper, how you will be remembered once your grave is dug? Will you “Die Empty”?
When you balance all these things, your creativity will come pouring out of you, you’ll be brilliant at a moments notice.
Check Out Todd’s Book Here.