I regularly ask this question on my ‘How to Have Better Ideas’ workshops (the sequel to ‘How to Have Ideas’). It’s a short question that triggers a wide range of answers. But the one I am looking for is this:
‘A good idea is one that meets the brief’
My aim is marrying up the brief and the idea. I want to emphasise that the two should match. If the idea doesn’t meet the brief, then we have three consequences:
Continue reading “How do you know if your idea is any good?”
You are in a state of flow. The next action flows from the previous. You are in the moment. Then boom, in comes an email that sets off a chain reaction of anxiety and worry. At least that’s what just happened to me. Your creative surplus – time and attention – gets burned on managing your personal response to that email. You are back to zero. What do you do next?
Continue reading “The email that knocks out creative surplus”
When then there’s too much going on to do your creative work then merely create something. I picked up this term ‘merely’ concept from Seth Godin in this interview with Tim Ferris.
Continue reading “Merely create something today instead of worrying”
Sometimes not doing something takes up more effort than quickly doing it. As Godin explains, there’s a voice that says what we might produce might not be good enough. We spend time and direct our attention towards worrying about not being able to do something good.
In my second post on building creative surplus – the time and energy we need to invest in creative thinking – I describe the OOOOOO, an approach for overcoming organisational overwhelm and takes away our creative time,
Continue reading “Apply the OOOOOO”
Creative surplus is what you invest in order to create new ideas. Like operating surplus – or profit – it is what is left over when an organisation or individual’s basic operating needs are met, which is available to invest in growth of the next project. Rather than pounds and resources, creative surplus is the mental space and energy available to you to think creatively. Unlike profit, I see that creative surplus is something that most organisations spend little time thinking about.
Continue reading “Creative surplus and how to get some”
That’s what my 8-year-old daughter said to me yesterday. Truth be told, I’d been talking earlier in the week about ski-lift engineering as a job that combines so many of her passions: rocks and minerals: climbing; being outdoors; skiing (following a single trip to a dry ski slope); making Lego zip lines; drawing. No wonder she likes the idea. So do I. In fact, wonder if it is too late to apply?
Continue reading “I want to be a ski-lift engineer when I grow up”
Here’s four things you can do straight away to give your project a creative boost.
Continue reading “Does your project need a creative boost?”
- Write down the brief. What are you trying to do? Who are you serving?
- Write as many things as you can about the project in a big piece of paper. I recommend using the following three headings as prompts: Information, Questions, Ideas. Stick it on the wall near where you work.
- Talk through your ideas with someone. Ask them just to listen and not say anything until you are done.
- Try to ignore the project for a day (I bet you can’t), and then the next day, write down five new ideas that will inevitably have emerged.
You are a world class performer at living your typical day. No one else has practised the precise set of habits, in the same precise sequence that makes up your typical day and with same ease as you. From how you wake up to, to how you speak to family or friends, to the first thing you think when you arrive at work to what you do in the evenings.
Continue reading “Start today building daily creative habits today”
Our experience of life is what we do every day. Habit, developed over time, adds terrific momentum to our routines until they become a hard-to-stop force in our lives (I might need to do a dimensional analysis on that statement).
It’s a phrase I picked up a long time ago from Tim Ferriss and it has stuck. What you do is much more important than how you do it. More and more I notice lots of organisational energy being spent tweaking how something is done rather than addressing what needs to be done. Here are some ways that it is showing up for me at the moment.
Continue reading “What is more important than how”
I picked up this tip at home yesterday – thanks Mary. It’s a formula for getting to the point when writing emails. What do you want the person to think, what do you want them to feel and what do you want them to do. That’s it. You can save background context for another time for further down the email if you wish.
As an added challenge, see if you can get it down to three sentences.