Merely create something today instead of worrying

Merely create something today - an invitation not to worry and focus instead on regular practice.

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.

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.

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Creative surplus and how to get some

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.

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I want to be a ski-lift engineer when I grow up

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?

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Does your project need a creative boost?

Here’s four things you can do straight away to give your project a creative boost.

  1. Write down the brief. What are you trying to do? Who are you serving?
  2. 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.
  3. Talk through your ideas with someone. Ask them just to listen and not say anything until you are done.
  4. 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.
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Start today building daily creative habits today

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.

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).

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Think, feel, do – shorter emails

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.

Two facilitation lessons from Strictly

Facilitation means making something easier. It isn’t about controlling; it’s about following, listening and enabling. In a workshop setting, it’s about having the confidence to let go of control and see what happens, and if things don’t go as expected, being confident to step back in and help everyone get back on track.

Watching the Christmas Day Strictly Come Dancing highlights show I saw two pieces of facilitation gold, which are a lesson in what to do when things go wrong and how to put them right again.

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