My last post was about creative things to do, but it’s kinda hard to do creative things when you don’t have any creativity. It has been a long time since I last posted because of this weird situation around the whole world – coronavirus and everything. It’s left freelancers like me probably looking for extra gigs to cover up all those things that fell through, as you can no longer go out and film or take photos, especially in large group settings. One way or the other, it’s probably stressful in some way, and worst of all – it killed creativity in creatives like me. My usual fix for returning some of that creativity is going out for half a day or a day hiking somewhere in nature – that has been my fix and has been working. I don’t really know why… until today. If you’re not into reading much, you can watch the vlog here:
Since you can’t go out on hikes every day, I decided to do some research into methods to jumpstart your creativity, and I landed on a blog post by zapier.com (I’ve never heard of it before). The post are very insightful and backed up by psychological studies. I found them very helpful and I wanted to share some of them, so here’s what they have to say (and some of the parallels I drew with my sources of creativity).
The first thing mentioned is how stress kills our creativity, which is not a surprise, considering the situation worlwide right now, so here are a few things on how to fix it.
- First of all, our mood affects our creativity, so a bad mood kills creativity, but being in a good mood actually enhances it. So doing things (intentionally) which bring our mood up, is a great first step. So obviously the parallel for me is that going out to nature – going out for a hike affects my mood – brings it up positively, which sparks up the creativity for the work I do afterward.
- Contrary to popular opinion, we are more creative when we are tired. Logically, I thought that when I’m more energetic – when I wake up in the morning – then I should have my creative juices pumping, but apparently, when you’re tired it helps. That is backed up by the fact that after hiking for half a day you’re pretty tired. So maybe that’s a reason why creativity is better then. Maybe I, and you as well, should start planning our content creation and conceptualizing scripts or content in whatever form in the second part of the day or even in the evening, because apparently that is when we are most creative.
- Look past the immediate results of creating. Instead of thinking about creating my vlog so I can have content for the week, or creating a post for Instagram tomorrow, you think about the long term effect you’re trying to have. Whether it’s educating people, or becoming an authority in your field, or generating revenue – those are all long-term goals that help you look past the obstacles, and think about the reason you are doing it in the first place, which, again, boosts those juices.
- The next thing is to try not to manage time as opposed to managing distractions. If you’re a freelancer, or if you’ve ever worked from home, you know how easy it is to get carried away by a link, or a video, or an email. It’s just a black hole that swallows you whole. So it’s not that you don’t have time to do things or be more creative. It’s more that you are constantly distracted. So if you manage to… manage… distractions a little bit better, you will all of a sudden have time opening up for your creativity.
- Disrupt routine. While routine helps us be more organized and self-disciplined, it also kind of kills creativity. So finding big and small ways to disrupt our regular schedule and do something different actually boosts you being creative. So for me, hikes may be a routine break from routine, but then each hike is different – it’s in a different location, it has a different dynamic, different terrain, so it definitely ticks that box as well!
- Apparently daydreaming is a great way to boost your creativity, because as you let your mind roam the possibilities without the limitations of reality, it unlocks the box of your mind helps you be more creative. Because creativity is all about thinking out of the box right? So for me, aside from dreaming about where I’m gonna be hiking next and how I will be spending my day in nature, my biggest dream is obviously doing my van conversion, which will happen one day. It will!
- On the other hand, focusing on the process of creating itself apparently also helps, as opposed to looking at the challenges and failures and immediate things that happen. If you just let yourself create, it pushes you to be more creative, so it’s kind of like a vicious cycle that supports itself. And at the same time, it also lifts our mood, which brings us back to the first point of a good mood affecting our creativity.
In general, these points aren’t something new for most of you, probably, but it kinda reminds us about what we can do day-to-day to get out of that creative rut that we often find ourselves stuck in. It helped me understand why nature has such an effect on my creativity and productivity, and that’s why I’m even more eager to get to my van conversion so that I can literally have my office anywhere I please. One day on a hillside, another day in a forest, another day nearby a lake, because I think overall productivity and creativity may go onto a whole new level.
Till then I hope this little post helped you guys as it did me, in even the slightest way. Thanks for reading, hope to catch you in my next post!