10 Easy New Things You Can Do This Week That'll Light Up Your Creative Fuse
Taking part in the Challenge Idea List as my first list on NotePD
1. Talk about your passions and hobbies to someone new every day
The more you talk about what you do, what you love, and what interests you, you'll end up speaking to a lot of people who share similar interests or have insightful comments, resulting in inspiration and motivation to light up the creative fuse! Personally, these conversations have helped me out of tunnel vision and ignited ideas to tackle something I was stuck on, and had I not vocalized any of my passions and hobbies, the conversation would have never taken place.
2. Share your projects and gather feedback
Whether it's a musical composition, a sculpture, or data set that you need to analyze, share your projects and gather honest feedback (provided you're not infringing upon any NDAs). It's actually quite surprising just how many people are willing to give you the time of day to seriously review your project and provide honest and constructive feedback. I've always been the type of person who wants to be seen as "perfect" (or as close to it as I can get), always hesitating to show my "process", and only showing my final result, but recently come to realize that my final results were never perfect anyway. So gather feedback along the way - if you're like me, think of every stage as your "final perfect result" - and continually improve upon what you're working on from input that you would have never thought of yourself.
3. Unsubscribe from Netflix. Subscribe to podcasts and knowledge-based media
Drastic move, I know, but let me explain. I used Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and bunch of other streaming services to turn off my brain, after a long day of work. I often found myself not even focused on the show or movie, but rather I just had it on for the sake of having it on. In a lightbulb moment, I decided to unsubscribe from all of them and subscribed to MasterClass and a bunch of podcasts (of which The James Altucher Show was one of them) which instantly changed the way I consumed media in my spare or "off" time. Not that I need to be "on" all the time (taking a break is just as important as working), but just listening to people talk about what they're passionate about and how knowledgeable they are about their subjects inspired me (and continues to inspire me) to approach my passions, work and hobbies from a different angle.
4. Attempt something new
Simple as that. Want to learn to skateboard at the age of 30 - why the hell not? Been meaning to research different flavour profiles of coffee? Sign up for a class! Pick up that guitar that's been collecting dust in the corner of your bedroom. You 100% won't be great at it at first, but you can be. Doing something new has always, and I repeat ALWAYS, triggered a new way of thinking that can be applied to another aspect of my life. ALWAYS.
5. Listen to your surroundings
Keep your ears open - inspiration is everywhere. It could be a TikTok ad that triggers a new marketing strategy. An announcement at the train station that triggers a new idea for an audio filter for your next track. A conversation you overhear at the supermarket that stays with you for days, might result in your next lasagna recipe. Whatever it may be, allow your daily surroundings to help you!
6. Take a walk
Take a breather. Don't stress yourself out if you are stuck with whatever project you're working on. You'll end up in an endless cycle of not progressing with your project, which causes you stress, which results in you not being able to focus on your project, which leads to you not progressing over and over again. Step away, take a walk around the apartment/block/park, grab something to eat, do ideas #1~#6, and come back in a different state of mind.
7. Make time for things you enjoy
Having worked in restaurants as well as very strict corporate settings, I pulled 16~18 hour work days fairly regularly (legal or not is a whole different story). I left those working conditions and recently started to work for myself and my first priority was to block off time for family and passion projects. This has done wonders for my productivity during my work hours, my mental and physical health, and most importantly my relationship with my partner. I'm happier, I feel more productive, I'm happier, I love my life, I'm happier, I perform better at work, I'm happier and last but not least, I'm happier. But seriously, don't feel the need to sacrifice your happiness for anyone.
Get your 8 hours (or whatever works for you) in! I wake up feeling refreshed, and ready to tackle the world every morning.
9. Morning routines are tremendously helpful
Not that you need to build a schedule, but find something that helps ease you into your day. I avoid looking at my phone first thing in the morning (although I handle social media for some of my clients), and just take my time to make matcha or drip coffee. It's a 25~30 minute process of pure relaxation and not having to think about anything - everything happens on autopilot and my mind wanders, but this is when the creative spark kicks in and new ideas are developed. I write down my thoughts on scrap paper or my notebook and put them away while I drink my matcha or coffee. If I'm still thinking about it, it's something I tackle that day. If I forget about it, that's that - might come back to it another day when I browse through my idea papers and notebook.
10. Get on NotePD and begin writing your idea lists
This is a new one for me, but as I'm writing this very idea list, I came up with 2 new ideas for my business strategy and 1 new idea for one of my clients. Maybe this is just a duplicate of #4 (Attempt something new), but I'm confirming that writing this list has lit up my creative fuse!