Saturday, March 31, 2012

Creativity Series II

Creativity: on the planning table.

One of the biggest challenges to creativity is time. In order to pursue the projects we really want to work on we need to carve out blocks of time in a world that seems to be getting increasingly busy. I wouldn't be able to find the time without planning ahead and I use a system called the Circa System to do so.

The Circa System allows me to keep track of all of the many projects I have going as well as everything else I have to accomplish. Lots of people use digital systems to manage their contacts, calendar, etc., but I prefer analog. I'm just a paper and pen type of person when it comes to planning. Of course, I have an endless list of things to do but it gives me a real feeling of accomplishment when I look at a long list and see just how much I have actually crossed off and completed.

The Circa helps me keep track of everything, from shopping lists to exercise plans and, especially important, those random ideas that pop up out of nowhere that are great solutions to problems or the seeds of new a new project that seem quite promising. In short, it helps to plan and I find paper the easiest way to capture everything. I make sketches and drawings that explain things visually. I have forms for mind mapping that will help me brainstorm. It doesn't have to be anything set in stone or fancy. My system is constantly changing and evolving. It could be just a simple, small notebook that you always carry with you and that is one of the keys. I hate it when I have a great new idea for something while I am throwing the laundry in only to forget it as I am putting it away. I also keep my notebook by the bed as I often will wake up at night or first thing in the morning with a great idea I don't want to forget.

So, keep in mind: creativity takes time and time takes planning. Finding ways to carve out blocks of time for painting, writing, photography or just dreaming about that novel as you talk a long walk is the beginning of the process.

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