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Wish You Were More Creative? Step Outside

By Sandy Schroeder

Are you positive that you could be more creative in your job, but somehow it’s just not happening?  Slip in a little free time and watch what happens while you are walking the dog, soaking in the tub, or relaxing on the patio.  New ideas, words, plots or plans may just show up. Suddenly, the question you have been working on for a week has an answer.

That’s really how creativity thrives, when it has lots of room to roam. Think about the times when you have had your most inspired ideas. You might have been on vacation, on the back porch, on a bike, or on your feet walking home, when you suddenly knew how you were going to solve a work problem, or launch a new project.

For sure, you were probably not hunched over your computer, meeting a deadline, or running through your text messages or emails. Most of us live in a mix of deadlines and electronic connections, coupled with a steady flow of commitments at home and at work.  Trying to pull fresh ideas out of that mix is not impossible, but it can be tough.

But when you simply let go of the mental wheel for a few minutes, your mind gets to drift wherever it wishes.

Ways to Free Up Creativity

Try early morning meditations with deep breathing or visual imaging.

Go for late afternoon walks through the park.

Do lunch breaks away from the crowd with a bag of deli treats.

Doodle as you go. Carry a note pad, sketch pad and markers.

Create a green retreat inside with screens, plants, soft pillows, and mats.

Join a group of all new people who challenge you.

Finish early one day a week and call it “free time to breathe.” Then do whatever you wish.

Take up a new craft like knitting or weaving. Or learn to play an instrument.

Keep your tunes with you driving, walking, or waiting for appointments.

Try gentle yoga, tai chi or qi gong and enjoy the moving meditation.

Your free creative time could take other shapes too. Maybe you like to putter in the kitchen, creating new soups or stews. You may have a hobby bench in the garage. Or maybe you are a sailor, swimmer or fisherman.

Whatever relaxes and engages you may also free up your mind. Keep looking for new ways to step away for an hour or an afternoon. That time out could be just the creative opportunity your mind is waiting for.

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