I like to believe that we are all born creative. Our creativity may vary in style, but never in quality. And while you might have lost touch with your idea-generating department, you can always reach it again.
Here are 10 tips on how to start producing ideas on a daily basis.
1Start an idea notebook
Always carry a notebook and write down everything. An idea is like bait, once you get a glimpse of one, you use it to catch bigger and better ideas. Write down everything that you think might be a starting point.
2Hold intense brainstorming sessions
Here is when you go fishing. Let your mind wonder and go from one idea to the other. Brainstorming sessions will get your mind into creative mode.
3Write 10 new ideas every night
Think of this as a plan for tomorrow. Write down ideas before you go to sleep and wake up the next day with the basis for your work. It will give you direction and can prevent a creative block. I do this every night. It’s easy to come up with the first six, and the last four take a little extra brain power. Try it.
Let your hand scribble on the paper and your mind will wonder. Try expressing your ideas into drawings and sketches. And remember, you don’t have to be an actual artist to get the most of the benefits picture has to offer. It’s fun. I like to draw out websites I build.
Lead an experience-driven life. Experiencing new things will widen your perspective and will give you a bigger “inspiration pool.” People with full lives are better at being open, creative and producing new ideas.
Related: Strategic Creativity Drives Growth
6Turn off your electronics
Get away from the computer. Even when brainstorming or taking notes, use good old pen and paper. Turn off your electronics and remove your mind from distractions. You will find that not only you are more awake, but you will be better at directing your attention and maximising the production of new ideas.
Coffee wakes up the brain and sparks creativity. Think of it as fuel for your idea generator. Combine it with any of the previous tips, and you’ll feel limitless. I only drink caffeine a couple times per month, so when I drink it, it has a profound effect on me to the point I feel like I can walk through walls and see into the future.
8Surround yourself with creatives
Hang out with creative people, those who can inspire you and give you feedback. Network and bounce off ideas with each other. Get inspiration from people in your social group, and then expand your social group. And if the idea calls for it, by all means, collaborate.
Get in the mode of finishing things. Once you start thinking of an idea, think it through and don’t abandon it. Feeling accomplished will provide a dopamine boost, and help establish a craving that in turn develops a habit. Yay, habit loop!
10Don’t put yourself down
Never think that you are not creative enough or don’t have what it takes. Creative is a mood, not a brain type. Give yourself a break if things don’t come as naturally in the beginning and take it light. Rather than forcing it, create a habit of producing ideas and realise that habits take time.
Whether you need it for your job or want to lead a more creative life, transforming your brain into an idea-generating factory can be life-changing on all levels.
Word of caution: create ideas at your own risk, the effects could be a more focused, enriched, creative way of living. You may find more time and joy in the things you already do, and discover newfound opportunities and experiences. Not everyone will be ready for the profound effects. So “idea” wisely.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
How The First 20 Minutes Of Your Day Can Set You Up for Success
Engage a positive routine right after waking, and you’ll tap into the power of your subconscious brain.
You all know about that morning-routine thing: Everyone raves that waking up early and sticking to your routine will help you get more done. But whether you get out of bed at 5 a.m. or 3 p.m., it’s the first 20 minutes of your day that can set you up for success.
The brain produces electrical patterns, often referred to as waves. Scientists have found a correlation between the frequency of brain waves and the body’s state. When you first awake, your brain operates at around 10.5 waves per second. The range from eight to 13 Hz, or cycles per second, is the alpha stage. It’s been called the gateway to the subconscious mind.
Have you ever gone into a semi-daydreaming state while commuting? A few minutes pass, but you don’t remember what happened. It’s likely your brain entered the alpha state.
Without getting too deep into the science of brain activity, it’s safe to say your subconscious mind is most active right when you wake up. You can train your brain to use this subconscious activity to think positively and accomplish more throughout your day.
This quick checklist outlines six simple things you can do to make the most of these first 20 minutes.
1Don’t click the snooze button
Don’t ever click your alarm’s snooze button. This tells your brain it’s OK to procrastinate by putting your day on hold.
2Do make your bed
Your room will look cleaner and feel more organised – both of which train your mind to want to get things done, right away. It’s a small win, but you can build on it as your day continues.
3Visualise your life
This is probably the best thing you can do in the alpha state. Visualise your life. What will it be in five years, when you’ve achieved your goal of building your business? How about your relationships? Concentrate on how they’ll look in the future and what you need to make them real.
Tap into your subconscious mind to request what you want and then make your brain drive your actions.
4Watch a motivational video
When you’re up, not even a tough day can get you down. If you’re truly motivated, you know you’ll reach your milestones – no matter what.
Big achievements are never easy. During the past year, I’ve found inspiration in quick-hit videos that help me refocus when I start to burn out between work and my studies. After you complete your visualisation exercise, watch a video that reinforces the connection between intention and action steps.
5Repeat your affirmations
Simple affirmations such as “I will make this day the best day in my life” can have a huge impact on your life. It worked for Steve Jobs. First, compile a list of affirmations that fit your beliefs and core values. Repeat them aloud every morning.
6Keep a journal
During the past year, I intentionally developed several habits to become more mindful. Keeping a journal ranks near the top of the list in terms of impact on my life.
You can use a journal to write down some of your affirmations, spread positive thinking and plan your day through these “morning pages.” Clear your mind of any thoughts that may interrupt your focus.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
1 In 4 South Africans Are Unemployed. Here’s How We Reduce Those Numbers
This CV Maker by Retroviral and Wonderland Collective for their client, Clere for Men, just made your life easier.
I receive unsolicited mails – weekly – from graduates, matriculants, and experienced industry individuals, vying for a potential role at Retroviral; anything.
The mails are terrible. I’ve seen more attractive, Comic Sans, conference, communication spam. The urge to delete is strong.
Considering the education syllabus has undergone some cosmetic surgery since I was at high school, I’m not sure if L.O (our version of ‘Guidance’) ever tackles the subject of self-promotion, individual PR, or even just plain old how to make friends and influence people.
The ‘intro mail’ – with attached CV – is your opportunity to get your foot in the door. If you screw this up, there is no next part. There is no interview. Do not pass go. Do not collect UIF.
Related: The Key To Hiring The Best Employees
We used the amount of awful CVs we are exposed to, as an insight for our client – Clere for Men. We then worked with Wonderland Collective to create a CV builder for the Clere for Men brand so that we could develop an actual solution for its customers.
We all know men are simple creatures. We are always on the look out for a better job and we are genetically programmed to find a girlfriend / partner. There are a series of steps required to attract said partner and this is where Clere for Men becomes the catalyst for change:
If you start off smelling good, it’s a shorter leap to then feel good, and once you feel good, you’re on your way to looking good (with a few pointers on the style front required). These are the key factors for enhancing your confidence.
Everything in life is about confidence. This brings us full circle to actually stepping foot into the interview situation to land the job you are after. Your paperwork has to be in order, your CV needs to look slick, but the piece of paper isn’t going to win you the job. You – the person – are!
Clereformen.co.za has been designed to give you grooming advice, style guidance, while the CV Maker is the third side of the triangle to give you a one up on your future and help you realise your personal vision.
If we could enable 1 million people to become employed or aid them starting businesses and they hire 4 people as a result, that’s 5 million new jobs that have been created – or 10% of our population.
Play with the site, share with your mates who are in desperate need of a man-makeover, and let us know if there are any additions you would like to see. New content will be developed over the next few weeks as well as some video tutorials.
Are you interested? Click the image below and explore the platform.
A 3-Step Formula to Success – Really
You must fine-tune your ability to acutely break down a problem and come up with an efficient solution.
What does it really take to be successful? I think I have an answer. That’s a bold claim, I know. But I can back it up. Hear me out.
I’ve been teaching people how to bring product ideas to market via licensing with my partner Andrew Krauss for more than 14 years now. Andrew and I have solidified everything we know about product licensing into 10 simple steps.
Our strategies work because they reduce risk and increase our students’ likelihood of success.
But the more I think about it, the more I believe our method of doing things can and should be applied more broadly.
After all, I’ve used the same steps to achieve many different kinds of goals, such as getting PR for my business. You can too.
So what do I think success truly depends on? At its core, I think it’s the ability to acutely break down a problem and come up with an efficient solution. That’s it. There’s a better way of doing things. This is it.
1. Understand how the game is being played
To master anything, you first need to study it. What are the rules? Who are the players? What’s happened before? Who is successful? Why do people fail? What’s considered innovative?
You are on a fact-finding mission. Leave no stone unturned. At this stage, I’m just trying to gather information. Because I know the best insight comes from people who have done what I’m trying to do, I try to seek out like-minded people for advice. I ask them to help me understand the topic at hand.
A lot of people skip this step. They plunge into new projects with only a cursory understanding of the subject. You might think you’re familiar with something, but unless and until you’ve ruthlessly studied it inside and out, you aren’t.
There’s simply no excuse not to study up! The Internet has made it so easy to do. You may discover that the market isn’t large enough. Maybe it’s headed in a different direction, or has hit its peak. It might be too hard to break into. Either way, you need to know.
It’s OK to be naïve when you’re starting out. In fact, sometimes having a fresh perspective can be helpful. But if you don’t take the time to understand what the challenges ahead are going to be at the very beginning, you will experience pain later on. I know because it’s happened to me.
Related: 9 Things Successful People Won’t Do
2. Find the opportunity
When I take on a new endeavor, I try to identify holes. Are there problems in need of solving? What is lacking? Where is there room for improvement? What’s missing?
I then assess whether I’m capable of filling those holes. Given what you’ve learned, how do your weaknesses and strengths match up? Is there an opportunity for you to not only step in but also excel?
At this point, you may decide you need more information to come to a good conclusion. You might need to take a class or work harder to find a mentor.
I am always on the lookout for opportunity. If you want to be successful, you should be too. It’s not enough to want to be successful and commit to working hard. You need to work smart.
3. Put your game plan together
You have all of the critical information you need to succeed. How are you going to get there? What you need now is a plan of action. Map out how you’re going to get from point A to point B.
Who are you going to turn to for help? Your road map will inevitably change, but you need a fully fleshed-out framework to turn to when things get chaotic.
The quickest path to succeed at anything is by hacking the system – as Tim Ferriss would say – first by studying what it is you want to achieve, then by identifying opportunities and finally by crafting a pitch and a plan based on what you learned and your best assets.You never have to reinvent the wheel. Finding your uniqueness. That’s what adds value.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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