Boost Your Creative Mojo

Stimulate your creative flow with something different

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“Busy doing something else” is an expression where we often where find our ideas and inspiration. It gives you the sense of being absorbed, concentrating, focused - putting other thoughts aside. It’s something to be encouraged, especially when you’re scratching your head looking for the answer to a tricky issue or situation. Go off and do, or absorb yourself, in something else. Often it’s where the answer lies.

Sometimes the full-on focus we give to something means we miss some of the subtleties of what’s actually happening. I often hear people saying things like “I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall”, “I can’t stop thinking about ABC” or “I can’t leave it until I’ve sorted it, I’m like a dog with a bone”. Often that’s exactly the problem.

When you give yourself permission to leave it – and I do mean give yourself permission – because it’s an active decision (rather than a sign of defeat) – by saying “OK, let’s park this for now, I’m going to go off and do something else” is often where the ‘aha’ moment is waiting for you.

Buy yourself time and take yourself away from the thinking, just for a while. You know your deadlines but it’s the action of parking it and staying open to what comes up in your thinking whilst you’re otherwise engaged.

Let me explain.

I’ve water-skied for years and love it – the speed, sensation, the ‘hey I might fall off’ feeling. What I realise though, is how many similarities and insights there are when you compare improving ‘something else’ with building and expanding your business or career.

Look at these 5 lessons to learn about career success from being busy waterskiing:

1. Keep flexible and relaxed. There are forces at work, which you can’t see, and they’ll help you. You don’t have to force it; go with where you’re being pulled. Stay loose.

2. Expect that there will be bumps in the waterand the current can pull you off course but keep your eyes on the water. Stop watching and worrying about the bumps; watch the water where you’re heading instead.

3. Let go when you have to.Sometimes it’s best to just let go, have a face full of water for a moment and then get up again and get back on. Hanging on too tightly doesn’t do much for your style or your peace of mind.

4. Listen to the advice of your mentor.Other people can often see what you can’t when you’re in action. It might be just a simple tweak that’s too close to the end of your nose for you to see it. Study and listen for what the experts do and then model it; make it a style of your own.

5. Rest up and regroup.Remember it’s about the ride too and it’s more of a marathon than a sprint. Take breaks, limber up and enjoy the scenery along the way.

My ski instructor uses a great expression, which is helpful to remember whilst you’re busy doing something else “keep your legs loose, your tush in and reeeelaaaax”.

To enjoy the creative ways your mind works when you’re busy doing something else, ask yourself these questions to help you with your decision:

1. What is it that concerns me most about this decision?

2. How will I handle that and what skills will I need to bring into the mix to handle this?

3. What lessons are there for me to use and then share with my colleagues, friends or clients, which could help the situation we’re scratching our heads with?

Known as the Savvy & Influential Communication Expert, our Life Labs contributor, Kay White, is hosting a unique 3-day Live Event “Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard LIVE” in London on 9, 10, 11 June and as a guest of Psychologies, use the code GLITTERBALL and take 50% off your seat.

Let’s make it your time to shine at work without selling your soul. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards all while being true to yourself?

For further immediate ‘shots’ of inspiration and tactics on showing up at work in a way which gets you heard and understood, try Kay’s Weekly Podcast on iTunes:Show Up; Sparkle & Be Heard . They’re short and snappy and full of tips to inspire and guide you at work.

Kay White

Savvy & Influential Communication for Ambitious Women in Business,