I came across a great YouTube this week where John Cleese is talking about creativity. As always he is very engaging and he also brings some fresh insights into the creative process. He discusses conditions for allowing creativity and how most of the time we are in a closed mode of thinking. To get into the open mode – you need the following things…

  1. Space
  2. Time
  3. Time
  4. Confidence
  5. Humour

He then proceeds to elaborate on what these are.

Anyway here he is – check it out for your self it is well worth the time to listen.

I tried to embed the video but it just refused to be enbedded, so I do apologize but you will have to follow a link. I gather I’m not the only one having this issue, the forums are full of people talking about it – well that made me feel a tiny bit better after the 15th attempt to embed!!! Anyway – heres the link – its worth watching!

John Cleese on Creativity

As a consolation prize for having to click this link, I have decided to give you a quick glance at the work I completed this week.

Bronze Pear

Bronze Pear

 

This weeks Question: What space physically and mentally have you created for your creativity this week?

Remember our mind map from last week? What you need to do now is, prioritize all of the things you listed on your mind map.  Here’s a suggestion of how you might do that  – the easiest  way might be to do another mind map – like this, which is based on Stephen Covey’s four quadrant time management system however I’ve slightly changed these divisions to include a section for tasks that might be delegated.

 

Making Time For Creativity

Making Time For Creativity

So now you need to look at all your tasks and manage yourself into time slots for them. Decide how much time a week you want to allocate to your creativity etc.

I can tell you that in all likelihood, your creative time will be  quite minimal unless you have really dedicated your life to your art.  It might be interesting for example to compare how much time you spend answering emails and browsing the internet, to how much time you spend creating – that could look quite scary.Yikes!!

I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with my INBOX.  It eats up way too much of my time and when it gets like 50 unanswered emails and I don’t have time to get to them – it’s a clunky rock I carry around in my subconscious all day or even for several days until I can get to it.  This uses up my precious energy and creates a cycle of depletion.

So what is to be done?

There are a million and one time management systems out there and guess what – NONE OF THEM WORK until you recognize that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TIME MANAGEMENT.

WE CAN ONLY MANAGE OURSELVES.

If you really DO want to be creative and are currently overwhelmed by your life, then there is only one thing you can do. 

You MUST set aside a space of time somewhere in your week that is for your creativity. THIS TIME SLOT MUST BE NON NEGOTIABLE  in terms of your availability for other things, people etc.  The biggest temptation will be to do things like – have a coffee with a friend in this space because “there is no where else in the week and you haven’t seen them for ages. ” Or similar things.  As soon as you begin allowing this erosion of your precious creative time, pretty soon it will be all filled up with other things and you will be wondering why you can’t seem to get your painting  or creative project finished.

Doing this exercise can be quite a wake up call as to how much priority we really place on our Creativity.  Whatever the outcome I think the trick is to recognize where we are really at and if this is where we really want to be and take it from there.

This Weeks Question: Have you done your mind map yet?

Last week I spoke about not being OK with lacking the time to be creative and how we arrive at this state of affairs through our own choices.

If it is not OK with you, what can you do?

My first suggestion is to sit down and do a time map.  How do you do this?

Beginning NOW, and for the next week make a note of all the activities you do in a week and how long you spend on each one. I know – I can hear your thoughts ….. I haven’t got time to do that, what a dumb idea…. etc etc. However if you can get over your inner Mr Negative Feedback person, this will give you invaluable insight into how to make more time appear in your day.  Why? Because you will get the chance to see where you squander your precious minutes, hours and days and how you might use them better.

Now Listen UP!!!

MOST IMPORTANT!    Please include things like………………………….

Time spent –

  • Chatting with friends
  • Chatting on the phone or to the neighbour over the back fence
  • Hanging out or doing washing
  • Answering emails!!!!!!
  • Work work
  • Preparing meals and eating them
  • Showering
  • Going out for coffee
  • Running around after other people like, kids, bosses, partners and needy friends

etc. etc. etc…… you get the idea.  WHY is it important or even useful to do this?

When you make time to do this little exercise you can then see, over the course of the week where most of your time goes and look at how some of those activities might be condensed or even eliminated.

Then build yourself a list of all these activities and prioritize them into 4 categories –

  • Things that Have To Be Done – ie. Meal preparation, work work, cleaning house/garden – weekly or daily repeatables etc
  • Things I’d like to do if I had time – Personal time
  • Creative Time
  • Things To Be Delegated

Now put this information into a mind map. – It might look like this.

Making Time To Create

 

This Week’s Question: How might you make time for your creativity?

Next Week’s Insights: What to do with this i information.

 

Creativity Myth #3

“I love being creative, I just can’t seem to find the time.”

Time is a funny thing wouldn’t you agree. It seems to be elastic, invisibly stretchy.  Some days seem to contain so much more time than others.  The old saying  ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’ has a lot of wisdom in it.

There is really only one thing in the world in which there is true equality and that is TIME. We all get to have 24 hours in a day – no less no more.  The all important question is – What do you do with your 24 hours?

Are you playing

A good way to think of time is to pretend it is money.  Here are some things to think about….

  • How do you spend your time?
  • Are you thrifty with your time?
  • Do you squander your time?
  • Do you have a savings plan?
  • Who steals your time – or rather – who do you allow to steal your time?

Now of course we all lead busy lives so often find ourselves far too busy to get our creativity out of the back pocket, dust it off and see what it looks like. Why is it do you think that you can’t find the time to be creative?

I can hear the million and one excuses (no apology for the word) bubbling into your head right now.  The simple truth is, that if you are not being creative it is because you are choosing not to be.  It is not because you don’t have the time, rather it is because other things have a higher priority for you, and that is OK – you just need to acknowledge it, allow it to be what it is and not beat yourself up about it. 

If it is not OK with you  – well what to do about that ?  See next week’s post for some ideas on how to tackle this.

This Weeks Question: What is one thing you could do this week to make some new creative time for yourself.  It doesn’t have to be big – tiny steps…….

 

 

Creativity

Myth #2 We aren’t all born creative – and I don’t have a creative bone in my body. Why do people think that do you suppose? Could it be that they really believe it, or is it that they just don’t understand the nature of creativity?

To really embrace this idea that we are creative we must first understand the nature of creativity. What is it?  How do I know that I have it?

We tend to have very limiting beliefs around creativity, what it is and how we do it. People generally tend to think of art and it’s offshoots, to be what creativity is all about.

Think about your life. When did you really, really, really want something? How did that something arrive? It began with seeing or hearing about something and having feelings about that thing. This may or may not have had anything to do with art. From the feelings, your desire for that thing began to grow which in turn made you feel good when you thought about it….. and so it goes on until that thing turns up in your life.

Sometimes this happens in a way that you could never have planned or arranged in a million years.  However the fact remains that you have created it – your thoughts and emotions created it! This is true creativity…….. and it’s what we all do every day of our lives.  We can create anything we want so long as we focus on the positive aspects of that thing, have good feelings about it believe in the possibility of it……and not the absence of it or the not having of it.

So how does this relate to creativity and art, if we are all born with this ability to create anything. It means that what ever our area of interest, from cooking or wood working to facilitating, or accountancy – we can bring our own flair, our own flavour if you like to that thing.  We can create new ways of doing things, making things or transferring information.  This is all creativity.

This weeks Question: Can you make a list of ALL the creative things you currently do in your life?

A friend sent me these amazing photos this week of a flower festival that takes place in  “Bloemencorso” Zundert in the Netherlands. This event began in 1936 as a flower parade and has since become the become the oldest and most celebrated flower festival  in Europe. Ever since it began, Zundert in the Netherlands has hosted an annual flower show Bloemencorso. On average 50,000 visitors come to the town to look at the brilliant flower displays.

Giraffes made from Dahlia Flowers

Giraffes made from Dahlia Flowers

 

Something's Fishy

Something’s Fishy

 

Tigers

Tigers

Here is a link to a Video of the procession…..I think the next one is my favourite – I just love the cows! To think all these things are made with flowers is just mind blowing!! And yet you know the people who do these probably consider themselves quite ordinary and ‘uncreative’

Flowering Cows

Flowering Cows

This Weeks Question: How can you use flowers to enhance the quality of your life and your creativity?

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