Creativity is a distinctly human practice. But have you ever wondered how you can turn it on and off, like a switch, even if you aren’t the “creative type”?
Manic creativity is best defined a tidal wave rush of ideas and a crushing desire to see those ideas made real.
My friend Sebastian Marshall has written about manic creative highs in the past on his blog.
Being of a similar mindset, it’s gotten me to thinking that Manic creative bursts can be done purposefully rather than haphazardly, and without the negative “and then your mood falls off an emotional cliff” at the end of the burst.
Being even tempered is good, but sometimes you need a burst to get a lot done in a short amount of time.
To do accomplish this (high energy, highly creative output) and also avoid that negative whiplash effect, try the following tactics:
- Music stirs up from really powerful images and ideas when I’m trying to get into a creative mode. It’s one of the best ways I know to induce massive creativity. It’s like dreaming while I’m awake. Make sure to choose your songs wisely, and turn it off when you’re ready focus and execute the ideas you thought of.
- Stand up or walk around. Jumping around might help too, but could set the wrong tone. You want focused movement with a purpose. Movement, like standing or walking, compels additional action if you’re in the context of an office. It also creates some slight discomfort, which is desirable for fast, short-term results.
- Use a voice recorder and record yourself as you talk. Don’t use a pen or keyboard, just talk and spill out all of your ideas quickly and then play it back to make sure you have 1-3 goals that you can execute on immediately. Using a pen or keyboard to capture your ideas is undesirable because you can think faster than you can talk, and you can talk faster than you can write or type, so you’re setting yourself up for failure if you write or type.
- Execute, execute, execute. Put a giant mirror in front of you and set a timer for 1 hour if that what it takes. Get your ideas written down and then cross them off one by one.
The final and most important tactic or step is to make sure you rest and sleep after you see results from this. Why? If you try to stay on this creative binge for too long, you’re going to destroy your ability to return back to “coasting” mode, where your mindset is stable. Otherwise you might feel burnt out and begin an emotional slide downwards (it’s different for different people, but not that different I suspect).
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artyfishal/2673596302/lightbox/