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Arrange your time and tasks according to these seven categories, and you'll be a creativity machine

https://medium.com/the-mission/arrange-your-time-and-tasks-according-to-these-seven-categories-and-youll-be-a-creativity-machine-b142d2fff65

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Arrange your time and tasks according to these seven categories, and you'll be a creativity machine
Art is hard. Creative insights are hard to predict, and just when it gets difficult, your mind immediately jumps to a distraction: something easier to do, an excuse, a scapegoat. To get the most out of your creative energy, carve out space for creative work.

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4 Stages of Creative Control

  • Preparation: you’re learning everything you can about the problem.
  • Incubation: you’re allowing your unconscious mind to work on the problem.
  • Illumination: the solution comes to you. It doesn’t tend to happen while you’re sitting at your desk. It might be when you’ve just woken up.
  • Verification: you ensure that the idea meets up to your standards. Does it solve the problems you identified during the Preparation stage?

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Creative work categories

  • Prioritize: The clearer your priorities, the more focused you can be on the task at hand. 
  • Generate: Build a creative habit. Make a daily deliverable, whether it’s 100-words a day, a 30-second song etc...
  • Explore: When you Explore, you collect the raw materials for the insights you’ll have when you Generate.
  • Research: To solve a creative problem, you have to learn whatever you can about that problem.
  • Recharge: When you rest, you allow your unconscious mind to work on your creative problems.
  • Polish: A great idea won’t work if you don’t execute it well.
  • Administrate: make it all work, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.

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Becoming a perpetual creativity machine

Becoming a perpetual creativity machine
  1. Build a tiny creative habit: Find the time of day with the best creative energy and make your daily deliverable so small, you can’t stand to fail.
  2. Take time to Prioritize: Once you’ve established a habit, dedicate an hour a week to a “weekly review”.
  3. Rest with a purpose: Establish times during your day and your week when you’ll do something that Recharges you.

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Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

Take A Break

When you’re working on a big project, taking a real break is important for mental productivity. 

Stop the project you’re working on, take some real time away, and come back to it with a ...

Mind Map It

A common reason for feeling stuck on a project is because there’s too much information to process, causing you to lose clarity on your end goal.

Mind mapping is a visual note-taking style to help you get your ideas out on paper. Essentially, you’re making a map of how all of your ideas relate to one another. Start with one central idea, like the overall project goal or just a piece of it. From there, think about the major tasks, goals, or ideas behind the projects.

Try A Change Of Scenery

Getting out of the space you associate with your project can help bring an unexpected shift in your perspective.

Try to get away from the setting you’ve been working in. Do you work from home? Try a new location like a coffee shop, library, or coworking space. Work in an office? Go offsite with your team.