Phil Cooke is a pretty creative guy. Recently he was asked where his creativity came from. He had some interesting suggestions for all of us:
1) Don’t watch TV in the morning. A few years ago, I started turning off the TV when I was getting dressed, and was amazed at the ideas that started flowing when I wasn’t being distracted by the television.
2) Don’t be afraid of boredom. Looking back over the best ideas I’ve had in my career, I realized that most of them happened when I was bored out of my mind. but most of us carry a little “Boredom Fixer” called a mobile device. We pull it out and check messages or text friends when boredom strikes. Stop it. Embrace boredom. Let your mind wander. Actively search for moments of solitude.
3) Know what time and where your ideas happen. Everyone has a daily energy cycle and we operate best at certain times. Know your creative time and start protecting it. The same is true with locations. I discovered I have to be totally isolated – no windows, no music, no TV, no distractions. Whatever or wherever that is for you, use it to your advantage.
4) Write it down. Ideas may be the most fragile things in the world. If you don’t capture them, they’ll disappear. I carry a small Moleskin notebook in my pocket, a larger one in my briefcase, and 2 or 3 note-taking apps on my iPhone. The truth is, you’re already having great ideas, but if you’re not writing them down, they’re simply being forgotten.
There are other things he talks about, but these are probably the best ways to get inspired. Are there any that work for you that aren’t on this list?