1. Why is it so damn hard to find time to be creative? - Part 3

    By Sharon Walsh

    Click here to read part 1.

    Click here to read part 2.

    Concern that it takes a long time

    One of the fallacies behind the challenge to be creative is that people assume that it takes a long time to be creative. Some believe that to be creative they need to have an offsite workshop where they set aside days, gather with a cross functional team, play with toys, and then they can be creative. While some challenges might require this kind of extensive creative immersion, many don’t. This is one way to be creative, but it’s not the only way. Creativity can happen whenever creative thinking is employed. Whenever we use our imagination and knowledge to look at something in a new way we are being creative.

    Doing unfamiliar things take longer than doing familiar things. We quickly develop habits so we automatically know what and how to do the things. Why not just let our habits drive us? It would save us time and we wouldn’t feel the pressure of being creative. The issue is that if we aren’t creative, we will always do the same things we have done before. And that’s fine if the world was static. However, things change around us, so we can’t always rely on our habits to be successful.

    We need to find ways to train ourselves out of relying on our habits and to let our creativity blossom. There are quick and easy things that anyone can do in just a few minutes.

    One quick tool that encourages creative thinking is called PPCO — Pluses, Potentials, Concerns, Overcome concerns. In short, think affirmatively about an idea and then look for ways to improve on it. When faced with an idea or opportunity, it just takes a few moments to think about it by asking yourself the following questions:

    • What are the pluses or positive things about doing this?
    • What are the potentials? Where might doing this lead to? What longer term advantages might there be?
    • What concerns do I have? What challenges might this present?

    How might we overcome these concerns/challenges?

    Click here to read part 4.

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    Posted: 1 year ago
  2. Why is it so Damn Hard to Find Time to be Creative? - Part 1

    By Sharon Walsh

    A common excuse for not being creative is not having enough time. Actually, it is hard to find time to do lots of things. Being creative often falls to the bottom of our to-do list. We all know that being creative is a good thing, something that we want, yet, we are full of excuses for why we don’t.

    Looking at what we know about creativity can help us understand why it is high on our list of desires, yet, finding the time to be creative is so challenging. Creativity helps us adapt to the changing world. While we might want to be lazy and always do the same thing (which probably would get boring anyway) - but the world around us doesn’t let that be possible. Since our environment changes, we have to change too. And we want to grow and develop as people in our personal and professional lives.

    So why don’t we find the time? What are those pesky excuses that we come up with that hold us back? And what benefits do these excuses give us?

    • Many people prefer to focus on getting things done. Implementation is increasingly important in today’s society. At home and work, more and more is demanded of us which requires us to be highly task focused. Just stepping back and considering the full scope of objectives can ensure that we are getting the right things done.

    • We think that being creative takes a long time. We are so busy with obligations that we think we don’t have time to think. The irony of this is that creative thinking can save us time by helping us think through the what we are doing to be more efficient and effective.

    • We are afraid of the unknown. Ambiguity of the future path leads to uncertainly, discomfort and fear. Even when we think that a different way might be better, we sometimes choose to stay the course.

    • We don’t think we have the permission to do things differently. We live in a hierarchical world and may feel that we don’t have the responsibility to challenge the status quo. Or we may feel that it is just easier not to change things. After all, when doing new things it takes more time.

    In future posts, we will be delving into these areas in more depth.

    Click here to read part 2.

    Click here to read part 3.

    Click here to read part 4.

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    Posted: 2 years ago