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01 Mar, 2013

Capturing Your Creative Flow

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“I am not a creative person, but...”

As a designer, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this right before a brilliant idea. Creativity is not exclusive to artists and jazz musicians. In any industry you will find innovators challenging the status-quo and problem-solvers trying anything to find a solution. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the most creative way to fail, dusting yourself off, and trying again.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a ‘creative’ person, you will know what I mean when I describe the following feeling; that euphoric moment where everything just clicks, when you’ve been working for hours, but feel energized. When you’re making terrific headway with minimal exertion – this is called creative flow. Recognize it and respect it, and don’t let multitasking disrupt the flow.

Occasionally we have interruptions that can’t be ignored or feel overwhelmed and find it hard to get back into flow. Creative flow is elusive and short-lived, but below are a few tips to help tempt it back into your work-week (or your life):

  • Think positively and remember that mistakes are just part of the process
  • We do our best work when we feel our best. Regular exercise is terrific, but even just stepping away from the computer to stretch and pace can open new thoughts.
  • Most of us sit all day, try to find ways to stand and work when possible, like a painter at an easel.
  • There are multiple solutions to every problem and a variety of ways to take on new tasks. Challenge yourself to brainstorm at least two or three possibilities before running with your first idea.
  • Recognize there are times to work slowly and times to work rapidly. It is natural for refinement to take longer than the initial burst of energy involved in writing, designing, building, etc.
  • If you’ve lost work and have to go back and recreate, don’t lose hope – you will find that it is faster and easier the second time around, and that improvements were made along the way.
By: Frankie Bailey, Lead Designer/Owner Frankie's Folio, LLC