3 Simple Ways to Push Yourself Creatively

So given you’re already in the business of being creative you could be forgiven for wondering why this subject is even relevant. Surely, you’re pushing yourself just by doing it to the best of your ability.

Fair cop good people – except amazing ideas and projects rarely fall out of your head fully formed.  Plus human beings whilst innovative and clever are also rather fond of “easiest” and “familiar.” Doing a pretty good job requires a lot less brain sweat than doing a freaking amazing one. And let’s be really honest, doing a pretty good job is often enough to get by on.

But no matter which creative area you work in I bet my Scrooge McDuck bank vault that you’re familiar with that occasional creeping feeling that your idea or project could be better. And I’m also willing to bet you tend to ignore that feeling – because that’s what I do!  If I can avoid working longer on something than I have to, I absolutely will. And sometimes I actually just don’t know how to make it better.

Trouble is we live in a competitive world – full of people and ideas that are great. So if, like me, you want your work to fall into that category, you could do worse than get into the habit of pushing yourself creatively. Yes, this all sounds rather dreary. If the thinking is done, the idea hatched, the deadline looming – what kind of crazy would you have to be to waste time trying to go one better?

The very best kind of crazy. Full creative crazy.

So now that you’ve come up with your best – take a breath and just try one of these deceptively simple techniques. It won’t hurt too much and one of three things will happen. You’ll discover that either your idea/project is already the best it can be – result! Or you’ll discover a way you can improve it – or you’ll come up with something that is even more exciting.

Either way – win, win and, erm, win.

1) Park It
Set your completed idea/project safely to one side and challenge yourself to come up with 5 alternatives or variations. If one of the alternatives is better – great – if not, you still have your original idea sitting there safe and sound. I call this safe risk taking.

2) Get Another Brain In The Mix
Pitch the concept to someone clever who isn’t involved. But rather than simply asking your sounding board what they think of it – ask them what they think would make the idea better. You don’t have to take this input on board but it will stimulate fresh thinking about your project.

3) Be Inspired by Amazing
Sit down and read or look at the most excellent version of what you’re trying to create – analyse what makes it so good and then ask yourself this question – what’s the one thing I could change to make my work more like that.

Box on, good people.

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