“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso
I introduced Creative Hours as compliment to Power Hours in my book, Getting Results the Agile Way.
A Creative Hour is simply an hour where you explore ideas from your most creative mindset.
This one concept alone could lead to your greatest breakthroughs in work and life, and help you operate at a higher level.
The Power of Creative Hours
When you’re under the gun, and pressed for time, or have to get things done, you don’t get a chance to really explore possibilities or play out your creative side.
That’s where Creative Hours come in.
Creative Hours are your tool to rise above the noise, and build your creative muscle to make the most of all the crazy challenges and opportunities that come your way in life.
Best of all, your Creative Hours are your way to throw your paint against the canvas of life and add your personal twist that comes with your unique experience, talents, and lens of the world.
Make Space for Your Creative Ability
To keep it simple, think of a Creative Hour as a sanctioned time where you explore ideas and test your creative abilities. The output of a Creative Hour can be anything from new ideas, to new ways of thinking, to breakthroughs in your brilliance.
The big idea behind Creative Hours is that we can use some hours during our week to invest in our creative self. It’s a simple way to generate more high-value ideas, for work or life, and to practice your innovation skills and abilities in a stress-free way.
I’ve experimented over the years and found my best Creative Hours are either early in the morning, or late at night, and I’m especially creative on Fridays and Saturday mornings.
Creative Exploration and Creative Synthesis
When you make space for your own creative abilities, magic happens.
You’ll get better at creative exploration and creative synthesis.
You’ll connect dots.
You’ll get flashes of insight.
Inspiration will strike like lightening.
Stress Free Creativity
The idea of stress-free is important. Your brain works better when it’s rested and relaxed.
The part that makes it stress free is that you carve out time in your busy schedule for it.
The other part that makes it stress free is that you are perfectly free to spend the hour daydreaming of possibilities, chewing and noodling on problems, and simply playing with ideas.
Instead of pursuing results, you’re embracing your own creative process, and results are a byproduct.
If you give yourself this chance, you’ll find breakthroughs in many areas of work and life, and you’ll actually leapfrog ahead.
The Creative Hour Mindset
What makes a Creative Hour so special is that you set the stage for it.
It’s your mindset.
It’s undisturbed time where you step back from the hustle and bustle. You give yourself time and space to think and explore.
To get in the right mindset, you first calm your mind. If you truly made space for this hour, then embrace this hour. Give yourself the freedom to explore and tap your creative power.
Don’t focus on “being creative” or stressing yourself out with coming up with bright ideas. It’s like finger-painting. It’s messy and fun. And, it’s silly. Some of your ideas will be silly, and, if they are, then you’re doing it right.
It means you found a way to play with your mind and dance with ideas, that you may have forgotten from long ago.
How To Get Started with Creative Hours
To keep this very simple and very practical, find one hour in your week, where you can truly decompress and unwind.
This is a great practice whether you are using a Power Hour or not. We all need our “think time.” In this case, we’re simply using this stress-free think time to release our productive artist.
In this hour, pick one thing in your life that you think about a lot. This will keep it relevant, and you’ll instantly be engaged in the process.
Ask yourself a few simple starter questions:
- What would good look like for XYZ? (Paint a vivid picture in your mind, bring it to life, add action to the scene)
- What would Edward de Bono or Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar do about XYZ? (plug in your favorite hero)
- What would be the opposite of what I’ve been doing for XYZ that just might work?
From there, you can explore some bigger and bolder questions:
- What do I want my life to be about?
- How can I use more of my strengths in more of my life?
- How can I help people in ways that are uniquely me and inspire me?
- What’s one way I can start showing up differently that would change my life?
- What are my greatest hopes, dreams, and aspirations on my backburner that I can make front and center?
If you really get stuck, then remember this advice from Dr. Seuss:
“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Also, keep in mind that your brain feeds on inspiration and ideas. When you explore Ted Talks, The Teaching Company, Kickstarter, and other sites that push the envelope, you’ll have more kindling for your fire.
Lastly, keep in mind that when you combine Power Hours + Creative Hours, you lay the foundation for the Productive Artist in you to shine.
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Add Creative Hours to Your Week
Getting Started with Agile Results
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Image by Tucia Photo Imaging Service.