My creativity toolkit
By Jessica Albon
Last week, I entered the delightful Marie Forleo’s RHH Live contest with a video entry. (Warning: I’m wearing my PJs–it’s a metaphor, obviously.) For the contest, she wanted to know the biggest challenge you’re facing in your business, and, I realized that I’ve been feeling kind of worn out, creatively, lately. My clients haven’t noticed, but I just haven’t had the creative energy to tackle my own projects lately with any sense of robustness. I just wasn’t feeling my usual sense of boundless creative enthusiasm.
After making the video, I got to thinking about the tools in my toolkit for replenishing my creativity and, unsurprisingly, I’ve letting most of them collect dust. No wonder I was feeling out of sorts! So, right after recording the video, I immediately made myself a little checklist card (I *love* checklists!) of creativity treats that I can add to my day throughout the day. I wanted to share my list with you in case you, too, are feeling a bit depleted, and I’d love to hear what works for you for rejuvenating and replenishing.
- Row. I’ve had this rower since January 2007–it’s small and basic, and I adore it. I’m not a fan of walking because my neighborhood is riddled with bad drivers, so though Izzy and I go for walks, I can’t let my mind wander. The rowing machine, though, means I can drift off and get lost in the repetitive motion.
- Color. I love to color. There are some gorgeous coloring books on the market that have been designed specifically for grown-ups (like this one). As a graphic designer, I have a wide collection of luscious markers, and I highly recommend splurging on a professional set for yourself.
- Eat mindfully. I’ve been working around the clock lately and the first thing to go when I work long hours is cooking. I really like to cook, but it’s not always worth cooking just for me. I’ve been ordering takeout and resorting to cereal for dinner. I’m always amazed how much more creative I am during the weeks when I take the time to plan out the week’s dinners and actually devote the time to cooking healthy, complete meals.
- List. I’m dreadful at making Someday Maybe lists (David Allen style) but when I feel my creativity flagging, I’ve found making a list of Everything On My Mind can be really useful. For me, they’re most useful if I keep them around for a few days and move anything that does need to get done onto an official to-do list (and then toss ‘em so they don’t keep weighing me down).
- Clean. I have a guest room that’s become a magnet for everything that doesn’t have a home (sorry friends!) and so I carved out a few hours to clean it out and get rid of a bunch of stuff that I’d put in there instead of taking to the thrift store.
Now that I have my checklist of what activities feed my creativity, I’ve made time each day to build in a bit of each. It’s already made a big difference–I’m feeling much more like myself, and much more equipped for some new, fabulous projects. (So, hey, if you’ve been on the fence about working with me…) I’d love to hear what works for you to develop your own creativity. What are your favorite creativity-boosting activities?